246

Eje Thelin: Eje Thelin 1966 with Barney Wilen

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Eje Thelin: Eje Thelin 1966 with Barney Wilen Jazz was on the downswing in Europe in 1966, when this amiable recording was made, and trombonist Eje Thelin, whose quintet was named Sweden's best Jazz group only three years earlier, had been forced to disband and go on the road looking for steady work. While gigging in Paris he hooked up with tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen, a kindred soul, and the two of them decided they should work together again when the opportunity arose. That happened in '66 when Thelin decided to re-form his group as a pianoless quartet and asked Wilen to join him on the front line, with drummer Rune Carlsson and nineteen-year-old bassist Palle Danielsson comprising the rhythm section.

Shortly after Wilen arrived in Stockholm, he and Thelin recorded a studio date for Swedish Radio on which a core group of Thelin, Wilen, Carlsson, bassist Erik Lundborg and pianist Lars Sjösten was fleshed out by five trumpets, three trombones, bass clarinet and flute (tracks 1-4). While in hindsight the music seems largely straightforward and ingenuous, it was perhaps cutting-edge for its time, especially in Europe. Thelin shows he's on a par with Sweden's other world-class trombonist, Åke Persson, while his compatriot is already leaning toward such soon-to-be pacesetters as Americans Sam Rivers and Von Freeman, Dutchman Willem Breuker, Norwegian Jan Garbarek and Brit Tony Coe, among others.

The quartet (tracks 5-9), recorded in concert, opens with its version of Thelin's "Doj-Doj," which is also performed by the larger group on track 3. Thelin is able to stretch more with the quartet, as is Wilen, and they deliver a series of analytical improvisations that remain surprisingly fresh so many years onward. The litmus test is Johnny Burke / Jimmy Van Heusen's "It Could Happen to You," as that's the only standard on the program, and Thelin / Wilen are equal to the task, blowing freely around the changes without once losing their balance. Danielsson and Carlsson provide able support, as they do on every number. Besides those already named, they include Thelin's "To a Moment of Truth" and "Fast," plus Sjösten's lively arrangement of the traditional Swedish theme "Ack Varmeland du Sköna."

An interesting historical – and musical – glance at a couple of top-of-the-line jazz musicians who left us far too soon (Thelin died in 1990, Wilen in 1996).

Contact: Dragon Records, P.O. Box 4068, SE-102 62 Stockholm, Sweden; www.dragonrecords.se


Track Listing: Pam Kan; To a Moment of Truth; Doj-Doj; Forever; Doj-Doj; To a Moment of Truth; It Could Happen to You; Ack V

Personnel: Eje Thelin, trombone; Barney Wilen, tenor, soprano saxophone; Lars Sj

Title: Eje Thelin 1966 With Barney Wilen | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Dragon Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Alchemist" CD/LP/Track Review Alchemist
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Nearness" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.