Jørgen Svare – Clarinet
Björn Thoroddsen – Guitar
Jón Rafnsson – Double Bass
The Svare/Thoroddsen Trio was formed in the fall of 2002 when Danish clarinettist Jørgen Svare arrived to Iceland to perform with Björn Thoroddsen and Jón Rafnsson, with whom he had played several times before. They immediately decided to focus on one genre in particular: swing jazz inspired by the old masters, mixed with original compositions as well as songs by Django Reinhardt. Their first album, Jazz Airs, was released in 2003 to great acclaim both in Iceland and Danmark, as well as receiving terrific reviews and extensive radio play in North-American territories. They followed it up with “Sweet and Lovely”, also to great acclaim. In 2008 they released a compilation album, “Radio Jazz”, through Global e. Rack S.A. de C.V. in Mexico. This album has unfortunately been unavailble in Europe.
The Trio has headlined a number of concerts and played at jazzfestivals in Iceland, Denmark and in the United States.
Svare / Thoroddsen on You Tube
JazzTimes Critics´ Picks 2004
1) Monk ‘Round the World (Thelonious) by Thelonious Monk
2) Virtuoso in New York (Pablo) by Joe Pass
1) Land of the Sun (Verve) by Charlie Haden
2) American Song (Savoy) by Andy Bey
3) The Real Deal (Hep Jazz) by Jessica Williams
4) Small World (Resonant) by Terje Gewalt
5) Rhythms and Rhymes (Jazz ‘n Pulz) by Fay Claassen
6) Jazz Airs (Sonet) by Jorgen Svare/Bjorn Thoroddsen
7) The Great Divide (Premonition) by Von Freeman
8) Buzz (Palmetto) by Ben Allison
9) Eternal (Marsalis) by Branford Marsalis
10) Cookin’ the Books (Arbors Jazz) by Buddy DeFranco
The Cadence Magazine – July 2004 (p.121)
This satisfying trio is more evidence, if anyone still needs it, of the internationalism of Jazz. Svare, the senior member, has a long association with Danish Swing/traditional Jazz as a veteran of Papa Bue’s band; his sound hints at Edmund Hall or Lester Young, but his playing isn´t a set of historical gestures and clichés. He is thoughtful and quietly soulful. Thoroddsen can toss off gypsy repartee as well as any of Django´s off-spring, but he´s also happy bending notes in bluesy commentaries, and his rhythmic work would support a much larger ensemble. His introductions suggest a rhapsodic Eddie Lang, but he has also heard Wes Montgomery. Bassist Rafnsson can emulate Walter Page or Michael Moore without strain. Hearing this trio, the listener is never waiting for the rest of the band to come in. The disc begins auspiciously with a medium-tempo original based on “Autumn Leaves” (hence the witty title) that harks back to Reinhardt but more to the Thirties Basie tradition that took unorthodox material, trimmed it down, picked a rocking tempo, and transformed “Willow Weep For Me” into “Taxi War Dance”. The trio´s repertoire is often familiar but happily varied: “Over The Rainbow” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” are pretty without being mawkish; “Caravan” is free from melodrama (note its brief visit to “Sweet Georgia Brown”). “Tango” is bluesy and lilting ; “Blues for Omer”, a line evoking both “Blue Monk” and “Apex Blues”, brims with moody emotion; “A Jazz Air” seems a fine folk melody given modern sophistication. “Moonglow” suggest early Goodman, as “Mood Indigo” recalls Bigard and 1930 Ellington. Even “Tea for Two” and “The Nearness of You” played forthrightly as themselves, sound fresh. “Lady Be Good”, taken at slow-drag tempo, regains all of her original splendor. The overall ambiance of this disc is rare and refreshing, as if this polished trio was performing on the front porch for an audience of friends.
CADENCE – July 2004
SWEET AND LOVELY
- taken from cdklassisk.dk
The Clarinet player Jorgen Svare will be 70 this December (2005) but is still going strong and on this new CD, in fact he has never been better. Good taste, sublime technique and lots of curiosity characterize him and his Icelandic soul brothers, guitarist Björn Thoroddsen and bass player Jón Rafnsson. The CD consists of numbers such as September song, Smoke gets in your eyes, Willow weep for me and Rosetta + new compositions like Undercover swing, Blue lagoon and Coffee and Cinnamon. Great laid back jazz.