And a time to wave the white flag.
That’s where we are now, with funny names, and jazz. And Norwegians. And drums.
See, I’m not even going to try this time, is what I’m saying. I’m just giving it all straight to the Norsemen. Or, as the case may be, Nørsèwômên.
Let’s just get this over with, Økåy?
A is for Knut Aalefjær, a drummer, percussionist and composer born in 1974, just before I entered high school and got into my “jazz phase.” I’m sure Kerbey can do something with that name, but my mind’s a blank.
Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome. Which is kinda knutty because Stockholm isn’t even in Norway. (I guess it’s Oslo day for wordplay.)
B is for Stein Inge Brækhus (born 1967), Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (b. 1981) and Øyvind Brandtsegg (b. 1971), who confirm my suspicion that most Norwegian jazz musicians (and there are a LOT of them) tend to have been born in the 70s or 80s. Someday, someone is going to have to explain the background of this Norwegian jazz renaissance to me. But, another story for another day.
C is for Jon Ivar Christensen (b. 1943) and Svein “Chrico” Christiansen (b. 1941), an older generation of jazzmen, with similar last names. Neither one is particularly outstanding on the Funny Name Index (FNI), but both are major figures in the International and Norwegian jazz scenes, respectively. Jon Christensen is at least on my top twenty list of jazz drummers for his layered, complex, understated drumming style. It first caught my attention on Ralph Towner’s Solstice album (1974).
Where were we? Oh, yeah.
D is for Børre Dalhaug (b. 1974), another name where you have to wonder, “What’s Kerb gonna do with this one?” And, “No, seriously. Come on! What is it about the 70s and 80s and Norwegian jazz births?”
The other thing about D is that it also has some competition from the Scandinavian sounding Buddy Deppenschmidt (b. 1936) of the U.S.A. and Benjamin “Buzzy” Drootin (1920-2000), also of the U.S.A. but born in the Ukraine. Plus, there’s Jack DeJohnette (b. 1942), whose name may not be outstanding sounding on the FNI, but hey, he’s one of my all time favorite drummers.
(I’d give something to get this album on CD. Used to have it on vinyl.)
What’s up next? Right, E.
E is for Torstein Ellingsen (b. 1966) who no doubt played some Duke Ellington standards, and beats out the more placidly named Kenneth Ekornes (b. 1974). He has two other things going for him: 1) If his first and last names were reversed I wouldn’t even notice. 2) His photo is a great testament to brush sticks. Cheers, Torstein.
Also, we can’t pass E by without a shout out to Peter Erskine (b. 1954). ‘Sup, Peter? Like your work, dude.
Norwegians are probably mad that I post about their jazz musicians but don’t embed enough of their music. They’ll be even madder when I announce our pick for F, Jon Fält (b. 1979) who’s actualy from Sweden. But it’s just next to Norway, so you can’t Fält me too much for that, right?