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


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.

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.

(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)