Støberihallen, Hillerød,November 11. 2004
© Jørgen Vad

Review in Frederiksborg Amts Avis November 11. 2004

Gregg played for his friends

By Maja Vindelev

An almost packet koncert hall in Hilleroed Tuesday evening witnessed a topkoncert with lots of New Orleans jazz. And the undisputed lead character of the night was the american trompeter Gregg Stafford.

Despite a top-performance by all the musicians this Tuesday evening, there was no doubt that the audience had come to see the american trompeter Gregg Stafford. He has regularly been visiting Hilleroed the last 15 years, but has never before given a regular concert here. But the concert with New Orleans Delight, the canadian trombonist Brian
Towers and Gregg Stafford also attracted people outside the close circle of friends, among others from Copenhagen, Frederikssund, Hoersholm and Ballerup, and even if the Hilleroed friends got theirs, nobody in the audience was left out in the concert, that started 8 pm sharp and continued way past 11 pm.

The Hilleroed concert was part of a tour in Denmark and Sweden arranged by
Kjeld Brandt, the leader of New Orleans Delight. The tour yesterday continued to Sweden, finishing off Saturday - and by the way it was Brian Towers' first trip to Scandinavia.

- I could have wished there were more than 5 mio. Danes, as they have been a marvellous audience, Brian Towers said after the concert. And he certainly also did his to make the Hilleroed concert an experience beyond the ordinary, because he played a very qualified trombone, he could also sing and he showed a good sense of humor, participating in various stage jokes. So we welcome Brian Towers back another time.

After a few words of welcome and an introduction of the band members and soloists, Kjeld Brandt left the steering of the concert to the real main character, Gregg Stafford. He dedicated the concert to the deceased Hans Hurtigkarl and to Doelle, who watched the concert from his wheelchair. It was Hans and Doelle that "discovered" Gregg Stafford during a visit to New Orleans way back in 1989. The same year Gregg Stafford was hired as a guest director by Carlsberg Brasss Band that also have toured internationally with Gregg.

The fly was His.
"Rock my soul" was the first number with Gregg Stafford, who played with an outstanding energy and charmed the audience with his deep-felt singing.

A fly obviously also enjoyed the authentic New Orleans music, because it swirled around Gregg Stafford through several tunes and finally during »What a Friend We Have In Jesus« settled on the trompeter's head.
- I decided that the fly, it was Hans, Gregg Stafford said after the concert.

Just before the first break there was also a tune to Alex and Bodil Jakobsen, also close friends of Gregg, and they got »Just a Little While To Stay Here« with thanks from Gregg Stafford. In the intermission the reporter got a hold of Olaf Nyeng, another old jazz freak, and he praised the music.
- It is not often I boil over with entusiasm, but both the band and Brian Towers are really good - and Gregg Stafford is plainly fantastic. I have spoken to Doelle for 10 years about making a concert with Gregg Stafford, but for various strange reasons it hasn't come through until now. I really hope he will play here again, Olaf Nyeng added.

In the second set all the musicians had taken off their jackets. The starting tune was »Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think« with Brian Towers doing the vocal, and then there were again tunes from Gregg Stafford to his friends from Hilleroed.
- To my friend »Smugpuleren« and to »Kesser«, Gregg Stafford said to the audience's fun, whereafter Gregg claimed that he did not understand the meaning of the sexual nickname »Smugpuleren«. For these two he played »Old Time Religion«, which Gregg due to laughter had to restart three times before the starting notes were "smooth" enough.
- Sorry, »Smugpuler«, it came from Gregg Stafford, who after 4 more tunes again was ready for an intermission.

Bird whistle
In the third set the audience was just as focused as when the concert started, and it paid off as Gregg Stafford sang »I Miss New Orleans« with bird whistle and the like. On it went full steam ahead with »Over In The Glory Land« and »Hindustan«.
- We need to get up early tomorrow and go to Sweden, but Gregg probably has an encore for you, Kjeld Brandt said near the end. And Gregg honored this by first »What a Wonderful World« and as the last tune »Oh, when the Saints«, which was followed by standing ovations from an audience that more than got what they came for.

Afterwards we got to talk about Hilleroed with the star of the evening.
- Hilleroed is a place I feel relaxed. I have a good feeling here and have had many enjoyable days here. I respect Hilleroed more than any ther place in the world because it has a warm atmosphere, Gregg Stafford said – in the hope that it won't take another 15 years before he again gives a concert in Hilleroed.
We certainly share his hope ..