Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Kjell Ohman: The Duke

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
In the somewhat circumscribed world of Swedish popular music, Kjell Öhman has been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. The keyboard wizard, born in 1943, has worked as a studio musician on more than three thousand recordings, with stars ranging from keyboardist/singer Georgie Fame to harmonicist Toots Thielemans, produced music for some of the country's top TV shows and, for 17 years, was musical director of a national institution, the televised summer sing-alongs at Skansen, Stockholm's outdoor museum.

Of late, he has become increasingly involved in jazz, notably playing Hammond organ with guitarist Erik Söderlind (born 1981), to recreate the sound of B3 hard bopper Jimmy Smith. Now he's doing his own thing on an album of jazz standards, playing piano with Hans Backenroth, one of the best bassists on the Scandinavian scene, and drummer Joakim "Jocke" Ekberg—who, like Öhman, has hitherto worked primarily as a studio and TV musician.

The trio runs through seven jazz standards, two film numbers, Glenn Miller's 1939 chart-topper "Stairway To The Stars," and "Shanna," by Swedish bassist Georg Riedel, best known for his work with former Jazz At The Philharmonic pianist Jan Johansson.

They are extremely competent and the resulting music very listenable, but lacking what Whitney Balliett famously called "the sound of Surprise." In other words, it's all a trifle predictable.

Of the jazz standards, Öhman includes two by his idol, Oscar Peterson—the up-tempo opener, "Kelly's Blues" and the ballad "When Summer Comes." Both allow Backenroth solo space in which to salute one of his own mentors, the late, great bassist Ray Brown, who played extensively with Peterson.

But the standout is the title track, Dave Brubeck's tribute to Duke Ellington. Melodic, verging on catchy, but by no means easy to play (Brubeck originally planned to call it "The Duke Meets Darius Milhaud"). Öhman & Co, undaunted by a welter of covers from some of the greatest names in jazz, makes a really good fist of this one.

Track Listing: Kelly's Blues; One For The Woofer; Stairway To The Stars; The Duke; Squatty Roo; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?; When Summer Comes; The Best Things In Life Are Free; My Foolish Heart; Afternoon In Paris; Shanna.

Personnel: Kjell Öhman: piano; Hans Backenroth: bass; Joakim Ekberg: drums.

Title: The Duke | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Prophone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Hide Ye Idols" CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor