Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Scandinavian Rhythm Boys releases Charleston Mad


Danish-Swedish Quartet plays the classic repertoire

Hans Koert

Scandinavian Rhythm Boys releases Charleston Mad (English) Scandinavian Rhythm Boys udgiver Charleston Mad ( Danish) Scandinavian Rhythm Boys met Charleston Mad ( Nederlands)

The Scandinavian Rhythm Boys is a traditional jazz quartet based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in 1997 by some Swedish and Danish musicians who loved to play jazz as played by those drum less groups in the first half of the XXth century. Its repertoire contains ragtime’s, spirituals, work songs and jazz standards and, if the audience asks for it, popular Danish or Swedish pop tunes from the 1930s up to 1950s. The band has four members: Robert Hansson on trumpet, Frans Sjöström on saxes, Ole Olsen on bass and clarinet and, last but not least, Michael Bøving on banjo and guitar and sings if the tune asks it. Its first album was recorded in January 2005 and was entitled Travellin' Blues followed by Dreaming The Hours Away (2006) and two albums, which were recorded during a tour in Canada and Hungary. Recently the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys released its 4th album entitled Charleston Mad, which was recorded in Copenhagen last year. The album contains almost 45 minutes of traditional standards like Everybody Loves My Baby, Buddy's Habits and the well known Lil Hardin composition Gatemouth, originally recorded July 1926 by the New Orleans Wanderers. This is one of those tunes that has its roots in New Orleans, with a collective improvisation like at the original Columbia record. Another classic is Clarinet Marmalade, which sounds in the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys version very primitive, using the bass-saxophone which reminds of course to the 1920s recordings with Adrian Rollini on bass sax.

Clarinet Marmalade reminds me to one of those primitive version, like I have by Jimmy Joy's Anthony's Hotel Orchestra ( recorded for Okeh October 1924) but, of course without the accents on the cymbals or woodblock rhythms by drummer Dick Hammell. The title tune Charleston Mad features Frans Sjöström on bass saxophone; the tune was originally recorded in 1925 for Paramount by Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders. Love to share with you a fragment of this tune played by the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys, at a Canal Tours in Copenhagen. December 2010. The album contains several folk songs or local Danish and Swedish hits - less interesting for foreign listeners. The tune Glemmer Du is a well known tune from a Danish film and was a hit in the early 1930s. It was recorded by the Durium Dance Ensemble in December 1932. The tune Trubble or Trubbel is a Swedish tune, which has been recorded by a lot of Swedish bands. Svend Asmussen recorded it with his quartet in June 1989 for his album Fiddler Surpreme. Det Var På Capri is the well known tune Isle of Capri, which became a hit due to Lew Stone. In the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys version is has a Danish text. The song Gunilla is written by Rolf Ekelund, a Swedish composer. The Scandinavian Rhythm Boys, the titles could lead to confusion as "The Rhythm Boys" where a well known vocal group, finds its roots in the early jazz and ragtime tradition which was recorded acoustically in the first quarter of the 20th Century. They don't copy the old tunes, but know how to play the game. The vocals by Michael Bøving sound, like so many vocalists who sing in a traditional jazz band, as a clone of Satchmo's creaky voice and in some tunes, like the title tune Charleston Mad, I'd love to hear a female voice marked by age of a Big Mama like our Dutch Victoria Varekamp in her 1970s recording, but I'm sure there are Danish Big Mammas too, who can do this job as well. Love to finish this small review with a fragment of Clarinet Marmalade This album was released by Gate2Jazz ( CD 10027) and can be ordered at the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys Hjemmeside (= homepage)

Keep Swinging

Hans Koert

The Danish - Swedish quartet, the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys, is busy creating a distinct profile for its music - the classic jazz repertoire as played by Joe King Oliver, Clarence Williams and Lovie Austin. Recently its 4th album was released which is entitled Charleston Mad. If you love these classic sounds played by four passionate musicians, try to find a copy of this album.

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Anonymous Josh said...

Such a great article it was which this is one of those tunes that has its roots in New Orleans, with a collective improvisation like at the original Columbia record. In which Another classic is Clarinet Marmalade, which sounds in the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys version very primitive, using the bass-saxophone. Thanks for sharing this article.

7:38 PM  

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