The rehearsels for my Terzet recording in april is an ongoing proces. The Terzet w. Nils Davidsen (cello/bass) and Frands Rifbjerg (drums) will tour in the Nordic countries in october ! More info later.
In the first half of 2018 I will work in different constellations around europe :
Strange Brothers – Daniel Levin/Henrik P. Melbye – Jacob Anderskov – Viper – Peter Bruuns All Too Human – Nils Davidsen Quintet – David Helm/Fabian Arends – Damaztra w Danstrup/Mazur – Rasmus Krogh and a reunion with Pierre Dørge’s New Jungle Orchestra
please see upcoming concerts for details.
My next sextet release “Strawboss” is in the making and this fall I also look forward to re-unite with drummer and percussionist Arkadij Gotesman in Lithauania – to present Kasper Tranberg/Mathias Landæus Quartet feat. Palle Danielsson/Cornelia Nilsson.
Later this year my Terzet will rehearse, perform and record in Copenhagen. I will also present my recent work for large ensemble in Kasper Tranberg’s Breath Of Disturbance.
Before this you can also catch me with the great trio Magpie.
Details under upcoming concert !
March 2017 in Japan !
I am following the sound of the horagai conchell trumpet and march 12th I will participate in the Mt. Takao Firewalking Festival.
I will also reunite with my old buddies in The Kasper Tranberg Japanese Quartet and play concerts with Yasushiro Yoshigaki and Orquestra Libre!
For all the concerts I am joined by the amazing Lars Greve on clarinets, sax and efx.
You can find us here :
March 5 with Yasushiro Yoshigaki og Kumiko Takara // Li-Po i Shibuya, Tokyo
March 7: Takashi Sugawa/Kasper Tranberg/Lars Greve/Lotte Anker // Apollo, Tokyo
March 8 : Kasper Tranberg Japanese Quartet feat Lars Greve // Airegin, Yokohama
March 9 : Kasper Tranberg/Lars Greve Solo+Duo // Kirakudow, Tokyo
March 10 : Kasper Tranberg Japanese Quartet feat Lars Greve /Pit inn i Tokyo
KASPER TRANBERG AT VINTERJAZZ 2017 in Copenhagen !
In february I present my new sextet KASPER TRANBERG STRAWBOSS at VinterJazz in Denmark. We perform 4 concerts and I look forward to present this amazing band. Please go to “upcoming concerts” section for detailed info and links !
Kasper Tranberg Strawboss is presented in collaboration with Copenhagen Jazzfestival and JazzDanmark.
I also perform with my trio !
Late november 2016 -recording with two beautiful bands.
Look forward to record with two cool bands the next couple of weeks.
First up is the Frands Rifbjerg Quintet :
Frands Rifbjerg/drums Marie Fisker/guitar&Vocal AC /bass Søren Kjærgaard/piano
I have been playing with Frands on and off since the mid 1990’s and all members in this group have had a longterm musical relationship – what a joy !
Next up is a new trio assembled by bassist Peter Danstrup :
Peter Danstrup/bass Marilyn Mazur/drums Kasper Tranberg/cornet and trumpet
I look forward to hit it with two great musicians I have been listening to since I was a teenager…
Marek Kądziela’s ADHD in Poland
Hey everybody !
I will be in Poland this week with Marek Kadziela’s quartet and you can find us here :
27.10 : Koszalin Hanza Jazz festival
28.10 : Dom Literatury Lodz
29.10 : 12on14 Jazz Club Warszawa
30.10 : Galeria Arkady Tomaszow Maz.
MK : guitar Kasper Tranberg : trumpet Max Mucha: bass Kasper Tom: drums
KASPER TRANBERG ALONE – cornet/trumpet/poetry
October 8 – 8 pm I will perform a solo set in Copenhagen at Christianhavns Beboerhus.
KASPER TRANBERG STRAW BOSS
In february 2017 I will perform in Denmark with my new group STRAW BOSS.
I will update info regarding this but I am happy to tell you the line-up :
K. Tranberg : cornet, trumpet,comp.
Tony Malaby : saxes
Pandelis Karayorgis : piano
Nils Davidsen : cello and bass
Adam P. Melbye : bass
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki : drums
Peace and see you out there !
