- Christina von Bülow: altosax
- Ben Besiakov: piano
- Daniel Franck: bass
- Frands Rifbjerg: drums
This quartet from Denmark is lead by Christina von Bülow (alto sax) and Ben Besiakov (piano). After playing together for years as sidemen in different groups – Ben and Christina decided in 2001 to start a quartet together. It seemed an obvious choice to have Frands Rifbjerg on drums and Anders Christensen on bass, who later (in 2005) was replaced by Daniel Franck – indeed a very swinging rhythm section!
This is what you would call a ‘true’ jazz quartet inspired by groups led by Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt and many more. The roots of jazz mean a great deal to this group. As a young teenager Ben became very good friends with Ben Webster, who was living in Denmark at that time (in the early 70’s). Webster used to call him ‘little’ Ben and they hung out and played together – an outstanding inspiration for a young and very talented musician. Years after Christina had the rare opportunity to get private lessons from Stan Getz at his home in Malibu (1990), a year before he passed away. As Webster was for Ben, Getz became a mentor for Christina.
Ben and Christina shares a great love of Brazilian music too – a passion that for them both started at a very young age. So among the jazz tunes on their repertory, there is always a couple of Brazilian tunes too from composers like A.C. Jobim, Joao Donato, etc. At the heart of their repertory is the good melody.
The quartet released their first album in February 2004, called ‘A Primera Vez’ on the the Danish label Music Mecca. (www.cdjazz.dk) This cd was nominated at the Danish Music Awards for the best jazz recording in 2004.
In 2007, the quartet released another record, ‘Heartaches’ (Music Mecca), starring the grand Swedish tenor player Bernt Rosengren, with whom the band is still working.
All four musicians are well-known and highly respected in Scandinavia (and even around in Europe) for their natural musicality, good sound and genuine passion for the music. They suit each other very well – as a critic described it: ‘You can hear the good chemistry between the four musicians and this is obviously what makes their music sound so alive and organic.’
Words, that describe the music of this quartet: Groove, intensity, dynamics, openness, playing, spontaneity, communication, heart and spirit. Said in another way… anything can happen!
- ‘A Primera Vez’ (Music Mecca, 2004)
- ‘Heartaches’ (Music Mecca, 2007)