Niels-Henning ?rsted Pedersen (1946-2005)
Topic: Music and Art
I don't usually check the obituaries in the newspapers so I was shocked and saddened to discover yesterday that the superb Danish jazz bassist, Niels-Henning ?rsted Pedersen, had passed away last Tuesday, apparently of heart failure. He would have been 59 on the 27th May.
We first came across him in 1975 on an LP of Oscar Peterson with the Stephan Grapelli Trio, (recorded in 1973), and again on a double LP, Oscar Peterson In Russia, (recorded in 1974). Then he featured in the 1975 Montreaux Jazz Festival LP playing with Oscar Peterson on piano; Milt Jackson on vibes; Joe Pass on guitar; Toots Thielemans on harmonica, and Louis Bellson on drums - what a group! The track from this LP, "Au Privave", particularly sticks in the memory. We also have the set of four LPs from Montreaux '77 in which he 'jammed' with Roy Eldridge on trumpet; drummer, Bobby Durham; Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet; Clark Terry on trumpet and flugelhorn; Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis on tenor saxophone; drummer, Jimmie Smith and Ray Brown, that other superb jazz bassist.
From the mid-70's, he was a regular member of the Oscar Peterson Trio - one of the few jazz bassists who could keep up with Oscar's exceptionally fast runs! Again, we are lucky to have quite a few compact discs of the trio featuring his distinctive playing.
Niels-Henning, often dubbed "the great Dane" was one of jazz music's greatest virtuoso bass players with a superb technique and an individual style. He will be sorely missed.