Copenhagen Jazzfestival 2016
July 3rd : w. Jacob Anderskov, David Helm, Fabian Arends – Koncertkirken 10 pm
July 4th : w. Jacob Anderskov, David Helm, Fabian Arends – 5E/ILK 9.30 pm
July 6th : w. Michala Østergaard, Per Jørgensen, Marc Ducret – Koncertkirken 8 pm
July 6th : w. Dino, AC, Ben Besiakov, Nic Torp, Jonas Struck, Rune Olesen, StunnGunn – KB18/Kødbyen 10 pm
July 8th : Richard Anderssons UDU – Torvehallerne 3.30 pm
July 8th : w. Adam Melbye and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki – Christianhavns Beboerhus – 9 pm
July 10th : Rasmus Krogh Quartet : PH Cafeen – 5 pm
Copenhagen WinterJazz 2016
Jan 11th : Richard Anderssons UDU w. Tranberg and Jesper Zeuthen : 5E- Cph 8pm
Jan 18th : Rasmus Krogh Quartet feat. Kasper Tranberg : 5E- Cph 8pm
Feb 5th : Tranberg/Søren Kjærgaard/Peter Bruun : 5E- Cph 10pm
Feb 6th : Frands Rifbjerg with Friends : Den Sorte Diamant, Cph 8pm
Feb 10th : Tranberg/Kjærgaard/Munch-Hansen/Bruun : ATLAS, Århus 8pm
Feb 14th Kasper Tranberg / Lars Fiil SOLOandDUO : Absalon Kirken 10am (!)
Feb 17th : Kasper Tranberg/Terkel Nørgaard Duo : Terroiristen, Cph 8pm
will be performing in Europe from october 29th 2015.
DON’T MISS !!
Kasper Tranberg : cornet and trumpet
Adam P. Melbye : bass
Yasuhiro Yoshugaki : drums/percussion
Find us here :
29/10 Sowieso/Berlin with Frank Gratkowski
31/10 : Wroclaw Jazztopad Festival Polen
2/11: Sunship, Århus
3/11: Jazzhouse, Copenhagen with Richard Scott
Dear friends in Japan.
From next week we will perform in Japan.
Some nights our trio join forces with some amazing guests – hope you can make it !
Kasper Tranberg : cornet and trumpet
Adam P. Melbye : bass
Yasuhiro Yoshugaki : drums/percussion
Find us here in october
9th Shinjuku Pit Inn Tokyo
guests: Dairo Suga(p) and Michiyo Yagi(Koto)
11th Yokohama JazzPromenade / Airegin
12th House of crazy in Toyohashi
13th : Tokuzo in Nagoya
14th Parker House Roll in Kyoto
guests: Hiroshi Hunato(b) x Makoto Nomura(key,etc)
15th Moerado in Osaka Nishitenma
with Mitamura-Kandadan / PIKA
16th Big Apple in Kobe
17th Shiroshita-Koukaido in Okayama
18th Kouendori Classics in Shibuya, Tokyo
guests : Junji Hirose(sax) Kumiko Takara(vib,etc)
It has been a joy working on Tom Waits’ music in “The Black Rider”.
Under the leadership of August Rosenbaum the band created a stunning take on the production at The Betty Nansen Theatre.
My inspiring work with the students at the RMC Conservatory in Copenhagen continues and with time I discover new depths to my teaching and my own creative output. A post with written material on my thoughts and observations will follow in the fall.
I have been touring and recording with Wosko/Tranberg/Kadziela in Poland and our debut recording will be released on the MultiKulti label may 15th 2015. Release Tour in the fall 2015.
I also recorded with singer and composer Jacob Bellens for his amazing upcoming release.
A few concerts with improviser Tobias Delius in Copenhagen was very cool.
I was a guest with the metal-improv oriented Jacob Thorkild Trio and also once again performed with Anders Provis’ band Viper which also features bassist-extraordinaire Peter Friis Nielsen.
See upcoming concerts for more details.
The indian summer has left us for good here in Copenhagen and ahead is a fall with exciting challenges and adventures.
