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Album Review

Uffe Steen / Adam Nussbaum / Lennart Ginman: Play

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Guitarist Uffe Steen is one unmelancholy Dane. If that sounds like a left–handed compliment, well, he does play left–handed. And does he ever Play! Bluesy cascades of sound, single–note or chordal, fly off his fretboard like squadrons of worker bees beaming in on one’s verdant flower garden. This concert performance in Aarhus catches Steen’s trio (bassist Lennart Ginman, American drummer Adam Nussbaum) on a very good night (not that they have any bad ones, but there’s always that chance). There’s a lot of blues in Steen’s soul, and an abundance of rock as well (think Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and others of that stripe). Nussbaum, a natural powerhouse, nestles quite snugly into Steen’s generally emphatic groove, as he has played with bands of all kinds, from rock to straight–ahead to avant–garde, while Ginman is a team player who doesn’t turn down a chance to solo but seems perfectly happy in his more important role as navigator. Steen’s surname, we’re told in Cim Meyer’s liner notes, is Jensen, the most common name in Denmark, so he doesn’t bother to use it, as most Danes probably assume it’s Jensen anyway. But Steen or Jensen, he wields a mean Fender Telecaster, ripping through Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Miles Davis’ “Solar,” Nussbaum’s “BTU,” Ginman’s “So . . . How Is My Girlfriend,” four of his own compositions (“Mac–Riff,” “Time Machine,” “A Silent Moment in Corone,” the tasteful “Song for Alice”) and, last but not least, his soulful nod to Hendrix, “Spoonful.” The audience is enthusiastic, as well it should be, and while the album’s playing time is less than fifty minutes that shouldn’t discourage those who admire adventurous guitar picking in a harmonious trio setting.

Contact:Stunt Records, 29 W. Maple Avenue, Bellmawr, NJ 08031 (phone 856–931–6441; fax 856–931–6445. www.sundance.dk

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