Danish jazz has experienced an explosive growth in talent over the past decades: A broad scope of young musicians, encompassing older idioms, hard-core, lyrical neo-cool and freeform. A group of original pianists threaten the monopoly on the international scene of the world-famous Danish bassists.
One of the finest of these young talents is 26-year old Carl Winther, a graduate from the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen. While studying, he was already honing his chops on the jazz scene alongside many well-known musicians. He met the Swedish bassist Joel Illerhag at the conservatory, and they have played Together for the past four years. The band’s drummer is 42-year old Anders Mogensen. Also a graduate from the Rhythmic Conservatory, Mogensen heard Winther and Illehag while serving as an external examiner at conservatory concerts in 2006/2007. He liked the energy and intensity of their approach, and before long they formed a trio, touring Europe and USA in 2010 and recording the CD RED ALERT.
On Sonic Shapes the trio joins forces with Boston-based Jerry Bergonzi, one of the great saxophone influences over the last 35 years. In the 1970’s his apartment in New York was a practice room for like-minded sax-players such as Joe Lovano, Bob Berg and Michael Brecker. Over the years he has often played in Denmark, and his recordings include drummer Alex Riel’s THE RIEL DEAL (Stunt, 1995) and UNRIEL (Stunt, 1997), on which Michael Brecker also played.
SONIC SHAPES was recorded in May 2011 following a successful club tour in Denmark and Sweden. The quartet is smoking, and there is already talk of a new tour. This is not your usual European trio borrowing a little stardust from an American legend. Bergonzi is very enthusiastic about the collaboration, and the inspiration goes both ways.
The two bandleaders each contribute half of the compositions. The musicians represent three generations playing music rooted in sharp, no-non- sense, modern New York jazz. This music isn’t afraid to groove or flex its muscles.
Carl Winther is the son of trumpeter Jens Winther, who died earlier this year, and this CD is dedicated to his memory.