Sorgenfri Church:
CD-Sampler Vol. 1
(1998-1999)
Music Mecca CD 3068-2

Sonny Morris and the Delta Jazz Band – 13.9.98
Sonny Morris (tpt-vocal*), Bob Ward (tb-vocal**), Terry Giles (cl),
Chris Satterly (pno), John Sirett (bs), Eric Webster (bjo), Colin Bowden (dms).
1. Over in the Gloryland **
2. Just A Closer Walk With Thee **
3. When I Leave This World Behind *


New Orleans Delight and
Ken Pye and Mike Lunn – 13.12.98

Ken Pye (tpt), Mike Lunn (pno), Kjeld Brandt (cl), Kristian Barfoed (tb),
Ernst Hansen (bs), Erling Lindhardt (bjo), Claus Lindhardt (dms).
4. Bells Of St. Mary’s
5. Royal Telephone


The Blount Band – 14.3.99
Dan Pawson (tpt-vocal*), Ron Radford (tb), Colin Radford (cl),
Barry Grummett (pno), Harry Slater (bs), Tony Peatman (bjo),
Dion Cochrane (dms).
6. Burgundy Street Blues
7. Salee Dame *
8. Only A Look



Jensens NewOrleans Jazzband
and Brian Carrick – 12.9.99
Brian Carrick (cl-vocal*), Lasse Kohnke (tpt), Fredrik John (tb),
Kurt Jensen (cl), Nan Ehrenstråle (bs), Nina Ehrenstråle (bjo),
Erik Vand-Hansen (dms).
9. Lily Of The Valley *
10. If You See My Savior *


Göta River Jazzmen – 12.12.99
Esbjörn Olsson (tpt), Lars Ehnström (tb), Sverker Nyström (cl-vocal*),
Ingemar Wågerman (pno), Bertil Boström (bs), Göran Möller (bjo),
Hans Åsberg (dms).
11. Oh, I Want To See Him
12. Does Jesus Care
13. He Touched Me *

Sorgenfri Church:
CD-Sampler Vol 2
(2000-2001)
Music Mecca CD 3069-2

The Blount Band - 30.4.00
Dan Pawson (tpt-vocal*), Ron Radford (tb), George Berry (cl),
Barry Grummett (pno), Harry Slater (bs), Tony Peatman (bjo),
Dion Cochrane (dms-vocal**).
1. Lord, Lord, Lord **
2. Old Rugged Cross
3. Walking With The King *


New Orleans Delight and
Kristin Lomholt – 10.12.00
Kristin Lomholt (vocal*), Kjeld Brandt (cl), Bengt Hansson (tb),
Göran Magnusson (pno), Stefan Kärfve (bs), Erling Lindhardt (bjo),
Claus Lindhardt (dms).
4. Lead Me Savior
5. My Curley Headed Baby *
6. Will The Circle Be Unbroken *


Göta River Jazzmen – 29.4.01
Esbjörn Olsson (tpt), Lars Ehnström (tb), Sverker Nyström (cl-alt.sax**-vocal*),
Ingemar Wågerman (pno), Bertil Boström (bs), Göran Möller (bjo),
Hans Åsberg (dms).
7. Sing On**
8. Jesus Has Given His Life for the World
9. In The Springtime Fair
10. Precious Lord *


Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers – 30.9.01
Brian Carrick (cl-vocal*), Derek Winters (tpt-vocal**), Chas Hudson (tb),
Gabriele Gad (pno), Bill Cole (bs), Malc Hurrell (bjo), Mac Rae (dms).
11. Fly Away **
12. Just A Little While To Stay Here *
13. Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior
14. There Is Sunshine In The Shadows *


Liner notes:

The idea to make a memento of the ten jazzconcerts given until now at the Sorgenfri Church is not mine - I wish it was – it came spontaneously to my friend Kjeld Brandt when we were both listening to Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers during their visit late September 2001.

All the concerts are represented on the two cd’s except for the first one with Phil Mason’s New Orleans All-Stars which unfortunately was not recorded. All the recordings have been made with the same equipment which has ensured the fine balance in sound and atmosphere on both cd’s. The selection found on the two albums is a tiny, but representative sample of the wide range of numbers from the concerts. Each track has something to offer and the recordings do them justice.

From the very beginning the purpose of the Sorgenfri jazzconcerts has been to communicate the old New Orleans jazz to a greater audience and in this way ’help keeping the Real Jazz alive’! The concerts should furthermore be seen as a tribute to the black musicians of New Orleans who created this lovely music at the turn of the century. Unfortunately, many of them were never recorded and consequently little is known of how the first jazz really sounded.