My work with students at the RMC Conservatory is not a walk in the park, but the process we go through together, and the results they achieve are creative and rewarding on many levels.
Also coming up is a week (sept.30-oct.4) in Poland with this new cool trio :
Radek Wośko : Drums & Percussion
Kasper Tranberg : Trumpet & Cornet
Marek Kadziela : Guitars
Here is my favorite lunch place from last trip to Poland – great chow !
These days I’m also rehearsing and hangin’ with Adam Rudolph. Always fun and challenging to work on his music. Also very emotional remembering the time and work we shared in The Universal Quartet with Brother Yusef Lateef. The journey continues…
The danes are very lucky to have Brother Adam’s creative force around for a few months. Adam has some wonderful projects as a composer and so forth.
Check Adam’s website for more info : http://www.metarecords.com/adam.html
This fall I will perform with Adam in The Universal Trio (w. Kresten Osgood) and with his Resonance Ensemble in Sweden.
I took this shot at The Palace Hotel, Copenhagen when we performed in Tivoli Gardens in 2009 :
Later in october a few concerts with ØSTERGAARD ART QUARTET
Michala Østergaard-Nielsen: Drums/ percussion
Per Jørgensen: Trumpet, vocal and darabouka
Marc Ducret: Guitars
Kasper Tranberg: Trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn
This time around we will perform in Finland, Sweden, Norway and do a live-album at “The Village” in Copenhagen on october 22nd :
http://www.facebook.com/TheVillageRecording – www.thevillage.dk/studio-concerts/
Please look at one of my older posts on this great quartet.
It’s been many years since I visited Iceland for the Reykjavik Jazz Festival with Pierre Dørge’s New Jungle Orchestra. In november I will return with Richard Andersson’s Udu for a few concerts, and hopefully meet up with some of my friends from the legendary Berklee years in Boston.
Here’s Richie trying out basses :
On November 14 I will perform with the KASPER TRANBERG QUARTET at Forbrændingen in Albertslund : http://forbraendingen.dk/kalender/#/id921
Before the concert I will do a Artist-Talk at Albertslund Bibliotek with renowned danish music-person Nils Christensen.
From their website (sorry, in danish) :
“I gennem mere end to årtier har trompetisten Kasper Tranberg været en iørefaldende kunstner på den hjemlige og internationale musik scene. Hans ret så omfangsrige cv bevidner om en myreflittig og åben tilgang musikken, og det har bragt ham i adskillige bands og konstellationer hvor hans dybfølte spil har vakt opsigt.
Endvidere er Tranberg en dedikeret underviser på landets konservatorier, og giver masterclasses i ind og udland. Han skriver til sin egen blog, har haft sit eget radioprogram på DR, samt udgivet plader på eget pladeselskab. Det er blevet til 7 albums i eget navn. Senest har Kasper Tranberg udgivet to albums med legenden Yusef Lateef i gruppen The Universal Quartet, samt udgivet det Danish Music Award nominerede duo-album “ZONE BLEUE” med sin makker, bassisten Nils Davidsen.
Alle disse erfaringer og indtryk, bringer Tranberg ind i hans nye ensemble, KASPER TRANBERG QUARTET, som præsenterer Tranbergs kompositioner der tager sit udgangspunkt i den varme og akustiske jazz, samt den lollandske blues, som han oplevede den i sin barndom.
“Med min nye gruppe søger jeg tilbage til mine musikalske rødder for at skabe musik der bevæger folk. Det er musikkens fremtid. Det er mit mål at skabe en vovet form for kammerjazz som også har høj-energien, og det fabulerende fri-rum som medspillere. Jeg spiller med mine gamle kammerater som har noget på hjertet – det er det vigtigste for mig.” siger Tranberg. Som en eksklusiv opvarmning til aftenens koncert på Forbrændingen bliver Kasper Tranberg interviewet af forfatter og jazzskribent Niels Christensen. ”
You can find all details under Upcoming Concerts.
The other day I went for a walk alone around my hometown Nysted on Lolland.
Nice way to clear my mind and think ahead.
