About the album
First a European tour, then an outdoor concert during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. By that time trumpeter Jens Winther and his international quintet were ready for two days at Copenhagen’s Sun Studio, assisted by Bjarne Hansen’s sensitive ears and knowledgeable fingers at the mixer. They recorded quite a few hours of intense music - everyone in Jens Winther’s band enjoys playing.
The following week, they mixed and chose the final tracks for the CD. This proved difficult. When you aim high, it can be hard to choose. Many facets must be considered: a couple of Winther’s emotional ballads have to be squeezed in; you don’t want the tracks to run too long; each member must have space to show individuality without jeopardizing the tight band sound. Finally the individual tracks must work well together - and cutting and pasting is strictly forbidden. However, all these decisions were positive, because there was a lot of really good material to choose from.
The well-known Danish jazz photographer, Gorm Valentin, dropped by the studio - not to play, but to capture the atmosphere. The British designer Paul Wilson did the artwork. The cover reflects the music, as audiences all over the world will soon discover.
Yes, all over the world. Jazz is no longer an American art form only, and high quality jazz knows no borders. Jens Winther looked abroad to find the musicians with the ideal collaborative powers for the demanding art of an acoustic quintet. These are the right musicians to interpret Winther’s new material and communicate the group sound he was looking for. These musical playmates help create the magic and inspiration. The chemistry has to be there - this is genuine jazz.
The second horn in the band is played by Swedish tenor, Tomas Franck. Almost 25 years of working together has given Jens and Tomas a certain report. Jens considers Tomas one of the world’s best sax players, and he hopes that this recording will help open peoples ears to Tomas’ personal and virile Coltrane-inspired playing. Tomas Franck has played with Roy Haynes, Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Ed Thigpen - with whom he recently returned from a highly successful tour of Canadian festivals - Mulgrew Miller, Billy Heart, Doug Rainey - you name them. And naturally he leads a dynamic band of his own.
Antonio Farao is a growing name from Italy. He is a young pianist to be reckoned with - one of Europe’s finest. His credits include Jack De Johnette, Bob Berg, Joe Lovano - visiting stars know who to play with when passing through that part of the world.
Swedish Palle Danielsson has been a bass legend since the ‘70s, when he was a member of Keith Jarrett’s great band. He has been a much used musician ever since, famous for his musicianship and his ability to contribute to the overall band sound. Check out his playing on recordings with Charles Lloyd or Michel Petruciani.
Once upon a time jokes were told about drummers from Eastern Europe. No more. Dejan Terzic is an overwhelmingly talented drummer. Out of a Serbian and Bosnian background, he now lives in Germany.
The bandleader, Jens Winther: an uncompromising artist, blessed with a special gift. For decades he has been in the forefront of Danish and European jazz as a trumpeter and bandleader. He has worked with just about everyone at home and abroad: Gil Evan’s Orchestra, Eddie Palmieri, Kenny Baron, Joe Henderson... we could go on and on. He composes for small groups, such as this quintet, for big bands, and for full orchestras with string sections.
On this new album, the trumpet is back in the foreground. His focus is on the trumpet these days, he says, after having spent much of recent years composing. This album features Jens Winther playing great music that leaves space for each player’s individual personality while still presenting an organic band sound.
Concord means challenge. No one in Jens Winther’s group rests on yesterday’s laurels. For real jazz musicians the challenge is now!