Two Basses – TMcCD 020

This album contains music performed by two of the world's truly great masters of the double bass, combining all the important skills necessary for this instrument. Their lively bass lines gives the music contours and direction, providing a warm, melodic and rhythmic listening experience.

Laila and Charles Gavatin:
In the summer of 2001 we travelled to Denmark, as we usually do, to experience the Copenhagen Jazz Festival as well as to maintain and develop our connections with the Danish jazz scene.

In the festival's programme we noticed, among the other attractions, that Jesper Lundgaard and Mads Vinding were to give a concert at Rosenborg Castle situated in the beautiful park Kongens Have. We bought tickets immediately. That concert was one of our finest and most memorable musical experiences.

On returning to Stockholm we wrote to Jesper and Mads: "It would be wonderful for us, and other listeners, to have the chance of hearing you both again. When the day comes that you feel ready and inspired to make a recording you really must do it, and by all means for Touché Music."

And that day arrived!

Mads Vinding:
It has been a tremendous pleasure for me to record this CD with Jesper. He is not only a fantastic bass player but also one of the most congenial people with whom I have ever worked.

Every musician feels good when they have him to establish the foundation - a solid and secure base which allows complete freedom to create. The fact is that Jesper has the rare attribute of being able to anticipate a moment before what is about to happen in the music - and he has the technique and insight to strengthen or immediately turn things around so that everything moves up to a higher level. He has a very positive attitude to life - and even has the patience and loyalty to play bass lines and rhythms under long periods, even if it is behind a soloist who is not the most inspiring to hear!

The first time I heard Jesper was in a club in Århus in the middle of the '80s. I arrived there with some colleagues late after a concert with the intention of having a beer and a chat - but there was very little chatting done - the music and in particular Jesper caught our ears and held our attention so that we sat and listened intensively instead. He outshone and overshadowed all of the others that night with his unerring rhythmic sense and imaginative solos. He was already then a very special talent and he has been developing constantly upwards so that today he is among the finest bass players in the world.

Every time I have heard him, without knowing in advance, I have never had any doubts as to who it was playing. One can always recognise his sound, ideas, sureness and creativity - and every time it is a positive experience!

I hope that we will get the opportunity to play many concerts together - you feel so secure musically in Jesper's company, whichever direction the music takes - Jesper is always there widening the horizon. This CD is proof of that!

Jesper Lundgaard:
The first time I heard Mads Vinding was in 1970. I was then 16 years old and a jazz concert took place close to my parents' home. The world famous jazz icon Dexter Gordon was paying a visit to our little town. I was one of the very few jazz connoisseurs to show up at the concert. Dexter Gordon's backing trio consisted of the drummer Jual Curtis, pianist Thomas Clausen and a phenomenal young bass player, namely Mads Vinding.

I had previously heard Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on the radio but listening to Mads playing live left an even greater impression upon me, and returning home to my parents I claimed that I had heard a bass player even better than Niels-Henning!

A few weeks later I bought my first upright bass and start practising like crazy. Little did I know then that later in life I would be following in Mads' footprints, succeeding him in such jazz acts as Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band, the Danish Radio Big Band, the Hank Jones Trio and, not least, the Svend Asmussen Quartet.

It is my opinion that Mads is one of the world's truly great masters of his instrument, combining all the important skills necessary for bass playing. He has impeccable intonation, great time, an incredible technique and great ideas - and what is important he is still improving and developing new facets in the art of bass playing.

Besides these facts, we both received the Ben Webster Prize in 1982, on which occasion we formed our bass duo. Since then it has been a lot of fun as well as a big challenge to work together and this year marks our 20th anniversary.

To conclude, we both share a lifelong interest in technology, resulting for instance in this album which has been recorded and produced in our respective studios.

Translation: Dave Castle

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CRITICS

Joshua Kline in Double Bassist:
"Lundgaard and Vinding speak jazz fluently in a 10-song conversation that takes in standards, works from Danish composers, and even an Irish traditional piece with a subtlety, grace and intimacy few duos possess. This disc is all about being acoustic, so traditional jazz fans will revel in these two bassists’ clean, woody sound, and marvel at the duo’s speed, accuracy and intonation.

Keeping it bluesy and relaxed, the players reinvent overworked tunes such as God bless the child, giving it a sad, dirgelike feeling that overpowers from the first note. On brisk, swinging numbers such as Secret Love, it’s interesting to note haw Lundgaard stays up in the higher registers so that the melody and solo come out crisply and cleanly against Vinding’s firm, steady walking. They know just when to switch from low to high in order to bring one another forward in the listener’s head.

Although there aren’t any particularly fast pieces on the album, the great improvised lines coupled with the sensitivity and intuition between the two artists will fully compensate the listener. Listen to I can see the bright Islands for a storytelling session between the two that features inventive lines, solid co-support and some of the most assured rhythmic footing I’ve heard in a while. There’s only one thing better than an expressive, mature bass filled with fresh, effervescent ideas; and that’s Two Basses."

Randy McElligott in JazzReview.com:
"Lundgaard and Vinding speak jazz fluently in a 10-song conversation that takes in standards, works from Danish composers, and even an Irish traditional piece with a subtlety, grace and intimacy few duos possess. This disc is all about being acoustic, so traditional jazz fans will revel in these two bassists’ clean, woody sound, and marvel at the duo’s speed, accuracy and intonation. Keeping it bluesy and relaxed, the players reinvent overworked tunes such as God bless the child, giving it a sad, dirgelike feeling that overpowers from the first note. On brisk, swinging numbers such as Secret Love, it’s interesting to note haw Lundgaard stays up in the higher registers so that the melody and solo come out crisply and cleanly against Vinding’s firm, steady walking. They know just when to switch from low to high in order to bring one another forward in the listener’s head. Although there aren’t any particularly fast pieces on the album, the great improvised lines coupled with the sensitivity and intuition between the two artists will fully compensate the listener. Listen to I can see the bright Islands for a storytelling session between the two that features inventive lines, solid co-support and some of the most assured rhythmic footing I’ve heard in a while. There’s only one thing better than an expressive, mature bass filled with fresh, effervescent ideas; and that’s Two Basses."

MUSICIANS
Jesper Lundgaard - bass
Mads Vinding - bass

TRACKS

  1. God bless the child (B Holiday / A Herzog jr) [8.38]
  2. Secret Love (S Fain / P Webster) [4.55]
  3. Trubbel (Trouble) (O Adolphson) [4.17]
  4. Top of the Mountain (Irish traditional arr. Lundgaard/Vinding) [2.29]
  5. Don't get around much anymore (D Ellington / B Russel) [5.02]
  6. A child is born (T Jones / A Wilder) [4.26]
  7. I can see the bright Islands (T Aagaard) [5.56]
  8. Loverman (J Davis / R Ramirez / J Sherman) [5.14]
  9. Basslines (J Lundgaard / M Vinding) [6.15]
  10. Nocturne (E Taube) [6.27]

Total time: 53.42

TECHNICAL
Repertoire: Jesper Lundgaard/Mads Vinding
Recorded: Baile Studio (No 1-7 and 9), June 2002, Loft Studio (No 8) June 2002
Mixing and premastering: Baile Studio
CD-Master: Claes Persson
Realease: 15th November 2002
Cover design: Jenny Eiserman
Manufactured by: DCM