About the album
Among jazz fans, you can have a lot of fun arguing whether “European Jazz” is a useful counterpoint to the American tradition, an original supplement thereto or “is worth less than American jazz on the market” as it can be read in a Wikipedia forum. There is no doubt that there have been and are gifted musicians this side of the Atlantic, who have molded and formed jazz for decades. They have developed very unique playing styles by merging European music traditions with American influences. To give these pioneers of European jazz a stage was the idea for the series of articles “European Jazz Legends”, which has been launched in the magazine Jazz thing in their 100th issue in September 2013. We can now look back on 15 issues. The symbolic stage has now become a real one, and it is in Gutersloh in the middle of Europe. Accompanying each edition of the magazine appearing five times a year, a concert planned especially for this occasion is being organized in cooperation with the label Intuition, the city of Gütersloh and Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln with current protagonists of the series, hosted by our author Götz Bühler. Each concert including an on-stage interview with the artist will be broadcast by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR 3) at a later time, and the musical highlights of the concert will be released on a CD.
In other words, five concerts and five CDs in the series “European Jazz Legends” are planned for each year in the future, until end of 2017. In addition, a book will be published, in 2018, for which the article from the magazine will be revised and supplemented, among other things, to provide impressions from the concerts and discussions. The CD of Arild Andersen is the sixth publication in the “European Jazz Legends” series. We from Intuition Records are very proud of this and would like to thank all partners and especially the musicians – and hope that you enjoy this new series.
„It’s about sound – and that’s in your mind, as well as in your fingers“, said Arild Andersen during the interview for his „European Jazz Legends“ article for the magazine Jazz thing in March 2016 in his house in Oslo, Norway. „For me it has always been about the sound of the instrument, very consciously, as I think sound is what you recognize first and foremost, whether in a saxophone player or a bassist.“ Andersen’s rich and singing upright bass, often and early on enriched and extended electronically via a „Electro Harmonix Delay“, can be heard on over a hundred recordings from „world to pop“, as his website claims. Among the many legendary albums the now 70 year-old can be heard on quite a lot of recordings for the ECM label, many of them with his own bands with musicians like Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, John Taylor, Alphonse Mouzon, Ralph Towner, Nana Vasconcelos, Marcin Wasilewski, or Markus Stockhausen. And then there are his ground-breaking recordings with fellow Norwegian Jan Garbarek, of course, as well as with his own group „Masqualero“, which also featured Jon Christensen, Jon Balke, Tore Brunborg, and Nils-Petter Molvaer. For his extremely well received „European Jazz Legends“ concert in Gütersloh, which is presented in the live-recordings on this CD, Andersen brought his trio with Helge Lien on piano and drummer Gard Nielssen. „They are both very talented and young, but I always wanted to have young musicians in my band. Nils-Petter (Molvaer) and Tore Brunborg were in their early twenties when they started in „Masqualero“. And Jan Garbarek was only twenty-three when we recorded „Afric Pepperbird", and I still twenty-four. It all comes from somewhere. The only thing that counts is that you put it together in a new way, so it will hopefully become something original.“