Portraits Poems & Places

Portraits Poems & Places

Ole Matthiessen

Label: Stunt
Format: CD
Barcode: 0663993080222
Catalog number: STUCD 8022
Releasedate: 25-04-08
  • The luxurious and tasteful package features photographs by Fie Johansen and includes a pdf file with notes. With DBC’s legendary jazz engineer Lars Palsig at the sound board, the sound is perfect. 
  • PORTRAITS, POEMS & PLACES cultivates a low-key mood. It will appeal equally to hard-core jazz aficionados as well as a broad audience who enjoy a moody ballad. 
Ole Mattissen is a legend in Danish jazz. A regular producer and staff member of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s famous jazz department since 1970, he has had enormous impact on the Danish scene jazz. Over the years he has produced innumerous live recordings with local and foreign musicians, he has written books, hosted his own shows, educated – and his great knowledge has been a huge asset for the Danish jazz monthly, Jazz Spe- cial. However, in an attempt to cut expenses, DBC has fired many of their staff. Ole Matthiessen has been forced to leave the editorial staff of the jazz department. Along with many of his colleagues he has been fired. With him, DBC has closed the door on an over 50-year long tradition of live jazz recordings.

Every aspect of Ole Matthiessen’s career has grown out of his deep love of jazz music. A pianist since 1963, he was a popular musician before his work at DBC began taking up most of his time. He has produced countless recordings of Danish musicians with the Danish Radio Big Band as well as many recordings of big names from abroad. Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Sun Ra, Miles Davis and many others. At the same time, he has kept his piano chops up in his own trios and as an accompanist.

One of Ole’s last projects before the lights were turned off for the last time at DBC’s famous studio 3, was to record an album of himself playing exclusively his own original bal- lads. PORTRAITS, POEMS & PLACES is the result of these ses- sions, and the first album in his own name. The collection features ten ballads and an overview on several decades of composing. The earliest tune is from 1963.
Ole Matthiessen tells us that he has enough material for another three or four CDs. Rather than choosing a little of this and a little of that, he decided to release his music the- matically. This album concentrates on his ballads.

The title tells of music inspired by people Matthiessen has met, by travel experiences and by moods and events on his path.
He says of Friendship: It is about a close friendship in con- trast to the more tumultuous feeling of physical love. And of Still Around: It conjures up images of the Russian plains in their melancholy winter mood. Requiem was written after Martin Luther King’s murder.
The collection features ballads, but when the bandleader calls it a mixture, it is due to the soloists. They are many, and they are very different, but they share the common experi- ence of having worked with Ole Matthiessen through the years, either playing with him or being produced by him. “Their interpretations are in the foreground. I combined artist and tune trying to find the right person for each tune, and they have all been given a large degree of freedom. It almost turned into a classic recording from “back then”. We met at the studio and did two or three takes of each tune. It worked, everything fell in to place.”