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Fit As a Fiddle

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Album Review

Although somewhat overshadowed in the jazz world by fellow violinist Stephane Grappelli, Svend Asmussen has maintained a strong following of his own (particularly in Europe) over many decades. This live CD combines parts of three separate concerts recorded in Sweden and Denmark in 1996; Asmussen's first-rate quartet includes guitarist Jacob Fischer, bassist Jesper Lundgaard (who else engineered and edited this release), and drummer Aage Tanggaard. The violinist leans toward older material, though his approach to these time-tested songs is consistently fresh and adventurous. "Running Wild" showcases the quartet to good advantage, with incredible runs and a pizzicato duet with Lundgaard; Fletcher Henderson's "Wrapping It Up" hasn't been swung so well since the heyday of Benny Goodman. Both Jerome Richardson's funky "Groove Merchant" and a slowly savored Brazilian arrangement of "A Night in Tunisia" feature the leader utilizing a wah-wah effect to give him a very different sound than one typically expects. Any fan of jazz violin should look for this rewarding CD.

Customer Reviews

Ikke Svend Asmussen

Har ingen anelse om hvem kunstneren er, men det har aldrig været Svend Asmussen!


Born: 28 February 1916 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s

It seems strange that Svend Asmussen is not better known in the United States, for he has been a top swing violinist since the mid-'30s. He started playing violin when he was seven and, in 1933, made his professional debut. Always based in Scandinavia (hence his obscurity in the U.S.), Asmussen made his first records as a leader in 1935 and has been consistently popular in his homeland ever since. He played with the Mills Brothers and Fats Waller in the 1930s when they passed through Denmark, but...
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Fit As a Fiddle, Svend Asmusen
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