The inspiration for the bands on the two cd’s therefore first of all comes from the New Orleans Revival, which started in the early 40’es with the recordings made by the writer and authority on New Orleans jazz Bill Russell, and which includes the now legendary musicians like Bunk Johnson, George Lewis, Jim Robinson, Kid Thomas Valentine and many others. The Sorgenfri jazzconcerts are also a tribute to those musicians.

Thanks to the efforts of organist Levi Bæk the Sorgenfri Church has become a unique location for music. Without his help and great inspiration it would not have been possible to organize the ten jazzconcerts.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the bands and the musicians for their permisson to use the music for the cd’s and to Henning Schädler, Music Mecca, for producing them.

- Christian Westergaard
Søsum



Review in The JazzGazette, April 2002

It is becoming more and more probable that the survival of this particular kind of New Orleans jazz will be supported in Europe rather than in its country of origin. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m still convinced that further evolutions of New Orleans jazz will come from its birthplace, New Orleans. What I’m talking about is the music that came to us after World War II by the recordings of Bill Russell and later on was played at places like Preservation Hall by the musicians who created it. This music was not a poor remnant of the classic jazz of the twenties but a bona fide local development with its own characteristics and qualities. With a few notable exceptions – I’m thinking of artists like Gregg Stafford and Michael White – the younger musicians in New Orleans who care to continue the tradition are playing a slightly different kind of music than the one we are talking about.
This is only natural, a living art, including one bound to a certain place, evolves whether we like it or not. In the United States only very few regular bands still play the music we are talking about here. Gremoli, Tom Sharpsteen’s Orlandos, Norrie Cox, Bill Carter’s Magnolia, Clint Baker’s band are just a few examples I can think of right now. If we compare this with the number of bands we have here, on the other side of the ocean, playing that particular brand of New Orleans jazz, my opening sentence does make sense. Even a very small country like Belgium has several excellent bands playing in that style. In England and Scandinavia the number of New Orleans bands is staggering and I’m not talking about the so-called British trad or Euro-dixie bands like the Dutch Swing College, but about bands that play a genuine New Orleans style modelled after their great American predecessors. These two CDs feature some very fine examples of English and Scandinavian New Orleans style bands. They were all recorded live at the Sorgenfri Kirke, a church located about 15 km North of Copenhagen, hence the accent on religious music, although there are notable exceptions, “Sallee Dame” being the most striking one! These concerts were organised by Christian Westergaard and recorded by Kjeld Brandt.

One can wonder why there was no recorded evidence of religious music being a regular part of the repertory of the New Orleans bands in the twenties. We know that they did play spirituals and hymns, especially at funerals and church activities. The ease with which the Sam Morgan band played three religious numbers following a request by one of the Columbia recording crew is eternal proof of the familiarity with this kind of material. Still the Morgan recordings are the only recorded examples of a New Orleans jazz band in the twenties playing it. By the time Bill Russell started his recording activities in New Orleans religious songs seemed to have become an established part of the normal repertory of the bands. They were even played at the local dance halls. We have evidence of that by the on the spot recordings made by John Bernard. The trigger to start the recording of religious songs by New Orleans style bands all over the world was certainly George Lewis’ famous “Jazz At Vespers” LP on Empirical Records, later reissued on Riverside. Ten years later George added another impulse with “George Lewis Plays Hymns” on Milenburg Records, his own favourite recording. Countless bands have been using material from this famous session. Finally bands started to look for fresh material in this field and numerous religious tunes from all kind of sources were added to the New Orleans repertory. A fine example is a CD by one of the bands in this collection, the Göta River Jazzmen, with only compositions by Swedish or Swedish American songwriters, reviewed in the October edition of this magazine.

This long introduction certainly was not necessary to say that these two CDs are a fine example of New Orleans style bands playing religious songs at church concerts, but as one of the editors of this magazine I reserve myself the right to ramble sometimes.

Sonny Morris of Crane River fame leads his band in simple, forthright fashion. The accent is on ensemble playing. I particularly like the dirge part of “Just A Closer Walk” with muffled snare drum. Unfortunately Sonny’s vocal on the lovely Irving Berlin song “When I Leave The World behind” is somewhat underrecorded.

