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Recollections (on Jazz 61, 62, 63 etc.)
 


 
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© 2005-2009 Interplay
 
"To get an idea of what this biweekly series was about, it may be good to start at seeing that particular time in the jazz enclave in the Danish Radio.

In terms of being inside that enclave, there was at that time – also because of the increase in different kinds of jazz styles being played at the different clubs and jazz places around town – more orientation toward news, events and announcements. Throughout the 1950s, the early days of the music had really taken hold all over Denmark, from what you might call New Orleans-derived music, to a good interest in mainstream jazz like Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jazz at the Philharmonic, etc., to the bebop music of Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Bud Powell, and post-bebop like Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, etc. All this meant that for the more avant-garde type of contemporary music, if this music were to be covered, it would be covered not very much since it was a kind of a minority music.

Since Erik Wiedemann and I were very much interested in this, with the increasingly good coverage of these other kinds of music, we thought we would make a program that would give more coverage to this, particularly because it was still undistilled. We were more interested in playing it than in making critique of it. So that there was a sense of giving pretty raw information out to the listeners, also since locally Franz Beckerlee, Hug Steinmetz and John Tchicai were beginning to come out, and many of these groups were increasingly coming to visit in Denmark and be within reach, like Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Eric Dolphy.

So to us the name Jazz 61, 62, 63 meant that kind of music in a double sense, not only that it was played that year but we were trying to be in the very forefront of that music.

The thrill of this is that we were able to bring pretty fresh material that we had barely listened to ourselves to the listening public, and at the same time giving a pretty ample interview time to these exponents of this new music. So that in the sense that it was already difficult to understand in terms of where it was heading in its complexity, there was also room for more interview time relative to, say, someone speaking to Count Basie, where maybe everything had been already said many times.

In the course of those seasons, 61, 62, 63, etc, we were able to invite many of these people to make almost live interviews and so we had coming to the Radio Building Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Sonny Murray, also Danish musicians. At the same time we were able to play records of people that were maybe following in their footsteps or being also influenced by them, that kind of thing, that kind of "new wave" as they called it, spreading out into the landscape both in Denmark, in Europe and in the United States.

Even if Erik and I were interested in the field that was larger than that, and had ample opportunity to be in touch with other styles of music because we were writing reviews (Erik for Information, T for Politiken and BT), in some way that was part of the surge in those years, all those people coming to the Monmartre and stayng for a length of time, and infiltrating the neighborhood.

But it took someone also like Roger himself being willing to support our fairly narrow field of activity or investigation."

– T.U. Jan. 13, 2005


  • Recollections on Tamburinen and Tangent
  • More about these years in this article from Jazz Special.