Advertisement
Advertisement

Jesper Thilo Quartet: Swing Is The Thing

In brief:
"He continues to be a commanding presence after 60 years in the business, from his days with the Arnvid Meyers Orchestra and later the DR Big Band to the tight and light ensemble that features on this album"

The sound of veteran Danish saxophonist Jesper Thilo unashamedly takes in Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Don Byas and Lester Young but not John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, let alone Michael Brecker and anyone later than he. He’s a mainstreamer who has also eschewed composition for a reliance on performing standards.

Like many other Europeans, he’s been good enough to be endorsed by visiting Americans such as Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Benny Carter and Harry Edison, as well as those among the aforementioned saxists he considers influential. He continues to be a commanding presence after 60 years in the business, from his days with the Arnvid Meyers Orchestra and later the DR Big Band to the tight and light ensemble that features on this album. Swing Is The Thing is also an example of how Thilo’s Scandinavian authority has permeated outwards.

Advertisement

Pianist Søren Kristiansen is one who’s benefited. Thilo recognises his high calibre by allocating him proper solo space, notably on I Can’t Get Started and Nature Boy, the latter spotlighting Thilo on clarinet and the vocals of Thilo’s daughter, Rebecca Thilo Farholt. Kristiansen’s contributions are not just infillings but considered commentaries on the tune sufficient to attract the listener’s special attention.

Bassist Daniel Franck and drummer Frands Rifbjerg play more than conventional roles too, Woody ‘n’ You devolving to a snappy drum feature and Broadway embracing a bass and drums get-together, a bass and sax duet and some final trading with the kit. Franck moves appropriately downstage for Oscar Pettiford’s Swinging Till The Girls Come Home.

Thilo draws on a compendium of licks to underpin his phrasing and momentum. His dependence on standards is not lazy or glib. He gets inside a chart and elegantly plunders its contents before setting them out in polished exegeses.

The longest track is about seven minutes, the shortest 2.53 – but, as it says in the title, the swing’s the thing. For many listeners, it always will be, and without inhibiting developments elsewhere that take jazz on a different route at a different tempo.

Discography
(1) Just Friends; I’ll Never Be The Same; I Want To Be Happy; I Can’t Get Started; Det Var En Lørdag Aften (It Happened One Saturday Night); Woody ‘n’ You; Broadway; (2) Nature Boy; (1) Rosetta; Embraceable You; Swinging Till The Girls Come Home; Splanky (64.18)
(1) Thilo (ts); Søren Kristiansen (p); Daniel Franck (b); Frands Rifbjerg (d). (2) As (1) but Thilo (cl); Rebecca Thilo Farholt (v), Copenhagen, 23-25 October 2019.
Stunt Records STUCD 19142

Latest audio reviews

Advertisement

More from this author

Advertisement

Jazz Journal articles by month

Advertisement

Carlos Henriquez: Dizzy con Clave

There's really nothing wrong with this record - singing's a bit off here and there but the playing and arrangements are fabulous, the soloing...
Advertisement

Still Clinging To The Wreckage 01/20

My main CD transport is a Kenwood CD7090. A CD player is indeed a basic thing, and the Kenwood meets all required parameters. Except...
Advertisement

Arv Garrison: wizard of the six string / 1

If you mention Arv Garrison's name to a guitarist you will most likely receive a nod and a knowing smile. Garrison is well known...
Advertisement

Postbop Jazz In The 1960s: The Compositions Of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock And Chick Corea

This is an academic book by Keith Waters, investigating the compositions of Shorter, Hancock, and Corea in the 1960s. There are separate chapters on...
Advertisement

Otto Preminger’s Anatomy Of A Murder

This 1959 movie by director Otto Preminger offered two innovations. It was the first time a jazz score had been used exclusively throughout a...
Advertisement

JJ 07/70: Wayne Shorter – Super Nova

On this weird 'space music' record Shorter plays only soprano saxophone which he has been concentrating on of late. He seems to have patterned...