JJ 03/91: NHOP/Mikkelborg – Hommage

Thirty years ago, Derek Ansell didn't see what appeal this 'curious conglo­meration of lullabies, Danish folk songs and standards' could have for jazz fans. First published in Jazz Journal March 1991

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The only surprise here is that an accomplished musician like NHOP agreed to take part. There are a few good bass solos scat­tered around and Mr Mikkelborg’s plaintive trumpet seg­ments make me think that this was an attempt to produce an up­dated session similar in scope and concept to the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations in the fif­ties and sixties. If so, it doesn’t work, folks; this curious conglo­meration of lullabies, Danish folk songs and standards, all welded together with a sticky mixture of synthesizers, strings, brass and a strange celestial choir is unlikely to appeal to jazz enthusiasts.

Tango Jalousi features double bass, Milesian muted trumpet, the heavenly choir, brass and a disco drum beat. J.P. is based on one of JS Bach’s suites for un­accompanied cello with varia­tions by the bassist.

September Song is played almost straight on piano and bass and would be fine if it wasn’t overlaid with a soundtrack of clinking cups, plates, glasses and inane laughter. Or is it a live audience? I wonder just what market the producer had in mind for this syrupy confection. A few disgruntled Barry Manilow fans perhaps, seeking a new sensa­tion.

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My advice would be to go seve­ral miles out of your way to avoid this disc. Personally, I can’t com­plain as I picked it up in the JJI office and offered to review it. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

Discography
(a) Cream (Prologue); (e) Tango Jalousi; (b) Lullabye-Bye; (a) Sporge Jorgen; (g) Det Haver Sa Nyeligen Regnet; (f) Lost In The Stars; (d) J.P.; (c) That Old Black Magic; (a) September Song (Epi­logue) (45.32)
(a) Palle Mikkelborg, (kyb/p/t); Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b).
(b) as (a) Helen Davies Mikkelborg (hp) added.
(c) as (a) Cy Nicklin (v) added.
(d) NHOP (b); Helen Davies Mikkelborg (hp).
(e) as (a) Lennart Gruvstedt (d); Mehmet Ozan (pc); Ole Koch Hansen (kyb); Jan Kohlin & Palle Bolvig (t); Vincent Nilson, Axel Windfeldt (tb); Jan Zum Varde & Flem­ing Madsen (as); Ars Nova Choir conducted by Bo Holten added.
(f) as (a) Thomas Clavesen (p/kyb) added.
(g) as (a) Bjarne Boje Rasmussen (via); Mogens Durholm (vn); Anita Telmanyi (vn); Lars Holm Johansen (do); Helen Davies Mik­kelborg (hp); Ars Nova Choir conducted by Bo Holten added. Copenhagen, Denmark. Date unknown.
(Sonet SLPCD 1662)

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