SUMMER ESSENTIALS AND ESCAPADES 2014
Yet another springtime flew by. I get the last gentle winds of spring and the first healing sunbeams of summer in my caravan on the road in Denmark with Zirkus Nemo. We have a magnificent show again this season and receive standing ovations night after night. This period of the year also bring exams for my students at RMC in Copenhagen and SMKS in Odense. It’s a pleasure to see how the condensed focus on energy and creativity affects the students. Usually I tell them to get a life in music and not only a career.
Again this summer my concert activity will be a mix of new constellations, projects and long-time collaborations.
I am glad to premier my new quartet with my old friends at the Yusef Lateef Tribute I curate for Copenhagen Jazzfestival at Copenhagen Jazzhouse.
This special event will also feature the deep sound of saxophonist Jesper Zeuthen and :
Copenhagen Creative Music Ensemble : Textures on Writings by Yusef Lateef
– directed by Kasper Tranberg
Kasper Tranberg – cornet,trumpet, flugelhorn
Lars Greve – saxes, clarinets
Ben Besiakov – piano
Søren Kjærgaard – keyboards,electronics
Lars Bech Piilgaard – guitars
Adam Melbye – bass
Kresten Osgood – drums,percussion, stuff
Anja jacobsen – drums, percussion, voice, stuff
Also looking forward to perform again with Yasuhiro Yoshigaki whom I met in Tokyo 15 years ago or so. YY has been a major player on the experimental scene in Japan and internationally for decades. Find out more about his different groups and projects here : http://y-yoshigaki.com . This time we play in a trio setting with the amazing Adam P. Melbye on bass. Adam lives in Berlin and you can read more about him here : http://www.adampultz.com
June 15 : Jyderup Højskole w. Alex Blake, Adam Rudolph and Kresten Osgood 10 pm
We kickstart Kresten’s impressive one-week improv-camp in Jyderup, Denmark. Alex and Adam used to work together for a few years in Pharoah Sanders’ group, so I really look forward to this small reunion !
More on Adam: http://www.metarecords.com/adam.html
More on Alex: http://www.alexblakebass.com
Copenhagen Jazzfestival 2014 :
July 4 : Roots Run Deep/A Tribute To Yusef Lateef – Cph Jazzhouse 9 pm (see poster below)
July 6 : Hugo Rasmussen’s All Starz – Kongens Have 2 pm
July 6 : Søren Kjærgaard Quartet – ILK 5E in Kødbyen 11 pm
July 9 : w. Dinesen,Besiakov,Jacoby, AC, Olesen and StunnGunn -KB18 in Kødbyen 10 pm
July 10 : In Trio – w. Adam P. Melbye and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki – Chr. Havn Bebo 9 pm
July 11: Jesper Zeuthen Plus – Harpo Bar 4 pm
July 11 : Dinesen’s Afro-Cuban Dream – Øksnehallen 20 pm
July 11 : Jesper Zeuthen Plus : Christianshavns Beboerhus 10.30 pm
July 12 : Marc Ducret TOWER Large Orchestra – Paris Jazzfestival
July 13 : Kasper Tranberg Quartet – Aarhus Jazzfestival/NY V58
July 26 : Marc Ducret Tower Quintet : Jazz a Junas, Franc
Dental surgery is the headline for this january. A 2-3 week break from playing is coming up, so I shed as much as possible while I can.
I look forward to an interesting year with a new recording with my buddy bassist Nils Davidsen and legendary danish sound-master drummer/percussionist etc P.O. Jørgensen. Also a collaboration with pianist August Rosenbaum at the Betty Nansen Theatre in Copenhagen. This year I will also find myself appearing with Marc Ducret across europe, teaming up with Per Jørgensen with the Michala Østergaard Art Quartet and also performing and recording with Jesper Zeuthen’s group.
In the fall I will be in Poland for two weeks premiering a new group and here in Copenhagen I will collaborate with extraordinary musician Adam Rudolph.
I also look forward to my usual gig with Zirkus Nemo and working all year with my conservatory students at SMKS in Odense and RMC in Copenhagen.
Please return for updates.
