Beady Belle (7pm eastern) + Arild Andersen Group (8pm eastern)
Tuesday, December 8 

Big Ears is proud to be the exclusive North American presenter of the Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival, a series of streaming concerts featuring 15 of the most important acts in Nordic jazz. This concert features a double bill of Beady Belle, one of Norway’s best-loved singers, performing a set from her rich songbook; followed by Arild Andersen, one of Europe’s leading bass players for more than 50 years; a fixture on ECM, Andersen performs here with his new quartet.

BEADY BELLE — In 1999 Beate S. Lech was asked by Bugge Wesseltoft to make a record for the Jazzland label. The company gave her the artistic freedom to make the recording she wanted. In the early stages, Beate took on all of the work herself; composing, arranging, text writing, programming, recording, and producing. The product of this work, done in their private surroundings, would be entitled Home. After the release, Beate and her band, Beady Belle, traveled around the world performing their music, and she has done that ever since. 8 albums on the Jazzland label and Beate has also released several solo albums. Beady Belle’s approach has been one of steadfast commitment to their sound, gradually evolving, coaxing new elements to blossom that had previously only been hinted at, augmenting it with new elements, creating a consistently strong body of music, each step more confident than the last. Beady Belle consider themselves a soul band as much or more than a jazz band.

In this concert, you will hear some of Beady Belle’s greatest hits with an lineup featuring some of Norway’s finest musicians and singers.

Personnel: Beate Slettevoll Lech (vocals), David Wallumrød (organ), Bjørn Sæther (drums), Marius Reksjø (bass), Sofie Tollefsbøl (backing vocals), Anja Martine Mørk (backing vocals)

— Andersen was born in 1945 and has been one of Europe’s leading bass player for more than 50 years. Andersen started out as a member of Jan Garbarek Quartet (67-73). The group also included Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. In the same period he also worked with Norwegian singer Karin Krog and played in the rhythm section for visiting American musicians such as: Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, and Chick Corea. He also worked with Don Cherry and George Russell in these years. In 1972-74 he visited New York several times and worked with Stan Getz Quartet, Sam Rivers trio, Sheila Jordan, Steve Kuhn, and Paul Bley.

In 1974 Arild Andersen formed his own quartet. The band toured Scandinavia and Europe and recorded 3 albums for ECM . He also had a band together with singer Radka Toneff in the late 70s and early 80s. In 1980 Arild Andersen put together a band that included Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, and Steve Dobrogosz (Lifelines, ECM). In 1981 he had a band with Alphonse Mouzon, Bill Frisell, and John Taylor (A Molde Concert, ECM). This band also toured Europe in 1983, this time with John Abercrombie on guitar. 1982 he formed The Arild Andersen Quintet with Jon Christensen, Jon Balke, Tore Brunborg, and Nils Petter Molvær. The band changed name later to Masqualero. This band was at the forefront of European jazz for 10 years, the last years as quartet without piano. In 1993, Arild Andersen released a trio recording with Ralph Towner and Nana Vasconcelos (If You Look Far Enough, ECM.

Over the past few decades, Arild Andersen has also spent time investing the possibility of combining traditional Norwegian folk music with improvised music. In 1988, he started a collaboration with singer Kirsten Bråten Berg, one of the leading artists in Norwegian folk music. This led to the successful work Sagn in 1990 and Arv in 1993. Arild Andersens work Hyperborean, commissioned by The Molde International Jazz festival premiered in 1995. In 1998, he formed a trio together with German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen and French percussion player Patrice Heral. This trio + Terje Rypdal as a guest, made an album called Karta, which was released in 2000 by ECM. In 2005, he wrote a commission work for a duo with saxophonist Tommy Smith which led to the formation of a new trio with Paolo Vinaccia. This trio made a live recording in 2008 on ECM entitled Live at Belleville.

Personnel: Arild Andersen (bass), Håkon Mjåset Johansen (drums), Helge Lien (piano), Marius Neset (saxophone)


Big Ears stream of the Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival is available only to viewers in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico). The stream will be hosted on Tickets are $8 (plus service charges) in advance and $10 day of show. Viewers may also purchase access to the Entire 15-Set Norwegian Jazz Festival via Big Ears for $50. For those unable to watch the initial stream of this presentation, it will be available for replay for 48 hours after the initial stream (note: tickets may only be purchased, however, before or during the initial broadcast).

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