Arne Domnérus With Jimmy Rowles
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This two-CD compilation combines two complete albums by alto saxophonist Arne Domnérus: a 1973 small-group date with Jimmy Rowles and a Domnérus-led date that alternates between a quartet and a nonet. Although he's a talented musician, he is extremely generous in featuring his fellow players. The first disc begins awkwardly with an overly long jive vocal by Rowles as he introduces "The Sheik of Araby" by himself; the pace finally picks up as he abandons the microphone. Domnérus makes the most of Rowles' lush backing in his lovely rendition of Billy Strayhorn's "After All," which strongly reflects the influence of Johnny Hodges. The duo expands to a quintet with the addition of trumpeter Jan Allan, bassist George Riedel, and drummer Rune Carlsson, kicking off with Riedel's snappy post-bop vehicle "Sharkfinn" and continuing with a brisk samba treatment of Neal Hefti's little-known "Fred." The quintet's lively interpretation of "Au Privave" finds Rowles stealing the spotlight for himself. Duke Ellington's bluesy ballad "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" is a showcase for Allan with Rowles. The second disc is a bit more uneven, as more of the session consists of originals and European folk tunes, none of which leave a lasting impression. Fortunately, the easygoing quartet arrangement of "Yours & Mine," a richly textured nonet scoring of "My Wild Irish Rose" (not exactly a jazz standard!), and a playful version of Clark Terry's "Simple Waltz" all make a lasting impression. Two bonus tracks from guest appearances by Domnérus with big bands are added to the original releases.
Born: 20 December 1924 in Stockholm, Sweden
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s
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