543

Mads Vinding: Bubbles & Ballads / Bass & Bones

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
With the death of Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen in 2005, the keys to the kingdom of double bass playing in Denmark passed at long last to Mads Vinding. Only two years separated the two men—Pedersen was born in 1946, Vinding in 1948—but "young" Vinding always found himself in the giant shadow cast by Pedersen.

Both men were at different times house bassist at Copenhagen's renowned Montmartre jazz club, accompanying some of the best instrumentalists in the world. Both started early. Pedersen played with pianist Bud Powell at the tender age of 15. Vinding turned professional at 16. Pedersen went on to play most famously with pianist Oscar Peterson, Vinding with pianist Hank Jones.

Pedersen was the bassist of choice for visiting American jazzmen, largely because they knew his name (even if most of them were unable to pronounce it). But if they couldn't get him, they sent for Vinding and were often pleasantly surprised. This was because Vinding saw no reason for virtuoso displays. The feel of the song always came first as far as he was concerned, and he was rock solid when it came to rhythm.



Mads Vinding Trio
Bubbles & Ballads
Bro Recordings
2010



Here Vinding gets together with Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, who plays with the Peter Asplund Quartet and the Malmö-based Tolvan Big Band in his homeland, and Danish drummer Morten Lund, who is from a musical family in the town of Viborg (father is a multi-instrumentalist jazzer, mother plays flute).

Karlzon being a very dominant pianist, there is an ever-present fear that his dense playing—often but not always full of dark, rolling, melancholic chords—will overpower the leader's delicate work. However, a balance is usually struck, and is done so particularly well on Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays," where Vinding can be heard at his best, stating the theme.

This is not to denigrate Karlzon. The trio's version of Michel Legrand's lovely ballad "The Summer Knows" is a little gem, largely due to his subtle but muscular note placement, with Vinding again stating the theme and Lund providing clean and accurate brushwork.

There are two Wayne Shorter numbers, "Nefertiti" and "Footprints," and two Karlzon originals, "Cesterball" and the title track, which contains echoes of pianist Jan Johansson's jazz interpretations of Swedish folk music. The only Vinding original is "Flat Blues," which isn't really a blues at all, but one of the more experimental tracks, with a great many long, probing melodic lines from Karlzon and some fine drumming by Lund.

Steen Nicolaj Hansen & Mads Vinding
Bass & Bones
Bro Recordings
2010



When it comes to duos, the mating of bass and trombone is rare. This disk demonstrates why. Trombonist Steen Nicolaj Hansen explains on the sleeve that the session grew out of his impromptu get-togethers with Vinding following their gigs with the Danish Radio Big Band. "It's always a great experience and fun both personally and musically," he says. There's a temptation to add the caveat: "though not necessarily for the listener."

The album actually gets underway quite promisingly with "Spartacus" and "It Might As Well Be Spring," but after that the novelty rapidly wears off. Despite the best efforts of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, in lesser hands the slide trombone rarely manages to liberate itself from the tailgate confines of traditional jazz. And when the only ensemble contrast is bass, the instrument falls—literally—flat.

"No humour, no jazz!" Hansen proclaims defiantly and there are times, it's true, when he does raise a smile, notably towards the end of "Sail Away" and that old Irish knockabout, "How Are Things In Glocca Morra?." But the treatment he gives standards such as "You Don't Know What Love Is," "All The Things You Are" and—worst of all—"When I Fall In Love" is at best weirdly lugubrious.

Good things come from experimentation such as this. It should be encouraged. So it is to be hoped that Messrs Vinding and Hansen will continue their impromptu sessions after Danish Radio Big Band dates. But that they won't in future inflict them on others.


Tracks and Personnel

Bubbles & Ballads

Tracks: Nefertiti; You Don't Know What Love Is; All The Things You Are; The Summer Knows; Bubbles; Footprints; Misty; Flat Blues; Cesterbal; Yesterdays; On Green Dolphin Street.

Personnel: Mads Vinding: bass; Jacob Karlzon: piano; Morten Lund: drums.

Bass & Bones

Tracks: Spartacus; It Might As Well Be Spring; Sail Away; You Don't Know What Love Is; Three Flowers; All The Things You Are; How Are Things In Glocca Morra?; Polka Dots And Moonbeams; The Old Black Magic; Bass And Bones; When I Fall In Love; But Not For Me.

Personnel: Steen Nikolaj Hansen: trombone; Mads Vinding: bass.

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Bubbles & Ballads

Bubbles & Ballads

Self Produced
2008

buy
 

Bubbles and Ballads

Phone Plus Incredible Jazz Jam
2008

buy
 

Over The Rainbow

Touché Music
2002

buy
 

Six Hands, Three...

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2001

buy
 

Six Hands Three Minds...

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2001

buy
 

Daddio Don / Together

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read 3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019 Multiple Reviews
3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read Two From The Giant Step Arts Label Multiple Reviews
Two From The Giant Step Arts Label
By Jerome Wilson
July 15, 2019
Read Living for a Song: Country Singers and Songwriters on BGO Multiple Reviews
Living for a Song: Country Singers and Songwriters on BGO
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 14, 2019
Read International Anthem: The Beat of the Past, Present and Future Multiple Reviews
International Anthem: The Beat of the Past, Present and Future
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 4, 2019
Read Samo Salamon: Three At Once (Freequestra, Trio, & Rotten Girlz) Multiple Reviews
Samo Salamon: Three At Once (Freequestra, Trio, & Rotten Girlz)
By Mark Sullivan
July 3, 2019
Read John Dikeman And The Origin Of The Species Multiple Reviews
John Dikeman And The Origin Of The Species
By Mark Corroto
June 28, 2019
Read Jazz at the Edge of New Age Multiple Reviews
Jazz at the Edge of New Age
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 26, 2019