About the album
“The invitation to participate in this project came unexpec- tedly – but it felt like an invitation to dance with an old fla- me... I’ve loved the songs on this album through a long life without ever giving a thought to recording them. But when Bro, AC and Høyer asked me, I could not decline.... And as we swept across the dance floor, it occurred to me that this was an opportunity to pay homage to my first real hero, Louis Armstrong who - unbeknownst to himself - taught me how to sing in Danish...”
There is no doubt that 72-year old Povl Dissing is one the very most popular Danish singers – a true troubadour, whose characteristic voice has been a cherished addition to Danish culture for what seems forever. His career began in the ‘50s with jazz and later on blues and folk music, but his popularity was not easily won. Many people fai- led to understand his throaty and dramatic interpretati- ons of well-known Danish songs. Some felt his versions were undignified, others misinterpreted them as comical. However, Povl Dissing continued to play and sing his con- troversial versions of the songs as if they were American blues tunes, thus renewing focus on the often trite lyrics, which he somehow managed to give credibility and mea- ning. Dissing can find his way behind the words and sing them at face value without the slightest trace of irony. His artistry is that he always follows his own mantra. He does things his own way, because that is the only way he knows.
In the ‘60s Povl Dissing recorded several Shel Silverstein songs often accompanied by The Beefeaters. These recor- dings, which include a Danish version of The Ugliest Man in Town, are still considered central in Danish rock. However, it was his close (and still on-going) collaboration with poet Benny Andersen on “Svantes Viser” in 1973 that made him a household name. He has released approxim- ately 25 albums in collaboration with many of Denmark’s leading musicians and bands from a diversity of genres, and recent years have seen him performing regularly with his two sons in Dissing, Dissing, Las & Dissing.
On THAT LUCKY OLD SUN Dissing returns to his point of departure – early jazz. His interpretations of clas- sic Armstrong tunes with a handful of Denmark’s lea- ding young jazz musicians premiered during last year’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
Louis Armstrong and Povl Dissing share a few common experiences. They both started on the cornet, and they both experienced stigmatization bordering on hatred in some circles. Armstrong’s so-called “wild Negro music” was often looked down on in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and in the ‘60s Dissing often barely escaped a beating after performing his highly personalized versions of popular Danish songs. Still, they both wound up as cherished performers.
It goes without saying that Dissing’s Armstrong inter- pretations are far from empty nostalgia and imitation. In Dissing’s return to jazz, he brings the experience of a long life with him in interpretations with a modern accompani- ment that take the songs in new directions. He no longer plays the cornet or trumpet, and the stage is not the smoke- filled room of a jazz club of the ‘50s, but you will find traces of all this in the mature singer of 2010. Dissing finds inspi- ration without copying, he makes the tunes and lyrics his own, while still passing on Armstrong’s contagious warmth and empathy.
We knew that Dissing could break our hearts in Danish, but his English interpretations come as a revelation. His nasal and touching corkscrew-phrasing help us hear well- known Armstrong songs from a new angle. Dissing’s own generation will recognize the lyrics, but they will find new meanings; younger generations will discover music which is unhampered by the passing of time.
There is no nostalgia and no banjo sounds in guitarist Jakob Bro’s approach to this music. His most recent release BALLADEERING won Jazz Special’s reader’s poll as Best Jazz Album of 2009. There is likewise nothing old-fashioned about bassist Anders Christensen – one of Denmark’s busiest musicians in jazz and rock at home and internationally (including Raveonettes, Caroline Henderson and Anisette). Bro and Christensen are also part of acclaimed trumpeter Tomasz Stanko’s band, whose latest ECM album is closing in on the 100.000 mark. The same qualifications apply to drum- mer Jakob Høyer, centrally placed in the music of a genera- tion who doesn’t draw a strict borderline between jazz and rock. He works in numerous constellations – and yes, it IS him on this year’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival poster!
Angel dust dances in the voices of the two up-and-coming vocalists Marie Fisker – who debuted in 2009 with the cri- tically acclaimed GHOST OF LOVE – and Mette Lindberg, whose The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is an international success.
The horns: Trumpeter Kasper Tranberg, trombonist Mads Hyhne (who wrote the arrangements) and tenor saxopho- nist Jakob Dinesen are all extremely busy and popular musician on jazz scenes at home and abroad.
Anders Christensen produced, and the music was recorded at Sun Studio in Copenhagen.
11That Lucky Old Sun04:45
12On The Sunny Side Of The Street03:52
13St. Louis Blues07:48
14When It's Sleepy Time Down South04:11
16Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?03:37
17Beale Street Blues04:15
18Up A Lazy River03:13
19A Kiss To Build A Dream On03:11
110We Shall Overcome05:29