The four gentlemen who make up the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys make more music than a full orchestra — simple yet deep, propulsive yet full of feeling, with arching melodies, deep roots, and more. They are Robert Hansson, trumpet; Frans Sjostrom, bass and soprano saxophones; Michael Boving, banjo, guitar, and vocal; Ole Olsen, bass and clarinet. The excellent videos were created by Flemming Thorbye, my Scandinavian comrade.
Here’s a lovely, poignant version of I’M COMIN’ VIRGINA, with Bix in mind:
MAKE ME A PALLET ON THE FLOOR was “written” by W.C. Handy as the ATLANTA BLUES. Here, this achingly slow version features Frans on soprano saxophone and Michael on one of his irreplaceable deep-inside vocals. Robert dares the brass Fates and Ole lays down a foundation you could build a cathedral on:
The Boys ask the unanswerable existential question, HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT WAY?
Michael continues in the same searching vein, “How long will I have to wait?” enclosed in this rendition of HESITATING BLUES. (For passion without artifice, he touches the heart every time!):
JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH ME is perfect for a jazz lecture in a church (a very hip church that has both the SRB and a menorah):
Moving again towards secular matters, the Boys explore BUDDY’S HABIT. We don’t know what his habit was — but I suspect he couldn’t get enough hot, lyrical jazz of the kind the SRB lays down here:
And finally — the most endearing version of “Mind your own business!” you’ll ever hear — AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF I DO:
For those who can’t get enough of proper documentation, the first performance was recorded at the Hotel Christiansminde, Svendborg, Denmark, on April 16, 2011. The remainder were captured at a jazz lecture given by the Scandinavian Rhythm Boys on April 30, 2011, at Broenshoej Kirke — the oldest church in Copenhagen (from 1180) titled GOSPEL, JAZZ, AND THE SONGS OF THE OPPRESSED.
To hear more, find the SRB’s latest CD — CHARLESTON MAD — a wonderful effort.
Thank you, Michael, Frans, Robert, Ole, and Flemming!
P.S. Flemming Thorbye has excellent taste in hot jazz: visit his YouTube channel, thorbye, for much more enjoyment.