Kresten Osgood: Plays The Organ For You

Organ player turned drummer turned organ player produces first-class Hammond-driven jazz in a combo with a drummer turned guitarist


Kresten Osgood’s first musical leaning was toward the organ but since the mid-1990s he has built a career as an in-demand jazz drummer, playing on many club, concert and recording dates with musicians both local and international, among them organists Billy Preston, Dr Lonnie Smith and Sam Yahel.

Playing alongside these illustrious practitioners and studying their work revived his earlier love for the instrument, although it was not until 2015 that he bought his first organ, the Hammond A102 he plays here.

On this date, Osgood’s chosen repertoire includes material known through international popularity – Poinciana (Nat Simon & Buddy Bernier), By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Jimmy Webb) and Dansevise (Otto Francker & Sejr Volmer-Sørensen), which was Denmark’s Eurovision Song Contest winner in 1963 – while well known to Danish rock fans is Sebastian’s Når Lyset Bryder Frem. And of course, there are tunes familiar from the work of jazz and soul organists: Wildfire (Bill Mason), Play It Back (Dr Lonnie Smith), and Onsaya Joy (Richard “Groove” Holmes).

Rounding out the trio are guitarist Fridolin Nordsø and drummer Ludomir Dietl, the latter a former student of Osgood’s. In his detailed liner note, Osgood observes that Nordsø, also a drummer, was urged to teach himself to play guitar for this session. Also noted is that additional percussion was overdubbed by album producer Arto Eriksen.

As might be expected from this concentration of musicians geared to the pulse of jazz and soul music, this is a highly rhythmic session, sometimes subtly so, often urgent, always swinging. Thanks to his masterly touch, nowhere is there any hint that Osgood hasn’t been playing organ throughout his long career. Similarly, Nordsø’s long solo on Wildfire carries no hint that he’s a beginner.

Altogether, this album, which is also available in vinyl, is a delight and very warmly recommended.

[Another opinion of this album is available here.]

Play It Back; Wildfire; Når Lyset Bryder Frem; Baby Let Me Take You In My Arms; Onsaya Joy; Dansevise; By The Time I Get To Phoenix (37.58)
Osgood (org); Fridolin Nordsø (g); Ludomir Dietl (d); Arto Eriksen (pc). Copenhagen, March-April 2020.
April Records APR097