Stanisław Soyka & the Roger Berg Big Band - ”Swing Revisited”
American swing played with bravado by leading Polish jazzman Stanisław Soyka and the Roger Berg Big Band. In their rendition, recorded at sessions in Malmö and Warsaw, the artists refreshed jazz standards by Duke Ellington and Ray Charles among others.
”Swing Revisited” is an album by Stanisław Soyka, a noted Polish jazz singer, and the Roger Berg Big Band, a Swedish-Danish big band orchestra. Their collaboration stemmed from a spontaneous jam session at the band's Warsaw concert. ”I was just overwhelmed by how sensitively they were playing – Soyka recalls. – I couldn't help it and joined in for three pieces. It was fabulous”.
The album, an unparalleled amalgalm of different energies, is a foray into the golden era of swing. Recorded in studios in Sweden and Poland, it is not yet another forceful updating of classical American songs of the 40s. „Swing Revisited” was recorded along the best „orthodox” lines and with respect for the swing traditions in order to evoke the old-time masters, because – as the artists emphasize – „you cannot improve Duke Ellington's music, you just need to live it your way”.
„This music has been out of radio stations, dance clubs and concert halls for over 40 years. The big band culture evolved. Orchestras sprang up: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Gil Evans, Carla Bley and others, which enriched the music so much … at the same time overshadowing the artists from the first half of the century, but … when I played these recordings to some young people who had never heard this kind of music before, their faces were radiant and somewhat amazed. It seems that this kind of music still gives the listener a good vibe”.
1. Let The Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan / Sam „Lovin” Theard)
2. Caravan (Duke Ellington / Juan Tizol)
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore ( Duke Ellington / Bob Russel)
4. Fly me To The Moon (Bart Howard / Bart Howard)
5. Come Sunday (Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington)
6. Hallelujah, I love Her So ( Ray Charles / Ray Charles)
7. I'm Just A Lucky So And So (Duke Ellington / Mack David)
8. It Had To Be You (Isham Jones / Gus Kahn)
9. Love You Madly (Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington)
10. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers / Lorentz Hart)
11. Night And Day (Cole Porter / Cole Porter)
12. Satin Doll (Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington / Johnny Mercer)
13. Take The „A” Train (Billy Strayhorn / Billy Strayhorn)
14. When I Fall In Love (Victor Young / Edward Heyman)
Stanisław Soyka (www.soyka.pl) – a Polish jazz singer, pianist and composer born in 1959. He started singing at the age of seven, being a member of a church choir along with his father. He studied at the Composition and Arrangement Department of the renowed Academy of Music in Katowice. His debut in 1979 was a blues and gospel concert in Warsaw Philharmonic. He performed songs by Ray Charles, Carole King and the Beatles. Recordings from this event were included in his first album „Don't You Cry”.
In 1981 „Blublula” was recorded, a collection of captivating renditions of such standards as Ellington's „I'm Just A Lucky So And So” and John Coltrane's „Naima”. On it, Soyka was accompanied by the Wojciech Karolak Trio. The album became „Jazz Album of 1981” and sold in „gold” quantities. This was when Willis Conover, a legendary jazz critic and broadcaster, upon hearing Soyka at the Jazz Jamboree festival, commented: „This guy is the best-kept secret of Polish music”.
In 1988 Soyka commenced his long and productive collaboraton with Janusz Yanina Iwański, the guitarist of the jazz-rock band called Tie Break. The duo recorded several albums. “Acoustic” is said to have preceded the unplugged era in music by a few years. It was followed by “Neopositive” (1992), which included “Tolerancja”, a song that became a big hit.
In the over 35 years of his musical career, Stanisław Soyka recorded many albums that are milestones in the history of Polish music. He keeps changing, always staying fresh but being instantly recognizable just after a few bars.
The Roger Berg Big Band (www.rogerberg.com) – Roger Berg started drumming at the age of three. From the very beginning he was inspired by the greats: Gene Krupa (Goodman), Jo Jones (Basie), Louie Bellson (Ellington) and, most admired, Buddy Rich. After many years of pursuing varied projects – playing for music theatres, in traditional jazz bands (e.g. Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband) and drumming for two decades for the Tivolis Big Band (the Tivolis Garden Orchestra in Copenhagen) – Roger came up with an idea to form his own band. Intent on having a full traditional big band orchestra, coming as close to the American swing tradition as possible, he created a band with a solid sound, known today for many music projects. These include gigs in jazzclubs and at festivals, as well as big concerts, music spectacles and galas like the grand annual Git Gay Galan in Malmö, a performance at the Eurovision Week of 2013 along with Siw Malmkvist and Ann-Louise Hanson, two icons of Swedish pop music, and spectacular big band battles.
Usually the band is accompanied by a female vocal trio. The Roger Berg Big Band is 4 trumpeters, 4 trombonists, 5 saxophonists (being also clarinetists and flutists), a pianist, a double bassist, a guitarist. and a drummer – a complete big band worthy of the best days of the swing era.
Making of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKoD5SH7nXY
Video Clip “Let the good time roll” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w123YSmbgE8