Canopus (Feat. Dick Oatts)
The concept behind the Jazznord Ensemble is a simple one: to allow musicians from the northern part of Jutland to collaborate with professional musicians in the region. By giving local musicians a chance to interact not only with one another but with accomplished musicians affiliated with the Ensemble, the level of musicianship in the area will by necessity be enriched. All members of the Jazznord Ensemble are both composers and musicians, collectively exhibiting a varied artistic palette that results in modern jazz rich in expression and marked by originality, innovation and freshness. All of the music written by the musicians in conjunction with the Ensemble is based in contemporary jazz but is otherwise free of restrictions. The musicians find within these original compositions ample room for personal expression and the experience allows them to contrast their individual capabilities with those of the other musicians involved in the project. By giving each musician an opportunity to contribute to the repertoire, the Ensemble serves as a catalyst for initiating an artistic process previously absent from Northern Jutland. Jazznord Ensemble was launched in the winter of 2008 when four local musicians met with saxophonist Peter Brem and pianist Søren Møller. That meeting provided the first of many quality musical experiences for audiences around the country as the Ensemble began performing original compositions that showcased each artist's unique expression. Since that first meeting, which also marked the beginning of the Jazznord Ensemble serving as an outlet for developing musicians and original music in the northern part of Denmark, the Ensemble has become a training ground and workshop for musicians and composers in the region. By promoting originality and innovation, the Ensemble substantially cultivates original contemporary music at a high professional level. The Jazznord Ensemble furthermore functions as an educational tool in the region, by performing many concerts observed by young people. A meeting between the musicians and students subsequently developed into workshops on improvisation, composition and arrangement, and inspired a discussion of the students' studies of music. In this context, the musicians of the Ensemble have benevolently shared their wide knowledge and experience and have given advice on how to make a living within that artistic endeavor. The six musicians who met in the winter of 2008 became the first team attached to the Ensemble; subsequent replacements have since occurred and at this point some 13 North-Jutlandic musicians have been connected with the Ensemble. All of them have expressed the opinion that the Jazznord Ensemble has had a great impact on them, inspiring them to go further in the music field as bandleaders, composers and performers. The Jazznord Ensemble has undoubtedly been instrumental in the development of the musical milieu in Northern Jutland, creating an environment of growth for original music as an artistic expression. This development has manifested itself in Northern Jutland in such a way that the future will surely see new musicians making their mark with individual expression on the Danish scene. In 2010, the Jazznord Ensemble had the opportunity to work with the internationally recognized, American saxophonist Dick Oatts, on the project Canopus. This project, for the first time in the history of the ensemble, involved several classical musicians from the region. The Canopus project, as represented on this CD, focuses on jazz in Northern Jutland as it existed during the spring of 2010, but it also celebrates the power-and the time and energy-invested by all who have been involved with the Jazznord Ensemble since 2008. Jazznord Ensemble: Dick Oatts, saxophones Hans Christian Erbs, trumpet Peter Brem, tenor saxophone & bass clarinet Ide Bundgaard, flute Niels Bjerre, violin Johanne Andersson, cello Søren Møller, piano Joachim Jørgensen, bass Thomas A. Jakobsen, drums All songs composed and arranged by Peter Brem, Søren Møller and Thomas Albæk Jakobsen Recorded live at ALFA Vesthimmerlands Musikhus on March 5th, 2010 Recorded & mixed by Torben Laursen Mastered by Torben Laursen Produced by Thomas Albæk Jakobsen & Peter Brem Executive producer Thomas Albæk Jakobsen Cover design by Brandstate This CD was made possible with a generous grant from KODA This recording is part of the 'Canopus' project which is supported by the Danish Arts Council, Aalborg University (AAU), JazzDanmark, MUSAM & AVIS Thanks to: The students at Vesthimmerlands Gymnasium for being a very quiet audience making this recording possible. Everyone who attended the concerts and workshops in the 'Canopus'-project, March 1st-5th 2010. A special thanks to: Friends & family for their support, the musicians on this recording and Dick Oatts for being a great personality and a fantastic musician. Anna-Stina Billund for believing in the idea of the ensemble back in 2008. Every musician who has participated in the ensemble helping defining what it is. And everyone else who have been involved in and supported Jazznord Ensemble.