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Flashbacks & Dedications





1.Love Song

2.Augustafen I Tivoli

3.Drummer’s Mare



6.Voodoo Dance

7.To Trane

8. from The Top

9.Light And Darkness


11.Miss Lise

Henrik Bolberg (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bob Rockwell (tenor saxophone), Ole Matthiessen (piano), Jesper Lundgaard (bass & bass guitar), Ole Streenberg (drums)

rec. STC Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 17 &18, 2016


It’s been many decades since it has been recognised (in the rest of the world at least) that good jazz can come from elsewhere than the US and this disc is a shining example of great jazz that comes from Scandinavia, long established as a major source of Jazz talent. Ole Mathiessen presents here his fourth album with music he has written over a 50 year period and it shows him as an outstanding composer whose music should be much more widely known and recognised. The album title says it all since the flashbacks are revisitations of tunes from his past while several are specifically dedicated to musicians he has either known or much admired.

The tunes are so good and so enjoyable it feels wrong as well as superfluous to try and dissect them for review. Just as an example, in Für,-? Ole explains “The spirit is Coltrane – the melodic feel is Danish, building up energy in the A-part, more abstract and light in the bridge”. If that means anything to a fellow musician well and good as it means nothing to me; I simply enjoyed it for its Coltranesque feel which I could appreciate. The musicians are all at the very top of their game and sound as if it is a position they have long occupied. They share the music equally, each making a contribution that is vital in keeping the sense of unity that is so evident in every number. It is quite rare to find every single tune as successful as the last and as I write this listening to OCBBT, a tribute to three greats who died in 2015, Ornette Coleman, B.B. King and Clark Terry I must just mention some wonderful bowed bass from Jesper Lundgaard; it is a technique that is all too rarely heard but so effective in the right place.

I don’t know what Ole Matthiessen has been doing over the last 50 plus years when not recording his own material and whether he has featured on others’ discs or whether his talent has only been heard by those lucky enough to hear him live but whatever the case I seriously hope he goes into the recording studio more in the future; talent like this deserves to heard by as many as possible and that goes for the other four musicians. I read on Wikipedia that Bob Rockwell, though born in Oklahoma, has lived in Denmark since 1983 so definitely Denmark’s gain as all will agree on listening to this disc. I also saw that his discography is quite extensive so I’ll be exploring that with glee. Likewise a quick check elicits the information that the others have also appeared as sidemen on many other’s discs so more to explore. It will be interesting to hear these other discs but it would be difficult to find anything that satisfies so consistently as the tunes on this disc and I commend it to you with heartfelt appreciation.

Steve Arloff

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