About the album
”We don’t fight – this isn’t a war,” tenor saxophonist Jesper Thilo informs the audience, when welcoming them to concerts with American sax man Scott Hamilton and himself. They do not consider their perfor- mances traditional tenor battles, where the soloists are combatants trying to outdo each other.
Tenor battles are an old tradition in jazz. Back in the 30’s, Lester Young and Herschel Evans played up an unrelenting storm in Basie’s orchestra even though they were the best of friends. Battles have always been a favo- rite with audiences, and saxophonists like Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray and Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt continued the demanding exer- cise a few years later, as did Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. But, although there are moments that send sparks flying, it is obvious that Scott Hamilton and Jesper Thilo are not trying to outplay each other.
Jesper Thilo explains that they both have a similar approach to music. “If you have a story to tell, the choice of tune isn’t that important. As long as you feel that you can give a part of yourself, then everything is fine. And everything was fine – we played at the Copenhagen Jazz House on the three evenings preceding the recording session, so there were no problems in the studio. After five hours, we had plenty of material, and a lot of the tracks were first takes. Scott is a great guy, easy to work with and easy to get along with. The first time I played with him was in 2005. We discovered that we enjoyed playing together, and since then we’ve performed now and then without forcing anything – if it happens, it happens. If not, it wasn’t meant to be.”