Ken Pye, guest trumpet player with New Orleans Delight, is a staunch admirer of Kid Thomas. If, like me, you love Tom’s version of “The Bells Of St.Mary” you will love this one as well. Kjeld Brandt plays beautiful clarinet in the chalumeau and Ken’s muted trumpet reminds us of the lyrical side of his great example. Great bowed bass by Ernst Hansen. In their second tune Ken uses the metal derby to great effect just like Tom Valentine used to do.

Dan Pawson, on trumpet with the band of the late Chris Blount, pays tribute to DeDe Pierce, both on trumpet and with his vocal, on “Sallee Dame”. Dan is, in my opinion, one of the best New Orleans trumpet players this side of the ocean. In “Only A Look” he shows again how beautiful a trumpet can sound in the staff. Colin Radford’s clarinet, introduces this wonderful hymn in great style.

What I just said about Dan Pawson’s trumpet playing goes for Brian Carrick’s clarinet work too. He joins forces with Jensen’s clarinet with great result. In fact they made a complete CD together that will also be reviewed in this magazine. Brian sings on both numbers and his vocals are just as fine and authentic as his clarinet playing. It’s good to hear the seldom played Thomas A. Dorsey’s “If You See My Savior”.

The Göta River Jazzmen always come up with unexpected tunes. Listen to the delightful “Oh, I Want To See Him” composed in 1915 by an American, a certain R.H. Cornelius, and very popular in Scandinavia since it got Swedish lyrics in 1940. And what about the wonderful slow version in 3/4 time of “He Touched Me” with great simple trombone by Lars Ehnström, lovely piano by Ingemar and the subdued vocal by clarinetman Sverker.

The second CD opens with the Blount band again in their second concert at the Sorgenfri Kirke with George Berry replacing Colin Radford on clarinet. “Old Rugged Cross” is played in the “Jazz At Vespers” tradition with muted brass and begins with fine low register clarinet by George. In “ Walking With The King” Dan Pawson does for Kid Howard what he did for DeDe in “Sallee Dame”. It’s a nice gesture that the old masters are remembered this way.

New Orleans Delight features a nice girl singer this time, Kristin Lomholt. “My Curley Headed Baby” gets a delicate treatment with fine singing by Kristin and splendid clarinet by Kjeld. The joyful “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” makes for a fine contrast with the previous number.

After the long, slow version of “Precious Lord” – a real gem – the Göta River Jazzmen again come up with two “new” tunes for the repertory, “In The Springtime Fair”, a bundle of joy, and the intimate “Jesus Has Given His Life”. In “Sing On” we hear the only saxophone on these two CDs, Sverker’s alto in the great tradition of Earl Fouché with the Sam Morgan band.

The CD closes with one of England’s finest New Orleans style bands, Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers. Their raison d’être is keeping alive the spirit of the Kid Thomas Algiers Stompers, one of the most exciting bands in New Orleans jazz history, and they do it very well. They too introduce a “new” religious number, “There Is Sunshine In The Shadow”, which Brian picked up from a field recording made in Charlotte, South Carolina in 1931. Their delicate, subdued rendition of the magnificent hymn “Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour”, which reminds me of Sing Miller at Preservation Hall years ago, is worth the price of the CD.

These two CDs should be a welcome addition to everybody’s New Orleans collection. For those not familiar with these bands they could be a reason for looking out for individual CDs by them.

Recording quality is fine with none of the booming sound that sometimes mars church recordings. Playing time for both CDs approaches very closely the maximum time with more than 77 and 78 minutes.

Music Mecca is one of the labels to observe closely when your interest goes to genuine New Orleans sounds and we hope to be able to review more of their products in the future.

- Marcel JOLY


Geoff Boxell’s CD-reviews, New Zealand

HYMNS & SPIRITUALS: SORGENFRI KIRKE vol 1 1998-99

Whilst often this type of CD is often the sort that you buy as a souvenir at the time and later wonder what the hell you did it for, this one is actually very good. The fact that the recordings are live means that the perfection you would get in a studio is sometimes missing, but just listen to the natural reverb that the church's design gives to the band!
There is only one surprise in the tunes presented , Salee Dame, a song about whores, but does Jesus care? I doubt it as he was often in trouble for comforting and keeping company with the down-and-outs, including prostitutes.
I was pleased with the session by the late Sonny Morris as he was in fine fettle, something he wasn't always in during his last years. New Orleans Delight is a Danish band that I am not familiar with. They are quite raucous but in a very enjoyable way. The Blount band was making one of its first appearances after the death of leader and clarinettist, Chris Blount. Chris' replacement was Colin Radford and he fits in very well, though trumpeter Dan Pawson seems at a bit of a loose end at times. Jensens New Orleans Jazzband is another Danish outfit. Almost a family affair it is lead by clarinettist Kurt Jensen and has his wife on bass and daughter on banjo. The Jensens have
English reedsman Brian Carrick with them and the extended front-line works very well. Last, but certainly not least, are my old mates and great jazzmen, the Gota River Jazzmen. What more can I say about them that I haven't already said? Gothenburg's finest? Sweden's finest? Scandinavia's finest? Europe's finest? world's finest? Listen and make your own mind up.
Ok, so I have the Gota River tracks already on their CDs, but just listen to them live at Church and they are different again.
Lovely CD and well worth visiting http://www.cdjazz.com to order a copy.

