These two Scandinavian offerings could not be more different or enjoyable. Tenor Saxophonist Anders Gaardmand bar-walks his way through ten B-3-oozing standards in a manner bordering on sentimental schmaltz, but fortunately never quite getting there. La Fontaine Live is the documentation of a Chitlin' Circuit Danish Sinatra singing in front of the Texas Tenor cum Scandinavia of the Gaardmand—(Red) Holloway axis. Old war-horses like "Misty" and "Old Folks" are peppered with the more contemporary fare of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road." Bobo Moreno's vocals are believable, as are Gaardmand's solos. The glue for this disc and the next is organist Kjeld Lauritsen, who single handedly saves Fontaine from being something else altogether. Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with Fontaine. But it is not as serious as The Organizers + 1.
On the Organizers + 1, the standard tenor—organ trio is augmented with the congas of Ethan Weisgard. The music is groovin' and but not too greasy, though the blues are very much in evidence. Eddie Harris' "1974 Blues" is very cool and funky and an antiseptic sort of way. That is to say that this music tend to be more squeeky clean than down and dirty. It is crisp and exciting and should give any organ jazz aficionado a good listen for their money. The cold country of Northern European is indeed the spawning palace of some of the best jazz being made. Generally better known for their big bands, these two recordings show that small Scandinavian groups can function at the very same high standards.
Track Listing: La Fontaine Live: Misty; Just For A Thrill; What's Going On; Fly Me To The Moon; The Long And Winding Road; All Or Nothing At All; One More Meter; Old Folks; Going To DC; The More I See You. (Total Time: 65:20).
The Organizers + 1: Triple Trouble; It Ain't Necessarily So; Hammond Organ Blues; Space Cadets; 28; 1974 Blues; Liv
Personnel: La Fontaine Live: Anders Gaardmand: Tenor Saxophone; Bobo Moreno: Vocals; Kjeld Lauritsen: Hammond B-3 Organ; Per Gad: Guitar; Esben Bach: Drums.
The Organizers + 1: Bob Rockwell: Saxophones; Ethan Weisgard: Congas; Ole R