A great summer has come to an end – beautiful gigs, concerts, projects and recordings has been done. Working with the Marc Ducret Tower is such an joy and challenge, look out for a heavy cd/dvd release soon. The new trio w Nils Bosse Davidsen and Tyshawn Sorey also recorded live and we look forward to the release and more concerts in 2014.
Lately Jesper Zeuthen’s band PLUS has been rehearsing again for a few upcoming concerts and a studio recording in october. Jesper brought in new tunes, calls and sketches for us to play – great stuff ! I will also start a new duo collaboration with keyboardist extraordinaire Dan Hemmer, reunite with Kresten Osgood (which includes another great keyboard whizz Kim Kristensen). Also concerts with guitarist Simon Krebs, bassist Richard Andersson and in trio w Ducret and Peter Bruun while I get more into my teaching position at the conservatory in Odense. This semester new trumpet students and new improv ensemble – great ! While this is going on I will hold the trumpet chair the rest of the year in the new Adam & James Price musical (under the direction of my old buddy Joakim Pedersen) in Tivoli Gardens Concert Hall. See upcoming concerts.
For the past few summers I have been performing with the crazy Zirkus Nemo here in Denmark. Playing the trumpet 5 shows a week in a tent for 5 months is a challenge in many ways, but most of all it’s a beautiful experience. The show is a very personal mix of far-out comedy and traditional circus presented by our great boss and Zirkus Director Søren Østergaard. The hard hitting 4 piece band is a tight unit, and with the rest of the crew we have our own little family. Much more about this later.
I do take some time off to perform a little with my steady bands during summer and from time to time new exiting constellations pop up. This year I am looking forward to improvise in a new trio setting with my old bass-buddy Nils Davidsen and the amazing Tyshawn Sorey.
Here’s the stuff coming up :
july 4 : Kasper Tranberg/Nils Davidsen/Tyshawn Sorey – Kongsberg Jazzfestival, Norway
july 5: Kasper Tranberg/Nils Davidsen/Tyshawn Sorey- Copenhagen Jazzhouse 23.59
july 6: Kasper Tranberg/Nils Davidsen/Tyshawn Sorey – Cph Jazzhouse 23.59 hrs
July 10 : w. Jonas Struck, Stunn Gunn, Asger Baden, Lil Lacy – Tivoli Gardens 20.00 hrs
july 10 : w. Dino, Besiakow, Jacoby, Olesen, AC, Stunn Gunn – KB 18 22.00 hrs
july 12 : Anderskov Accident- Koncert Kirken – 23.59 hrs
july 14 : Hugo Rasmussen’s All Starz – Christians Kirken 16.30 hrs
july 22 : Marc Ducret Quintet, Narbonne, France
august 7: Kasper Tranberg/Nils Davidsen/Tyshawn Sorey – New Note Fest, Hillerød, Dk
august 8: Kasper Tranberg/Nils Davidsen/Tyshawn Sorey – Aarhus, Denmark
august 22: Marc Ducret’s Tower – Saalfelden Jazzfestival – Austria
september 6 : Jesper Zeuthen PLUS – Aarhus
september 7 : Jesper Zeuthen PLUS – Copenhagen
STORIES FROM THE VILLAGE – ØSTERGAARD ART QUARTET
For several decades Denmark has been blessed with summer-camps for both young up-coming and older professional musicians concentrating on jazz, improvised music and almost any other style of so-called-modern-music. Throughout the years, The Danish Jazz Federation (JazzDanmark) and others has arranged these camps in different places like Vallekilde Højskole and Brandbjerg Højskole. These wonderful celebrations of music, art and the free spirit has contributed greatly to the development of the creative music scene in Denmark. Educating and creating bonds between generations of players and composers, and with fewer and fewer clubs to perform, these camps has been very important for many musicians in Denmark, like myself. Internationally these camps also has a good reputation, and many legends and cutting-edge musicians has been teaching under these very special circumstances.