Geoff Boxell


HYMNS & SPIRITUALS: SORGENFRI KIRKE vol. 2 2000-01

This CD has more wonderful live tracks from jazz concerts held at Sorgenfri Church, Denmark. Whilst the recording quality is excellent there are some small faults. Oft times the piano is under powered and ' I'll Fly Away' has a couple of minor mike squeals. But then, as the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God'.

Before I go into the contents of this album, let me tell you how I go about listening to a CD I am going to review. I normally listen to the CD twice just to get the feel of it. I then listen twice more looking for details and technique etc. When I write the review I run the album again as I write, skipping back and forth to clarify any comments I wish to make, as, indeed, I am doing now. Usually I do this in my 'den' on my old, but quality stereo gear. For Christmas my beloved wife bought me portable CD player. Her reasoning was quite sound: I am burning a lot of records and tapes to CD and she preferred that I sat in the lounge rather than hiding in the
den whilst 'test driving' the CD before clearing the tracks from the hard-drive. Subsequently I have taken to 'test driving' whilst travelling on the bus to work. Normally I don't take a review CD on the bus, but on this occasion I have. The interesting thing to me was that, whereas most jazz CDs are best on the main stereo and not so good on the portable player, the Sorgenfri CDs are an exception as they are as good as the other jazz CDs on a big stereo but are absolutely brilliant on the portable. I put this down to the very sharp sound track division that sound engineer (and New Orleans Delight's clarinettist) Kjeld Brandt has used. The music really does get into your head. Add to this the natural reverb of the church building and you really are there. No, honestly, you are. I have been to the odd jazz concert at St Matthews in the City, Auckland, NZ, and this is just how it sounds. Well done Kjeld.

Well that's the sound quality, but what of the music and the bands you ask.

The Blount band has settled in with the new front line and, apart from an odd fluff from trumpeter Dan Pawson, play well with much verve. The tunes are all old Gospel favourites, but they sparkle none-the-less.

New Orleans Delight, a Viking band. I say that because it is a mix of Danish and Swedish members. I if the Swedes are from Skåne and that their inclusion in what was a Danish band a sign that the Danes are re-claiming their old homeland? The front line is trumpetless by design. On the earlier volume they had guest Ken Pye sitting in on trumpet, but this time they fly on their own and shew that they are fine just the way they are. Joining them on two tracks is vocalist Kristin Lomholt. The sleeve notes describe her as being 'the wonderful singer' and I am not going to disagree.

Way down upon the Göta River live my favourite band. What more needs to be said? They play as beautifully as ever and continue to delight me with both their playing and their choice of material. Oh, and pianist Ingemar Wågerman seems less affected by the balance bias than the other pianists. I am not sure if this is because of a different set up for the mikes or whether he was 'pounding the keys' rather than just 'tickling the ivories' on this occasion!

I have another CD that features Brian Carrick's Algiers Stompers, so I know that I will always enjoy anything they put out. Brian is a skilled reedsman, but on this CD he only plays the clarinet. In the hands of such a big man it is amazing how delicate he sounds. I loved 'I'll Fly Away' with Derek Winters half talking and half singing his way through the lyrics.

As I said last time: 'Lovely CD and well worth visiting http://www.cdjazz.com to order a copy.' So off you go then, click on the link and have your Credit Card ready. Just tell them I sent you.

Geoff Boxell



CD REVIEW by Bert Thompson

South Bay Beat. Volume 28, May 2002, Number 5
South Bay Traditional Jazz Society

and

JAM April 2002
Alameda Jazz Society, www.smithsonianjazz.org


NEW ORLEANS JAZZ - SORGENFRI KIRKE CHURCH CONCERTS,
Vol. 1 1998-1999 (Mecca Music CD 3068-2). Playing time: 78:44 mins.

