Randy Brecker – trumpet
Benjamin Koppel – altosax
Jacob Christoffersen – fender rhodes, wurlitzer and synth
Scott Colley – bass
Bernard Purdie – drums
featuring (except on tracks marked with *)
Dan Hemmer – hammond organ
Jacob Andersen – percussion
Søren Heller – guitar
Marie Carmen Koppel – vocal (on Respect only)
Them Changes (6.35) (Buddy Miles)
Manteca (9.38) (Dizzy Gillespie)
Hammond Street (9.14) * (Benjamin Koppel)
Move on up (8.25) (Curtis Mayfield)
Feel the Bern (12.14) * (Benjamin Koppel)
Respect (6.04) (Otis Redding)
Con Alma and Sax (12.55) * (Benjamin Koppel)
Groove me (11.08) (King Floyd)
‘Dont you worry ’bout a thing (10.15) (Stevie Wonder)
Close to you (12.40) * (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
Sing a Simple Song (4.38) (Sly Stone)
Total playing time: 104 minutes
Recorded live July 2019 by Lars Nissen and Jesper Hyltoft Vinter Storm Claussen
PRODUCED BY BENJAMIN KOPPEL
mixed and mastered by Lars Nissen
photos by Tonny Pomiklo
Love and thanks to Ann Koppel, Celia Purdie, Sophia Wong, Kate Schutt & Leah Ollman
The Benjamin Koppel Ultimate Soul & Jazz Revue is a long awaited release that gathers different, important aspects of saxophonist Benjamin Koppels versatile universe. American soul music has always been a corner stone in Koppels musicology and when he was just a little boy at first he played the drums inspired by Bernard Purdie, then he turned to singing, diving into little Stevie Wonder-material, Aretha Franklin-songs and Staple Singers all day long.
Then when 13 years old he discoverede the saxophone and his path was carved in marble, when he quickly arose into being the most prominent young jazz musician of Denmark, being the most awardwinning youngster, debuting as a leader with the CD-release BENJAMIN KOPPEL QUARTET, recorded when he was only 18.
From then on things moved fast, and now Koppel is the most productive, in-demand and farreaching Scandinavian musician of his generation, having released more than 50 albums as a leader, and having worked side by side with people like Phil Woods, Paul Bley, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Jim Hall, Brian Blade and many, many other topnames of international jazz.
On this release Benjamin returns to his roots, combining the inspiration of soul legends and jazz vibes. And in the hands of a band, inspired beyond words, the result is both grooving and moving, standing on the shoulders of the past and looking into the future – while being so incredibly present right here and now.
The live recording is taken from Benjamin Koppels annual SUMMER JAZZ festival, which has taken place every year since 2009 at two different theatre venues in Copenhagen.
Inviting trumpet legend Randy Brecker, together with whom Koppel recorded the first time back in 1999, and Koppels long time close friend and associate top bass player Scott Colley – Koppel and Colley has played intensely together for the past ten years, both has a duo and in their trio with drummer Brian Blade, the Koppel-Colley-Blade-Collective – and fulfilling the all star cast with iconic drummer Bernard Purdie – who initially was Benjamins first big inspiration – this is a unique and rare soul and jazz experience that brings to life the very essense of the kinship between soul and jazz music.
Inarguably one of the finest Scandinavian musicians, pianist Jacob Christoffersen (who has worked with Jeff ”Tain” Watts and Peter Erskine, to name a few) concludes the line-up, which on half of the tracks also features a number of excellent Danish topmusicians, organ player Dan Hemmer (who has a working trio with Steve Gadd), percussionist Jacob Andersen (who is the most recorded Danish musician ever) and guitarplayer Søren Heller, who is a brand new name on the Scandinavian music scene.
And guesting the parade is Benjamins older sister, Marie Carmen Koppel, who has a glorious career as the Queen of Soul & Gospel music in Denmark, having learned that profession in the Brooklyn Fountain Church of Christ when she was a teenager.
The material is carefully chosen to set the scene for both the virtuoso music communication, that these excellent musicians all master with eloquence, but at the same time the repertoire is also a travel through important corner stones in modern American music history, paying hommages to leading stars of soul like Sly & the family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield and King Curtis.
Garnished with a few originals by Benjamin as well as the jazz classic Manteca (which Purdie used to play together with the composer, jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie) this is an album that can equally fire up any jazz addict, music nerd or dancing party.
Because the music is real!