SWEDISH JAZZ KINGS 1999 (Tom Baker, Bent Persson, Martin Litton, Joep Peeters, Tomas Ornberg, Olle Nyman, Bo Juhlin)!

 These videos by the Swedish Jazz Kings were recorded at the 1999 Akersunds Jazz Festival.  And they are, as they used to say, just my thing.  Thanks to “jazze1947” for posting them on YouTube: I became an instant subscriber!

That’s Bent Persson on trumpet or cornet; Tom Baker on trombone, tenor sax, and vocal; Tomas Ornberg and Joep Peeters on reeds; Martin Litton on piano; Olle Nyman, banjo and guitar; Bo Juhlin, tuba.  I could write a good deal about the passionate intensity of the soloists, their individualized reflections of Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and more – – – but I’d rather let my readers skip the analysis and jump in neck-deep into the music.  What music it is!

Here’s APEX BLUES.  Sometimes long performances become wearisome, but I think six-and-a-half minutes of this wasn’t enough:


Here’s KNEE DROPS (which I assume refers to a dance move — but, more importantly, refers to Louis and Earl in 1928):

And the theme song of our century, MONEY BLUES (with the verse as only Bent can do it):

and something tender: a duet on STARDUST by Tom Baker (now on tenor — in a Webster vein) with Martin Litton:

Thanks to jazz scholar Bill Haessler from Australia, I now know that the next song is “What Makes Me Love You So?”:

Here’s a lovely OLD FASHIONED LOVE, which is regrettably incomplete (just when Tom is singing so beautifully):

And a concert-ending performance of PAPA DIP (thanks to Bill Lowden for telling me this!):

Thanks to the musicians, the promoter, the videographer, “jazze1947,” and more.  Wow!

9 responses to “SWEDISH JAZZ KINGS 1999 (Tom Baker, Bent Persson, Martin Litton, Joep Peeters, Tomas Ornberg, Olle Nyman, Bo Juhlin)!

  1. Bill Lowden (Jazzbobill)

    Hi Michael – just love your blog site. The name of the last Swedish Jazz Kings video is “Papa Dip”, the original by the New Orleans Wanderers. This classic tune was made with Perdido Street Blues/Gatemouth & Too Tight and featured George Mitchell on cornet. The Wanderers were basically Armstrong’s Hot Five without Louis. Of course, I knew that you know all of this and it had just escaped your mind as to the title, but we have to educate the young guys.

  2. Blessings on your head, Bill! Not only for the information but the style . . . some of the people who correct my lapses do so in a way that makes me yelp. Anything I can do for you, let me know! Cheers, Michael

  3. I am one of the many musicians in Australia and around the world inspired by Tom Baker. He is still profoundly missed. What a gift it is to watch and hear these new (to me) clips.

  4. My feelings exactly — the only regret I have with these clips is that there is no two-trumpet feature for Bent and Tom. But that’s jazz greed on my part. Cheers! Michael

  5. Dear Michael,
    It is ‘(Oh Baby) What Makes You Love Me So” [Fred Longshaw-Clarence Williams]. Recorded by Clarence Williams Washboard Band for Okeh on 19 Nov 1929.
    Kind regards,

  6. Bill, Nancie Beaven’s praise of you is correct but an understatement! Thanks, Michael

  7. Pingback: SWEDISH JAZZ KINGS 1999 (Tom Baker, Bent Persson, Martin Litton, Joep Peeters, Tomas Ornberg, Olle Nyman, Bo Juhlin)!

  8. Denis Le Neuf

    Hi! Sent Martin Litton an email a few days ago and it bounced back. Have sent him three VHS tapes of performancer he did with Spats Langham, Malcolm Clegg and Bob Barnard in Australia at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival in 2009. Let him know if you can! Assume he’s at same geographical address.
    Thanks. Denis Le Neuf. PS,. Looking foreard to the SJK playting here in a few weeks. Awesome band, and how DOES Bent manage to seriously sound like Louis in the 1920s? Astonishing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Maybe some of my more well-connected readers know how to get in touch with the brilliant and quietly modest Martin Litton? I regret that I don’t . . . although I send him my hat-doffings and best wishes, too. As for Bent — ! I suspect that he is not only a technically brilliant player who is able to reproduce what Louis played, down to the nuances of tone, shading, attack, and the like, but that after forty years of study and practice, he has managed to thoroughly internalize Louis, early and late, so that he can come as close as possible to what Louis might plausibly have played on, say, a blues circa 1930. But all that is external speculation. What counts is that no one does it better than Bent! Cheers and more, Michael

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