Bernt Rosengren Big Band

with Horace Parlan, piano & Doug Raney, guitar

Bernt Rosengren, saxophonist, flautist, composer and arranger, is one of Sweden’s most internationally renowned jazz artists. Since making his name as a 19-year old, he has been a standard-bearer of Swedish jazz for over 50 years, inspiring and accompanying many generations of musicians.

In 1975, after having appeared in a variety of small groups with some of the finest jazz musicians of his time, Bernt Rosengren finally formed his first big band. Featured in the 19-man band on this recording are virtually the entire jazz elite from 1970s and 80s and two big names from across the Atlantic: pianist Horace Parlan, who played with the likes of Charles Mingus, and guitarist Doug Raney, one of the most rated young guitarists of the 1970s.

Bernt and the Americans had begun their collaboration in Copenhagen a couple of years prior to this recording after having settled in the city like so many other jazz artists. For many years afterwards, Horace and Doug were more or less permanent members of the Bernt Rosengren Big Band, which played to great acclaim at the Bal Palais dance hall in Stockholm for several seasons – one of Bernt’s more successful efforts at arranging gigs for his band in the 1970s – a tradition, incidentally, that was taken over by the Gugge Hedrenius Big Blues Band.

It was in May 1980, some time after the Bal Palais years, that Caprice Records recorded the band. The music was arranged by Bernt, who also composed seven of the album’s nine numbers, the other two being John Coltrane’s Naima and Irving Berling’s How Deep is the Ocean?, well-known tunes to which Bernt gives a fresh makeover. Apart from Doug and Horace, Bernt himself is the lead soloist on flute and tenor sax, this recording showcasing just what a fine technician he is. Another of the soloists on one of the tracks is the talented trumpeter Lars Färnlöf.

“Big band jazz has to have that danceable swing, and the music has to be soloist-based, just like with
the old Count Basie band of the 1930s – you know, I’m not that keen on the more pretentious things, like concert suites for big bands … and so on!” said Bernt, just before the recording was made, here released for the first time on CD. And we know just what he means. The thirty-plus-year old recording sounds fantastic and, well, boy does it swing! The album is part of Caprice Records’ series of reissues of wonderful music that has been out of print on LP but that is  being given a new lease of life on digital.

The Bernt Rosengren Big Band:
Bertil Lövgren, Tim Hagans, Maffy Falay, Lars Färnlöf trumpets; Stanislav Cieslak, Lars Olofsson, Nils Landgren, Sven Larsson trombones; Bernt Rosengren flute, alto and tenor sax; Lennart Åberg, Peter Gullin alto saxes; Stefan Isaksson, Tommy Koverhult tenor saxes; Gunnar Bergsten baritone sax; Håkan Nyquist French horn; Horace Parlan piano; Doug Raney guitar; Torbjörn Hultcrantz bas; Leif Wennerström trummor.

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Show playlist
    • 1.
      Hip Walk Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 2.
      New Life Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 3.
      How deep is the Ocean? Music: Irving Berlin
    • 4.
      Joe and Eye Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 5.
      The Humming Bees Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 6.
      Naima Music: John Coltrane
    • 7.
      Autumn Song Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 8.
      Sad Waltz Music: Bernt Rosengren
    • 9.
      Blues Nerves Music: Bernt Rosengren
  • Total playtime 43'11
CD/digital // CAP 21829 // Jazz // Releasedate: 1 January, 2013