In the Groove

Svend Asmussen: Happy Birthday + Centennial

Svend_AsmussenIt’s rare to be able to celebrate both a birthday and the centennial of a jazz artist.  Violinist SVEND ASMUSSEN was born in Copenhagen 100 years ago this coming Sunday.

He was a popular performer in Scandinavia and worked with Benny Goodman (video below), Lionel Hampton, and John Lewis.  This week ITG will feature Duke Ellington’s Jazz Violin Session, which includes Asmussen on viola with Stéphane Grappelli and Ray Nance playing violin.  There will also be a couple of his Scandinavian recordings from the ’40s.  I’ve included video clips below including one of his signature tune “June Night.”

Also, here is a link to video of the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival, which includes a celebrated violin summit with Asmussen, Ray Nance and Jean-Luc Ponty (beginning at :17 minutes) (h/t Michael Cuscuna - the Mosaic Records Blog is always great!)(photo: Klaus Holsting)

Kindred Spirits: New from Phil Woods and Greg Abate

91Dc1GKnpjL._SX425_In The Groove this week kicks off with a selection from a beautiful 2014 concert session by the alto saxophonists Greg Abate & the great Phil Woods which has only recently been issued. Listening to this album reminds us once again of all the great performance by Woods who passed away last year.

Here are a few earlier Phil Woods videos including a 1959 session with Clark Terry and a more recent quintet session including trumpeter Tom Harrell.

Also on the show I’m playing new music by Tom HarrellGarriel Mervine, Houston Person, Amp Trio, Harold Mabern, and by Vincent Herring.

Gerry Mulligan and Antonio Carlos Jobim

(h/t Tim F.)
Some background from a YouTube comment by Celso Candido de Souza: “This rehearsal of “One Note Samba” is probably a video recorded in early 1963 at Gerry’s apartment in NY.  … this video was filmed before the big moment of Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall and also before the composition of “The Girl from Ipanema”.  Gerry does not even include this song on their albums.”