Norway have many musical legends, both internationally and nationally known. Bugge Wesseltoft is one of our internationally best known musicians, while Geir Wentzel definitely should have been. Thursday night these two and a handful of Norway’s best musicians through the last 40 years plus one Swede played together in Oslo at the arrangement The Organ Club. (The picture: Bugge Wesseltoft and Sveinung Hovensjoe)
Bugge Wesseltoft is the host of the Organ Club. At the concert he played the Hammond B3 and also introduced his own legends who played with him. They played in some different constellations, with Sveinung Hovensjoe on six string bass and Bjoern Jensen on drums. Both these musicians have a career that spans more than 40 years. Bjoern Jensen’s best known band is Dance With A Stranger while Sveinung Hovensjoe has played with jazz musicians like Terje Rypdal, in rock bands, and also in Trio De Janeiro, a samba trio, where he plays six strings bass and cavaquinho.
The concert started with Bugge Wesseltoft on organ, Sveinung and Bjoern, and after a little while, Geir Wentzel on muted trumpet, plus Georg “Joje” Wadenius on guitar. Bugge is internationally renown for his recordings on ECM, his collaboration with Jan Garbarek and Arild Andersen, plus his own New Conseptions of Jazz. He has won thre Norwegian Grammies (Spellemannprisen) and many other awards.
The next legend on stage was Brynjulf Blix. He also started out as a jazz musician, also playing with Terje Rypdal. Then he played in the Polish singer Alex’s band, plus as a recording musician for other artists. He corroborated with Jo Brodtkorb on a very good notation and sequencer software, Musicator in 1988-89, and is one of our foremost specialists on electronic music. Here, Frode Alnaes joined the others on guitar.
Frode Alnaes is the guitarst and composer in Dance With A Stranger. He is a great guitarist, doing different styles of music. His colleague, Georg “Joje” Wadenius is also a versatile guitarist, or some of us best known as the guitarist who replaced Steve Katz in Blood Sveat & Tears in 1972, after he started his own band Made In Sweden i 1968. After BS&T, he has played with many of the most of the important American artists, like Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Don Fagen, Steely Dan, Dionne Warwick and so on.
After a break, the band came back, and Bugge Wesseltoft introduced the last legend, Geir Wentzel. Geir is one of my personal Norwegian musical heroes. I heard him the first time in 1970, and have loved his singing and playing since then. In my opinion he has the best soul voice in Norway, and his organ playing is top notch. After a perfect first part of the concert with virtuous playing from all the musicians, Unchain My heart was the perfect start of part two. And when he followed with another of my ultimate favourites, Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful, the evening was perfect for me.
This concept, the Organ Club is new for me, but I will certainly come bak next time. With such musicians, hosted by Bugge Wesseltoft, almost every song gets a new life. And with the Hamond B3 as the main instrument, you can’t go wrong.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.