Review of concert at Hornbæk Jazzklub – by Søren Damving, Helsingør Dagblad

Jesper Hedegaard Sound of Brasil at Kulturhuset Bølgen on Friday, April 6, 2018

Kulturhuset Bølgen in Ålsgårde is a rare combination of concert hall and resteurent. Here Hornbæk Jazzklub holds their events every first Friday of the month. There is room for more than 100 dining guests who take their seats an hour and a half before the music begins. As the musicians enter the stage, the light in the auditorium is dimmed and the tables recede just as they are, and the venue becomes a concert hall where the audience does not have to move, but can remain in their good seats at the tables. The bar is silent as the music plays, but during the break it wakes up to deed, like another Holger Danske, and rattles, not with the sword, but with glasses, bottles, coffee and cake. The audience mixes with each other and with the musicians, and a temporary close and beautiful community is formed.

It was the same good mood that prevailed among the musicians when Jesper Hedegaard presented his Sound of Brasil on the Kulturhuset Bølgen on Friday. The Brazilian Samba has many ramifications, and each rhythm has its own life and its own name. Jesper Hedegaard knows a lot about this after living in Brazil for many years. He came there in 1976 and made friends that he brought with him to Denmark. Some still live here, others have taken home again and new ones have arrived. Last Friday it was bassist Sidiel Vieira and drummer Celso de Almeida. When they play, it looks easy, but that’s only because they are masters of their instruments. The music flows from them, like a tsunami whose giant powers are not noticed until it encounters resistance.

Last Friday there was no resistance for Jesper Hedegaard knows his samba and the evening’s soloist was world class. It was Alexander Kraglund who played without a sheet of musicthe most terrific Brazilian violin and viola with a myriad of small shifts in the rhythmic and surprising harmony of the melodic, which is an essential detail of the music.

Alexander Kraglund played the most viola and the deep sound mixed beautifully with Jesper Hedegaard’s piano playing, which mostly took place in the high register. The bassist played counter-rhythm and very little walking bass as in jazz. He played with the already danceable rhythms in mood-filled counterplay and he could frolic freely as the drummer provided a non-slip surface for the music.

The evening’s many different pieces of music were a mix of Jesper Hedegaard’s own compositions and the bossa nova that Antonio Carlos Jobim started in the early 60s with The Girl From Ipanema.

One ting is to play the violin, another is to play the harmonic and this instrument was used by Alexander Kraglund in about half of the pieces. In his violin playing there were almost no references to Svend Asmussen, which is surprising. In the harp play there was great inspiration from Toots Thielemans.

Jesper Hedegaard may not be the world’s most famous pianist, but by thinking of another pianist, namely Chick Corea (who plays at the Kulturværftet in late April), and some of his co-inspired compositions such as La Fiesta and Amando’s Rhumba, you get the feeling of the music played on the wave last Friday.

The fact that Bølgen’s own sound engineer, Casper Skovgaard, also knows which buttons to touch and not touch, is the extra quality that the wave has, and which many other venues just have to dream about.

Søren Damving, journalist


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