These years one of the leading camps in Denmark are called ” Summer Session” and has pianist Nikolaj Hess as new artistic director. You can read more about it here :
It was at one of these Summer Sessions that I first met drummer/percussionist Michala Østergaard for the first time. I had noticed a beautiful and sensitive side to her playing and I was glad to find out that we come from the same region in Denmark, down south ! – anyway, one night we found us jamming in a duo-setting and it just felt right. After a series of duets, master trumpeter and singer Per Jørgensen (who was teaching at the camp) joined us and we were improvising as a trio for some time. We took our time, not saying much, just waiting for the sounds and music to emerge. It was great, and the following hours more and more musicians joined the fun and kept the music going in many directions all night long. It was a beautiful experience.
After Summer Session Michala and I decided to meet and work on some duo stuff. We would meet a few times in Michala’s rehearsal space in and old defunct military bunker. It was cool to play as a duo, but we surely missed Per ! Michala didn’t think twice; she called Per and later guitarist Marc Ducret and she formed her band ”Østergaard Art Quartet” – soon Michala managed to put together a tour of Denmark and Sweden for us which was completed with a two day recording session in Copenhagen in september of 2011.
ØSTERGAARD ART QUARTET : Michala Østergaard-Nielsen: Drums/ percussion- Per Jørgensen: Trumpet, vocal and darabouka – Marc Ducret: Guitars – Kasper Tranberg: Trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn
You can hear the recording on ”Stories From The Village” :
Released from BoogiePost Recording, a small independent label based in southern Sweden :
In march you can catch us live in concert :
Monday 18th march: Jazz in Malmoe, Sweden.
Tuesday 19th march: Fridhems Solkhögskola, Sweden.
Wednesday 20th march: Christianshavns Beboerhus, Copenhagen.
Thursday 21th march: Umeå Jazzklub, Sweden.
Saturday 23th march: Vossa Jazz Festival, Norway.
It is always a special experience to perform with this band. Michala and Marc are great, and as a trumpet player is a unique treat to share the bandstand with Per Jørgensen. Since the 1970’s Per has been an important figure in modern european music and his soulful playing is always reaching for the beauty of the moment. His singing trumpet, breathtaking voice and hip drumming is a big inspiration for me.
If you are not familiar with his playing this is a great starting point :
Per Jørgensen – Terje Isungset : Agbalagba Daada (NorCd0875)
A lot of trumpet studies and rehearsals at Østre Gasværk these days, and just yesterday I was thinking about the saying “that danes are just a bad copy of germans”..
Here is a review from german freiStil – Magazin für Musik und Umgebung
“Erstmals zu hören sind die beiden langjährigen musikalischen Kollegen auf Zone Bleue als Duo. Die verdichtete, intime Form der kleinen Zweisamkeit merkt man der Produktion nicht an. Vom ersten Ton an wird man als Zuhörer in eine Welt voller Anspielungen, Rätsel und Suggestionen gesogen, mitgenommen. Es ist spannend, es macht Spaß, diese Achterbahnfahrt mitzuerleben. Zwei gleichberechtigte Stimmen, die etwas zu erzählen haben, lassen sich dabei Zeit, holen weit aus, nehmen uns mit auf so manche (attraktive) Umwege, um dann irgendwann glorreich als Tagessieger ins Ziel zu stürzen. Improvisation der ganz feinen Art, schon klar, aber das kann man auch als Avant oder Prog-Rock beschreiben, eben mit dieser sparsamen Instrumentierung gespielt. Diese Musik atmet und groovt und unterhält auf vorzügliche Weise. Eine tolle CD” (ernst)
JESPER ZEUTHEN PLUS – new music
Today Jesper Zeuthen Plus began rehearsing a new pool of compositions. In Jesper’s quintet we have memorized around 30 of his tunes so far – some are short, but many of them has a lot of material and are carefully arranged. We have learned all Jesper’s music by ear. It took some time, but of course it’s really liberating in our performances.
After our first very well received self titled album, Jesper has prepared 11 or 12 new compositions for us to learn. They are from old and new stock, and none of them has been recorded before (with one or two exceptions, I believe)
Usually, at our rehearsals, we are good at “making music” and again today the music was flying before we jumped on the new material. The new tunes we touched today was the fast “Godt Med Syltetøj”, the bluesy “Pulkz” and the disturbing “DNL” (Den Ny Lidelse). The latter is a unique and challenging piece of music and we also had to check some of the voices from Jesper’s chart. Jesper has all of his music carefully notated, but very seldom we see and use the parts. I never bring home music, I record my parts or the actual tune on my iPhone for later shedding in my kitchen.