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ - SORGENFRI KIRKE CHURCH CONCERTS,
Vol. 2 2000-2001 (Mecca Music CD 3069-2). Playing time: 77:27 mins.

These two CD's contain selections from jazz concerts given at the Sorgenfri Kirke, a Lutheran church in the little town of Sorgenfri (Free of Sorrows) located about 10 miles north of Copenhagen, between the years 1998 and 2001. They give you an excellent opportunity to hear a half dozen bands you might not otherwise be exposed to and to enjoy a number of fine performances of tunes—most, as one might expect given the location, of a religious bent, some familiar, many less so.

These bands—three from the U.K., two from Denmark, and one from Sweden—all play in the style usually called "Uptown New Orleans," marked by mainly ensemble work, few solos, melody never lost sight of, four beat rhythm with string bass rather than tuba. Fewer and fewer bands in the U.S., it seems, play this style, even in New Orleans itself, but it is alive and well in the U.K. and Europe. No doubt many of you are hearing about these bands for the first time; probably no one in Sacramento has heard of them either since none, to my knowledge, has ever been invited to appear there, despite that festival's yearly "foreign contingent" portion of the roster of bands.

The first of the British bands is the Delta Jazz Band, led by the late Sonny Morris on trumpet and featuring on drums Colin Bowden, whom some of you will know from his appearances in recent years at the San Diego festival. The second is the Blount Band, taking its name from the late founder and leader on clarinet, Chris Blount, who played a George Lewis-influenced clarinet. The last British entry is Brian Carrick's Algiers Stompers, a band which plays in the style of Kid Thomas' Algiers Stompers but does not try to slavishly copy it, led by Carrick on clarinet.

The Danish bands are New Orleans Delight—whose performances live up to its name—and Jensen's New Orleans Jazzband. New Orleans Delight is a six-piece "trumpetless" band led by clarinetist Kjeld Brandt and often, as here on vol. 1, joined by a guest trumpet player, in this case Ken Pye, a Kid Thomas-influenced hornman from England. Jensen's New Orleans Jazzband is led by Kurt Jensen on clarinet (no, not all European bands are led by clarinet players!) and features two other family members—his wife on string bass and his daughter on banjo, and they more than hold their own with the rest. This band is joined by Brian Carrick on second clarinet.

Finally, the Swedish group, the Göta River Jazzmen, dates back to the fifties for its start, although its present configuration goes back to 1990.

All of these bands, who have also issued their own CD's, have much experience and exhibit fine musicianship. Space does not permit discussion of the rendition of each of the tunes on the two CD's under consideration—suffice it to say that they are given a loving, respectful treatment which, although not "in-your-face," still communicates much passion. While some are familiar, others, to me at least, are not, such as Oh, I Want to See Him or Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior. Not all tunes are solemn, of course—we can rock with Sing On or I'll Fly Away, but raucous they are not. As I said above, the bands treat the pieces lovingly: just listen to the achingly beautiful rendition of Does Jesus Care? by the Göta River Jazzmen, for instance. By recording these concerts and making them available, Kjeld Brandt has put us all in his debt.

You may have a little difficulty locating these two CD's locally, although I have occasionally seen Mecca Music CD's at Amoeba Music (www.amoebamusic.com) in San Francisco and Berkeley. (Unfortunately, Worlds Records [www.worldsrecords.com] in Novato does not carry Mecca Music, although they might start if you urge them to do so.) You can order Mecca Music CD's on-line, however, by going to either of the following internet websites: www.cdjazz.com (e-mail [email protected]) or www.jazznblues.co.uk (email [email protected]).



Bert Thompson plays drums with the Jelly Roll Jazz Band, the Zenith New Orleans Parade Band, the Phoenix Jazzers, and Gremoli.



Mail to New Orleans Delight:

YOU and the band get BETTER all the time. Many do NOT!!
I find your sound to be a much smoother and more listenable style than many Trad/N.O. bands. And that is not to say it sounds as a Benny Goodman sound or anything like it. It IS N.Orleans but oh so nice to listen to. I find many bands in this idiom including a lot of British bands sound like DE DE Pierce's or Capt. John Handy's or Kid Thomas when he had less than his best players. That is very ROUGH, and course. It's ok, but You, I find have a perfect combination of correctness in the idiom plus this "smoothness" or easy to listen to feeling that many have missed. It is like the BEST of all N.O. bands.
Keep getting better, Kjeld, and someday the whole world will know of your band!!! I believe it...

- Dick Luker, in the cold and snow of Canada.