Aaron Parks, Thomas Fonnesbæk, Karsten Bagge

Aaron Parks, Thomas Fonnesbæk, Karsten Bagge

In the summer of 2014 two outstanding Danish musicians, bassist Thomas Fonnesbæk and drummer Karsten Bagge, met with the American pianist Aaron Parks, who had spent a long visit in Denmark as “Artist In Residence”. A recording session was arranged, and tunes written especially with this release in mind, were combined with new interpretations and original arrangements of well-known compositions by a collection of very different composers: Carl Nielsen (Tit er jeg glad), Cedar Walton (Bolivia), Arthur Schwartz (You And The Night And The Music), and rock legend Bruce Springsteen (I’m On Fire).

The musical kinship is apparent. Three artists obviously tuned in to the same wavelength. The natural focus and intensity is there from the very first note.The Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy defined art as “... the ability to create fellowship between people, uniting them in a mutual experience of the emotions that are indispensable to life and progress, and contributing to the well-being of individuals and humanity”. High ambitions indeed, but this was none the less the trio’s goal for their musical endeavors together.

This is a modern trio jazz recording with interaction driven by dynamic flow and a high level of creativity. The scope, the swing, the harmonic insight, the elegant plasticity of this trio, are boggling.

Aaron Parks (b.1983) is one of the important young innovators to come out of the New York jazz scene the last ten years. When he was 18, he caught the attention of larger audiences when joining trumpeter Terry Blanchard’s band. He recorded four albums with Blanchard including the 2007 Grammy-awarded A TALE OF GOD’S WILL. Since then Aaron Parks has played and recorded with many great artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kendrick Scott and Gretchen Parlato. His intense playing is also an attraction in the musical collective “James Farm” with Joshua Redman and Eric Harland. So far, he has released two acclaimed albums in his own name: INVISIBLE CINEMA (Blue Note, 2008) and ABOERESCENCE (ECM, 2013). He collaborated with Danish bassist Anders Christensen and legendary drummer Paul Motian on DEAR SOMEONE, recorded for Stunt Records in New York in 2009.

Thomas Fonnesbæk (b.1977) was accepted at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen in 1998, but dropped out the next year, because he was too busy freelancing. Since then he has been in great demand appearing on more than 100 CDs and working with Danish artists Ole Kock Hansen, Sinne Eeg, Mona Larsen, Hans Ulrik, Alex Riel, Jacob Fischer, Kristian Jørgensen, Nikolai Bentzon and the Danish Radio Big Band. His international collaborations include Swedish pianist Lars Jansson’s trio – since 2009 – and guitarist Ulf Wakenius, drummers Harvey Mason and Winard Harper, and pianists Jacky Terrasson and Christian Sands.

Karsten Bagge (b.1971) graduated from Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Conservatory in 1999 and studied at the New School in New York 1997-1998. In recent years he has rotated towards composition and leading his own groups, and since 2011 he has released two albums in his own name. One with his Danish quartet with guitarist Per Gade, pianist Henrik Gunde and Thomas Fonnesbæk, and one with his international trio with Kevin Hays and Scott Colley. For the past two decades he has been a regular member of bands under the leadership of tenor saxophonists Bob Rockwell, Jesper Thilo and Jesper Løvdal, violinist Kristian Jørgensen and pianists Henrik Gunde, Thomas Clausen and Jørgen Emborg. Visiting musicians often use Karsten: Tim Hagans, Lew Soloff and trombonist Ray Anderson. He occasionally works with big bands such as Dansih Radio Big Band, Klüver’s Big Band and Monday Night Big Band.


Releases by Aaron Parks, Thomas Fonnesbæk, Karsten Bagge