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NEWS: OBITUARY

Svend Asmussen, RIP

Svend Asmussen, RIP

Svend Asmussen, the Danish violinist who thrived in eight decades of stardom, died yesterday—three weeks short of his 101st birthday. He was one of the handful of violinists who in the 1930s proved the instrument capable of swing and emotional expression at the highest jazz level. He may well have been the only man still alive ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mads Tolling and the Mads Men: Playing the 60s

Read "Playing the 60s" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

From the first arco tones, something sounds very familiar, yet hard to identify. The tone in question is big and full, dry, but not too much so. Were this tone a libation, it would be an Old Fashion. Sleek and commanding, yes, this makes me think of Svend Asmussen. This should be no surprise both wunderkind ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

David Grisman Sextet at Chautauqua Auditorium

Read "David Grisman Sextet at Chautauqua Auditorium" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

David Grisman Sextet
Chautauqua Auditorium
Boulder, Colorado
August 12, 2016

Wag More, Bark Less. That's a popular bumper sticker, but it could also be a theme, a motto, a catch phrase or even the guiding philosophy for the David Grisman Sextet whenever it unleashes its very own “Dawg Music." Friday night ...

Svend Asmussen: The Incomparable Fiddler

Read "The Incomparable Fiddler" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Danish violinist Svend Asmussen this year celebrates his 100th birthday. This boxed set of five CDs and one DVD looks back on a career in jazz that started in 1933 at Copenhagen's Apollo Theater, when “the Fiddling Viking" was just 17, full of youthful confidence and fronting his own quartet.

Four years later ...

Svend Asmussen: Embraceable

Read "Embraceable" reviewed by Chris Mosey

In 1987 when he was a young man of 70, Svend Asmussen played a gig in a small club in Paris. This year, on the eve of his 100th birthday, the Danish violinist rediscovered a tape made of the evening for a Parisian radio station. He says: “I assumed it would be just another radio show ...

ARTICLE: FROM FAR AND WIDE

Final Call to See "Pops" Making Records

Read "Final Call to See "Pops" Making Records" reviewed by Fradley Garner

Final Call to See “Pops" Making Records

September, 2012 is final call to catch Genius at Work: Louis Armstrong in the Recording Studio, the currently featured exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona, Queens, New York. “Records as well as photographs, scores and other artifacts reveal Armstrong hard at work recording ...

Andrew Swift: Swift Kick

Read "Swift Kick" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Drummer Andrew Swift belongs to a new generation of jazz artists that includes trumpeter Ryan Kisor and multi-instrumentalists Sharel Cassity and Michael Dease, all of whom join Swift on his debut recording, Swift Kick. These young artists are all well trained and steeped in tradition. However, tradition does not own their collective souls. All compose with ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Svend Asmussen

Read "Svend Asmussen" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Svend Asmussen is the last of the great swing violinists who emerged during the '30s. The “Fiddling Viking" turns 94 on Feb. 28th, splitting time between his native Denmark and Sarasota, Florida. Recently the violinist performed at the Second Annual Arbors Records Invitational Jazz Party and released new CDs, one a compilation on Storyville (Rhythm Is ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Svend Asmussen: Rhythm Is Our Business

Read "Rhythm Is Our Business" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Once, as they were jamming, Duke Ellington's drummer Sam Woodyard called out to Danish violinist Svend Asmussen, “Man, you play your ass off," to which The Fiddling Viking replied, with that charmingly naïvely innocent wit so typical of his homeland, “From now on then my name is only Mussen."

There is just one ...

Svend Asmussen: Fiddling Around

Read "Fiddling Around" reviewed by Chris Mosey

While striving to avoid clichés like the plague, there seems only one way to describe Danish jazz violinist Svend Asmussen: he is still going strong. At the age of 92, “the fiddling Viking" is embarking on a 2008 tour of Scandinavia. Fiddling Around, recorded when he was a mere slip of a lad, age 77, has ...