Jazz developed in the United States, but it has long been an international music and many of its most prominent players are from other countries. The Dane Svend Asmussen is coming in for even more attention than usual lately. Attention is far from new in the career of the remarkable violinist, but when a musician is halfway through his tenth decade and still swinging, he gets extra notice. One who notices is Will Friedwald. He writes about Asmussen in today’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s the first paragraph.
“How are you doing?” That’s normally an innocuous question, except when you happen to be asking a 94-year-old violinist who is probably the oldest currently active major jazz musician in the world. “I do very well,” answers Svend Asmussen, speaking by phone from his home in a Danish fishing village outside of Copenhagen, “considering my extremely advanced age.”
To read the whole thing, go here. For a Rifftides review of two Asmussen albums, go here.
Ken Dryden says
Thanks for sharing Will Friedwald’s excellent portrait of Svend Asmussen.
I had a delightful time talking to Svend Asmussen earlier this year for an article in All About Jazz New York.
Another fun outing is the album Violin Summit, where Svend is joined by Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty, though all four violinists are featured together on just one song. Oddly Duke Ellington’s Jazz Violin Summit, which was recorded in 1963, was not issued until after Ellington’s death over a decade later.
Here’s the link to the AAJNY article:
Virginia Rae Stubella says
I have a video clip that might interest you and the readers of your blog.
Secret’s Out – Leonard Maltin takes a closer look at Svend Asmussen: The Extraordinary Life and Music of a Jazz Legend