You can find our PLUS album here, but also look for Jesper Zeuthen Trio’s two albums- all great stuff :
PLUS will be on the road in october (Dk+Germany), but look out for Copenhagen gigs before that.
BLESS YOUR HEART – JOHN TCHICAI
In the upcoming february issue of danish JazzSpecial Magazine, I contribute with the article “Music That Made a Difference”. With 12 music examples, that made a profound impact on me, as a platform, I talk about different artists, bands and experiences that made a difference for me. After my recent trip to New York and more intense studies it was nice and natural for me to reflect on the past and point my thoughts towards the future.
In my article I am sharing (in danish) some of my thoughts on the late, great John Tchicai. In, what now seems like a very fruitful period of my musical life, I was lucky enough to run into John. Before that, in the eighties, I had met John at a music camp where he, besides running a very cool “open improv” workshop and more, conducted a bunch of string basses with a candle ! I was to young to “get” his message, but when I ran into him later in Copenhagen, I was all over his thing ! Like the generations before us, John had an enormous impact on our gang. The rehearsals, gigs and recordings, and even the coffee breaks was a lesson ! So much beauty around Mr. Tchicai, but he could also be serious and rough on the edges. John’s music was so rich – the moving basslines, the surprising melodies and solid rhythm. He said that, the ostinatos and repetitions would get rid off the unnecessary layers in music and the “true blood & guts” could stand out. To balance this he created advanced, quirky and highly personal arrangements. He was an pioneering musical architect who could reach deep in his soul and touch people – and he did.
I was into Don Cherry a lot and so was John who had performed and recorded with Don. After Cherry’s passing we performed several of John’s Cherry-tribute-compositions with saxist Thomas Agergaard’s band, Ok Nok Kongo. It was just amazing music and amazing words from John. The album “Moonstone Journey” (DaCapo) -all Tchicai compositions, is a very good example how Ok Nok Kongo would sound with him.
I remember I thought that I could ” be inside” the music, but John showed me a deeper and different way into the music. He never “preached” about it, just showed us on the bandstand. I remember one jam session in particular. We were on the road with Pierre Dørge’s New Jungle Orchestra in Spain and pianist Kirk Ligtsey’s Trio was hosting the after-hours session at Sevilla Jazz Festival. Famoudou Don Moye was in the trio and I talked about how great it would be to sit in with the trio. After our concert, I was relaxin’ and getting ready to hit the session when I, through the corridor, heard John’s horn with the trio. He did not remove his axe from his neck and just went straight into the next adventure – I felt so unexperienced.. Later that night master bass player Hugo Rasmussen joined John, Kirk and Famoudou on the bandstand and some serious magic happened !
John inspired musicians around the world to create their own ideas in words and music, but he also had a special take on other folks music. I heard him play music by Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, and many others. Today I was shedding “Bless Your Heart” a song John arranged in december 1993. It has a beautiful melody and John would play it on tenor with a understated but heartfelt cry. One day I will record it along with other great stuff John shared with us – I am just getting ready these days.
Love Is Touching
These days I am coordinating the last details for the upcoming release of UNIVERSAL QUARTET’s new album “LIGHT”.
It has come a long way, and I’m happy that we finally has a release date with the danish free spirited and musician run ILK Label. “Light” will be available on cd and download from March 25th 2013.
Universal Quartet is:
Kasper Tranberg : Trumpet,Pocket Trumpet, Cornet,flugelhorn and keyboard.
Yusef Lateef : C and alto Flute, Oboe, Tenor Saxophone, Bamboo Flute, Pneumatic Bamboo Flute, Syrian double bamboo flute, Xhosa overtone flute, Shenai, Moan Flute, Piano, Vocal
Adam Rudolph : Congas, Sintir, Thumb Pianos, Frame Drum, Berber Reed Flute, Bamboo Flutes, Slit drum, Cup Gongs, Percussion, Keyboard, Piano, Vocal
Kresten Osgood : Drums, Percussion and Keyboard.