Al Cohn was a tenor saxophonist from New York, born in 1925. Sadly he died in 1988, but his performance at the 1986 Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway is documented on this live recording.
On this session Cohn teams up with Totti Bergh also on tenor sax, bringing back memories of his many famous past partnerships with Zoot Sims. The first track introduces the female vocalist Laila Dalseth on the Gershwin ballard "Someone To Watch Over Me," where she does sound very much like Billie Holiday. You would be forgiven for forgetting that she is Norwegian! Dalseth sings on six of the nine tracks on this album, and you can clearly hear that she and Cohn are getting along like a house on fire. But it's on "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" and "I Remember You" where she excels and blends her Billie Holiday style vocals with her own incredible voice, which will make you tingle with excitement right to the last note!
On the instrumental tracks, Cohn and Bergh frequently switch back and forth, especially on the mid-tempo "On East Of The Sun." The most exciting track, though, is the Sonny Rollins tune "St. Thomas," where Cohn and Bergh harmonise together, play solo, pause for pianist Egil Kapstad to deliver his own solo, and just generally jive it up! Their sound is reminiscent of late '40s big jazz bands led by the likes of Woody Herman and Buddy Rich, where Cohn played in his youth.
Two other albums from Gemini Records feature these musicians: Travelling Light (Laila Dalseth and Al Cohn) and Tenor Gladness (Totti Bergh and Al Cohn).
Track Listing: 1. Someone to watch over me
2. Robbins Nest
3. Wrap your troubles in dreams
4.East of the Sun
5. Little man you've had a busy day
6. I Remember you
7. St. Thomas
8. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
9. Stella by Starlight
Personnel: Al Cohn -tenor Saxophone
Laila Dalseth -Vocal
Totti Bergh -Tenor Saxophone
Egil Kapstad -Piano
Terje Venaas -Bass
Ole Jacob Hanson -Drums
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.