Karin Krog reunited with John Surman, accompanied by Bergen Big Band.
Krog made her appearance on the Scandinavian jazzscene in the early 60s and has since then worked in most countries in Europe, Russia, China, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and the US. In the 60s she worked with musicians like Jon Christensen, Jan Garbarek and Arild Andersen. In the US she worked for the first time in 1967 with the the Don Ellis orchestra, concerts and recording. Sharing a mutual interest in electronic music Krog and Surman recorded an album in 1978, ”Cloudline Blue”, and they have worked in duo during the past decades. They recorded “Such winters of Memory” and “The Nordic Quartet” for ECM; “Freestyle” for the Odin label. They produced “Bluesand” For Meantime records, a label Krog started in 1987. “Bluesand” won the Norwegian Grammy “Spellemannsprisen”in year 2000, as the jazz CD of the year. Krog finds working with Surman a great challenge because it includes live electronics as well as acustical pieces like only saxophone and voice. Karin Krog is a jazz innovator with a talent very few artists – international or otherwise – can match. Awarded The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, First Class (2005) by the King of Norway, given for “outstanding service to the country and humankind”, she is only the second jazz musician to ever have been bestowed this prestigious honor.
Bergen Big Band
The city of Bergen, which lies on the west coast of Norway, is home to a wide variety of professional musicians. The BBB have been together in their present form since 1993, and since then have performed at many concerts to great acclaim both in Norway and on the international stage. Thus it seems surprising that this CD should be the very first album to be produced by the band. What is perhaps less surprising is that they have chosen Karin Krog to join them on their debut album. Karin has been one of Norway ́s most distinguished jazz artists for many years and during this time been a valued ambassador for Norwegian jazz throughout the world. Karin Krog has been awarded the St.Olavs Orden by his Majesty King Harald for her contribution to Norwegian and International jazz. The iceing on the cake came when Karin asked the English composer and saxophonist John Surman to direct the band and assist in the production of the album, and when Jan Erik Kongshaug agreed to travel across to Bergen and supervise the recording of the album.
John Surman and the arrangments
– I wrote «My Shining Hour», «Canto Mai» & «Jubilee» for Karin some years ago. More recently I arranged «Seagull» & «La Calada» for her, and «Don ́t Just Sing» & «Sweet Talker» were arranged especially for this date. There are two other arrangers/ composers whose work is featured on the CD. Firstly John Warren; John is a Canadian composer, arranger, and saxophonist who settled in England in the early sixties. For thirty years, he directed a big band playing his compositions that has included the cream of British musicians. Now based in Yorkshire he directs the Voice of the North big band and Northern Brass (a blend of jazz quintet and brass choir) in performances of his work. Karin has been a fan of his work for many years and has included «Lament», «Northern Sun», «Don ́t Get Around Much» & «You ́d Better Love Me», all of them arranged by J.W. The other, and very special arrangement was written by the late Don Ellis, with whom Karin worked in Hollywood in the late sixties. This is his arrangement of «Angel Eyes».