Recording Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Rhythmic Music Conservatory, Copenhagen, Denmark
This was our first truly International episode of Studio Jams. We taped it at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark and features four musicians that I met for the very first time at this gig. My 3-person camera crew and I were traveling in Europe for a couple of weeks that summer taping highlights of various jazz festivals (in Italy, Sweden and Denmark). I thought it might also be a good idea to try and arrange a session in Copenhagen while we were there…one that featured some A-list Scandinavian musicians. However, I didn’t quite know where to start, because I didn’t know a single musician over there!
The only Danish musician I knew at the time was saxophonist Michael Lington. (Even though he lives here in the States, I believe Michael was born and raised in Copenhagen.) So that’s where I started. I gave him a call. He, in turn, suggested I call keyboardist David Garfield in LA (George Benson and many others), as he knew that David traveled to Copenhagen fairly frequently and would probably know some of the better players.
So I then called David, who suggested I start with a musician there that he knew very well…a wonderful guitarist named Soren Reiff.
I did a bit of online research on Soren and found out that he is the real deal. Long story short, the two of us connected. So well, in fact, that I comfortably gave up complete control (to a stranger, no less!) and put my complete trust in Soren to select and make the necessary arrangements for us to have a quality bass player, drummer and keyboard player join us for the session. When we arrived at the studio that day, I was meeting all four of the musicians for the first time, and other than the little bit of research I had done on Soren beforehand, I had no idea whatsoever as to the musicianship of the other three. Talk about having faith and trust!
But Soren came through…in a big way. Thanks to him, we had a band that day that included Soren Reiff on guitar, Henrik Engqvist on drums, Jannik Jensen on bass and Poul Reimann on keyboards. All four of them were excellent musicians, and spoke wonderful English.
Collectively, they played a total of 5 different songs. They began with Children’s Song, an original song by Soren. It features a nice piano solo from Poul. They followed that up with a cover of the classic Equinox, and then another Soren original, Swedish Spring. After a short break, they came back into the studio and hit on a great version of Chick Corea’s 500 Miles High, with a scorching guitar solo from Soren. They then closed the session with a beautiful arrangement of a new ballad called Sometimes, penned by pianist Poul Reimann.
It was a terrific session…full of lots of nice rehearsal and performance material. The vibe was just as cool over there as it always is when we tape here in the States. I left Copenhagen quite content…with four new friends, and thoroughly convinced that the concept of our program can effectively work anywhere. There are wonderful musicians around the globe, and I look forward to working with as many of them as I can in the years ahead!
- Tom Emmi / Producer