170

Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra: Ways of Seeing

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The resourceful Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, which is quite adept a cooking up appetizing straight–ahead big–band Jazz but prefers a more piquant menu, varies the ingredients for maximum taste appeal on Ways of Seeing, a concert performance recorded in October ’97 at Sydney, Australia’s leading Jazz club, The Basement. The easily digested mainstream fare (“This Bass Was Made for Walking,” “I Think I’d Better Dance Now,” “Wild Bill,” even John Coltrane’s “Dear Lord”) is accompanied by a trio of charts that are sometimes harder to swallow — guitarist Chico Lindvall’s “Radio–Passive” and tenor saxophonist Tomas Franck’s “Ways of Seeing” and “Pathfinder.” Whatever its frame of reference, however, the orchestra is unmistakably world–class in every respect, as one would expect from an ensemble that has been on the scene for more than three decades (until 1995 as the Danish Radio Big Band) and is home to some of the most accomplished Jazz musicians its country has to offer. Even though the music veers occasionally from midstream, the DRJO is always on top of its game, breathing life into every phrase with a persuasive combination of poise and power. Resourceful soloists abound, with tenor Uffe Markussen especially memorable on Trane’s haunting ballad “Dear Lord.” Others who are given space and seize the moment include Lindvall, Franck, trumpeters Pedersen and Togeby, trombonists Hansen and Nilsson, alto Hove, pianist Bentzon, drummer Johansen and bassist Ovesen, whose booming voice invigorates Thad Jones’ amiable blues, “This Bass Was Made for Walking” (in one person’s humble opinion the disc’s most rewarding track). After “Walking,” the orchestra sways to funk–disco rhythms on Bertzon’s “I Think I’d Better Dance Now,” then dashes flat–out through American expatriate Ray Pitts’ explosive archetype of big–band swing, “Wild Bill” (whose riffs at one point sound much like an old western tune, “The Navajo Trail”). Franck’s charts, which close the concert, are atmospheric pieces whose singular voicings are punctuated by intervals of in–the–pocket lyricism (as, for example, his warm–blooded tenor solo on “Ways of Seeing”). “Pathfinder” swings hard, thanks in large part to drummer Johansen’s sure–handed time–keeping, and includes respectable solos by Pedersen and Franck. An impressive and for the most part agreeable concert date by one of Europe’s leading Jazz orchestras.

Track listing: Radio–Passive; Dear Lord; This Bass Was Made for Walking; I Think I’d Better Dance Now; Wild Bill; Ways of Seeing; The Pathfinder (69:10).


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Beatbox Sax" CD/LP/Track Review Beatbox Sax
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Just Get In" CD/LP/Track Review Just Get In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 9, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.