Jazz CD Reviews

Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus In Sweden – Oktav

A historic 1950 visit with Bird and Domnerus

Published on May 18, 2008

Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus In Sweden – Oktav
Charlie Parker & Arne Domnerus In Sweden – Oktav OKCD 1164 – rec. 11/22/50, 35:54 ***1/2 [Distr. by Naxos]:

(Charlie Parker, alto sax (tracks 1-4); Arne Domnerus, alto sax (tracks 5-7); Rolf Ericson, trumpet; Gosta Theselius, piano; Thore Jederby, bass; Jack Noren, drums)

In 1950 Charlie Parker made a European trip in which he played with the locals stars of each country he visited. In November, he played in Malmo, Sweden, with local icons, Arne Domnerus and Rolf Ericson. Both Arne and Rolf came to the US later where they made a name for themselves, especially Ericson. But on this magical night for Swedish jazz fans, it was an opportunity to see the incomparable Charlie Parker. This 11/22/50 live date has been transferred from LP to CD. Unfortunately that night neither Arne nor Bird played together, so we are left with the opportunity to compare their styles. Though no one can compare to Parker, in Sweden, Domnerus was likened to Parker, as having somewhat similar styles of playing alto.

Today’s discerning listener can easily see that Arne was no match for Parker, though he had similar bop traits. Domnerus’ tone is a bit “sweeter” than Bird’s and he was no match for Parker’s rapid runs. Where one can appreciate a new star is to experience early Rolf Ericson. Rolf would have fit in most any American session as a strong lyrical trumpeter with power and full facility on the horn. On Fine and Dandy, he is the star. On Out of Nowhere, Arne and Rolf trade lines and mesh together well. All the Things You Are, the longest track recorded that night sounds a bit tentative, but again Erickson rises to the occasion.

Parker’s four tracks are vintage Parker, played without too much passion, but enough to keep his Swedish sidemen on their toes. Again Ericson shines as the main sideman. Lover Man is regretfully too short and one misses more of an opportunity to hear this ballad. Cool Blues closes out Parker’s mini-set, and once again Rolf is featured. You can sense an urgency to return to the US scene from Rolf, where had played with Charlie Barnet and Woody Herman, from 1947 to 1950. He did later return to the States, where he played in American big bands and small groups throughout the 50s and 60s before settling in Germany in the 70s.

What keeps this issue below four stars, even with its collectors’ value, is its mediocre sound – with little presence and poor recording quality, though maybe not too far below par for “live” recording of that day.


TrackList:
Anthropology, Cheers, Lover Man, Cool Blues, Fine and Dandy, Out of Nowhere, All the Things You Are

- Jeff Krow




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