2

Kjell Ohman: The Duke

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Kjell Ohman: The Duke 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.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Prophone Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
by Doug Collette
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Surrounded by the Night" CD/LP/Track Review Surrounded by the Night
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Aritmia" CD/LP/Track Review Aritmia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!