Art of the Bass
'A five piece ensemble with three basses may sound like the weirdest thing ever, but listening to this masterwork you'll hear a complete lesson in bass artistry.' The Double Bassist: NHOP Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen was described by Oscar Peterson as 'arguably the most inventive bassist in jazz' Pedersen, who was customarily referred to as 'NHOP', was among the most frequently recorded jazz musicians in history, having taken part in more than 400 albums. There was hardly a major international name with whom he had not played during the last 40 years. Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, the son of a church organist, was born at Osted, Denmark, on May 27 1946. He began piano lessons at the age of seven, and at 13, when he was tall enough, took up the double bass in order to play in his family band. He made such rapid progress that, within two years, he was playing at the Montmartre Jazzhus, Copenhagen's leading jazz club. He became a member of the resident band, a trio which accompanied the parade of star soloists who passed through the club. These included the saxophonists Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and Dexter Gordon, trumpeters Chet Baker and Art Farmer, multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk and the pianist Bill Evans. At the age of 17 he was invited to join the Count Basie orchestra, but was forced to decline, mainly on account of his youth but also because he wanted to complete his studies. Pederson's instinctive grasp of the jazz idiom allowed him to fit in with a remarkable variety of styles, including such avant garde artists as Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler. However, it was in the broad mainstream of jazz that he felt most at home. Between 1964 and 1982, and occasionally thereafter, he was a member of the Danish Radio Big Band, one of the finest jazz orchestras in Europe. He subsequently recorded an album, Ambiance (1993), which featured him accompanied by this band, in which his extraordinary technique is heard to full advantage. He had developed a method of playing pizzicato using all four fingers of the right hand, enabling him to execute very high-speed passages without sacrificing either tone or definition During the early 1970s, Pedersen joined the American pianist Kenny Drew, then resident in Scandinavia, to perform duets at European festivals. Together they recorded a superb album, Duo, in 1973. He also recorded acclaimed duet albums with the guitarists Joe Pass and Philip Catherine, but it was his association with Oscar Peterson that brought him universal recognition. From 1974 until 1987, Pedersen toured regularly as a member of Peterson's trio. He was originally hired as an emergency replacement, on the recommendation of Peterson's original bassist, Ray Brown. 'He's the only one I know that might keep up with you,' were Brown's words, and they proved to be prophetic. Peterson wrote in his memoirs: 'His virtuosity on the bass surpasses anyone else that I have known.' Pedersen remained firmly attached to his Danish roots. In recent years he led his own bands, made up mostly of Scandinavian players. Notable among these were the guitarist Ulf Wakenius, trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and pianist Kenneth Knudsen. He also taught at the Rytmiske Musikkonservatorium in Copenhagen. Árni EGILSSON has earned an international reputation as a Double Bass soloist, having performed in his native Iceland, and throughout Europe and the United States. He was brought to the United States by the late Sir John Barbirolli to play with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. While there, he established an enduring relationship with André Previn. A versatile instrumentalist, equally comfortable in jazz and classical venues, he has recorded a classical solo album with Vladimir Askenazy and a jazz album with Ray Brown. Egilsson is highly regarded as a leading session player in the orchestras of the Los Angeles recording studios serving as Principal Bassplayers for most of Hollywood's top composers. He has been a Professor of Double Bass at California State University, Northridge. In recent years he has become well known as a composer of works for Double Bass, Chamber Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra as well as Solo Voice and Choral works. WAYNE DARLING Professor of Double Bass at the University School of Music in Graz, Austria. (B.M.E. and M.M. degrees in performance). Recipient of many awards and scholarships for outstanding musical peformance. (i.e. Grammy award for the Woody Herman recording: â??Giant Steps' and Prix des Disques, France, for the Friedrich Gulda recording: â??G'schichten aus den Wienerwald un Andere'). Many publications and over 70 CD/LP recordings with leading jazz artists. Mr. Darling leads his own jazz group which performs and records regularly. He also continues to perform in several projects and solo performances which includes a blending of different musical stlyles with a strong emphasis on improvisation. Clinics and workshops for the Jamey Aebersold Camps, Director of the St. Pölten international jazz workshops, Director of the Bass Encounters events in Graz and Vienna, member of the International Society of Bassists jazz competition panel, Wayne is active in promoting Double Bass meetings, workshops, and competitions with the intent of raising performance and educational awareness at the international level. Performances and recordings Shirly Bassey, Bob Brookmeyer, Benny Carter, Wayne Darling Band, Arni Egilsson, Bill Elgart, Herb Ellis, Peter Erskine, Art Farmer, Bud Freeman, Stan Getz, Benny Golsen, Dexter Gordon, Jazz Big Band Graz, Joe Henderson, Woody Herman Big Band, Art Hodes, Marc Johnson, Sheila Jordan, Barney Kessel, Erich Kleinschuster, Dave Liebman, Mel Lewis, Henry Mancini, Charlie Mariano, Red Mitchell, Sunny Murray, Ed Neumeister, ORF Big Band, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Jim Pepper, Barre Phillips, Heinrich Schiff, Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Friedrich Gulda and the : Amsterdam Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, New Smphony Orchestra of Tokyo, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Tours Austria, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, India, Japan, Philippines, Scotland, South America, United States.