|Der finnische Ausnahme-Klarinettist Antti Sarpila leitet ein All-Star-Quintett in einer immens swingenden und mitreißenden Live-Session, aufgenommen in der gelösten Atmosphäre des Birdland Jazzclubs in Hamburg. 'Special Guest' ist der amerikanische Drummer Jake Hanna, Jahrgang 1931, der in seiner langen Karriere beinah alle Größen des Jazz von Bing Crosby bis Count Basie begleitet hat, 23 Jahre lang war er Mitglied des legendären 'Woody Herman Orchestra'.
>An absolute gem - with fantastic musicianship, arrangements and a super selection of tunes. I love it!<
Bob Collins, Jazz Producer, The Jazz Cafe, WRHU, Hempstead, NY, USA
>Ach, gäbe es mehr Bands vom Format dieses Quintetts, dann hätte der ältere Jazz einen wesentlich besseren Ruf. Der Finne swingt in der Tradition von Sidney Bechet und Benny Goodman auf Klarinette und Sopransax, zeigt mit dem Tenorsax Power. Beim Live-
Mitschnitt von 2005 spielte sein international besetztes Ensemble die Stomps, Swing- & Mainstream-Klassiker als quicklebendige Konzertmusik, die noch lange nicht ins Museum gehört.<
STEREOPLAY, Hans Sterner
>Hans Nagel-Heyer and I have very similar tastes in music. So it’s no surprise that we share a high regard for this Finnish reeds player. Yet we’re both troubled by the fact that Antti Sarpila is requested to play the Benny Goodman clarinet repertoire so often. And that’s not to put Benny down - he was one of the greatest clarinetists in jazz history - but Antti is equally good on all three of his instruments, clarinet, soprano saxophone and tenor saxophone. We feel he should be allowed to emerge from the 'Goodman box' that people so often put him in. So this time we decided to record Sarpila live and to have him play a different repertoire. We thought he deserved the best available rhythm section and we asked a few of our favorite musicians whether they would be interested. They all agreed without a moment’s hesitation. It would have been expensive to put such a high-calibre band together for just one concert to be recorded at Hamburg’s Birdland club, so we arranged a short tour of five concerts in all. To put it simply audiences loved the band. They liked their light swing, their great ideas, their artistry and their humour. The band had fun all the way, enjoyed being together and playing together, and the audience soon sensed that spirit and reacted to it in a very positive way.
The House was packed to capacity and it was very hot in the club. The band was hot, too. To see the beaming faces of the audience and to hear their joyous reaction at the end of a great solo or at the end of a tune, made all the time and effort involved in organising the concert and tour worthwhile. So, for those of you who were unable to attend the concert, here is the recording. Since everything went so well, we decided to release the entire concert over two albums (Volume Two is to be released later).
Victor Young’s beautiful song 'A Hundred Years From Today' always brings the hard fact to my mind that we still have enough kisses 'to pass them around' but not too much of a chance, though, to do so. The tune, sung here by Eddie Erickson also reminds me that most of us will be well and truly forgotten in a hundred years time. Or even earlier! However, Antti Sarpila’s performances on this recording suggest that there may still be hope that this music we all love so much will survive and never be forgotten.<
Manfred Selchow, February 2006
In loving memory of Hans Nagel-Heyer (May 25, 1941 - March 29, 2007)