Svend Asmussen celebrates his 100th birthday on February 28, 2016. Storyville Records celebrates the Danish Jazz legend's centenary with a 5 CD and 1 DVD box set which explores his musical production through the years.
The first CD features early 1937-1944 recordings, where Asmussen finally decided on music as his occupation for life and began gaining international recognition with his elegant swing and refined arrangements.
The second CD features 1953 and 1958 recordings from Hamburg, where Asmussen’s profound musicality and jazz skillfulness shine.
On CD3, Asmussen collaborates with violinist colleague Stephane Grappelli, and their different phrasings compliment each other. We also find previously unreleased tracks from a 1985 Paris session with the Georges Arvanitas Trio, a complement to the critically acclaimed “Embraceable” concert CD from the same occasion.
On CD4, Asmussen and American legend Stuff Smith play a concert together in Copenhagen, the two clearly enjoying each other’s company.
CD5 features the renowned 1996 concert “Fit as a Fiddle”, where Asmussen masterfully combines the insistent energy of his youth with the experience and musical grandeur he has gained from a lifetime of playing.
On the DVD, Asmussen plays a lively 1986 concert in Copenhagen’s famous Jazzhus Montmartre with prominent musicians such as bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and pianist Kenny Drew.
“Svend Asmussen is light, precise, and yet profound; a consummate entertainer, a creative thinker, and an artist. And that combination is rare!” (Finnish jazzviolinist Ari Poutianinen, Jazz Special 149)