| Erling Kroner (DK), b. April 16, 1943, was the
Danish bandleader at the JAZZPAR 1998 Project. Kroners "Dream Quintet"
was extended with Quique Sinesi and Dino Saluzzi. Lineup: Erling Kroner
(tb, comp, arr), Pernille Bévort (ts, ss, fl), Kurt Larsen (acc),
Jesper Bodilsen (b) and Henrik Simonsen (d). Guest appearance: Quique Sinesi
(g). Featured guest soloist: Dino Saluzzi (band).
Erling Kroner played tuba in a scout band before briefly
studying the trombone. Eighteen years old the mainly self-taught horn
player started his professional career in a Dixieland orchestra in Germany
and later in various traditional jazz bands in Great Britain. During the
early 60s he turned towards other musical challenges forming his own avant-garde
group in Copenhagen, playing with i.e. Finn von Eyben, John Tchicai and
playing rock for a year. In 1967 Kroner played with "Philly"
Joe Jones, George Russell, Booker Ervin, Phil Woods, Ben Webster and Dexter
Gordon among others. In 1969 he won a Down Beat Scholarship
to Berklee College of Music, Boston, and on his return to Denmark in 1970
became member of the Danish Radio Big Band. Back at Berklee 73-75 he studied
arranging with Herb Pomeroy.
In the 70s Kroner played with the Creme Fraiche Big
Band and was deeply impressed by Charles Mingus' larger bands which led
Kroner to form own ensembles from quartet to big band. In the 80s he was
member of Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band and he appeared as arranger and
soloist in a number of European and South American orchestras.
Erling Kroner has several times worked with local musicians
in Buenos Aires - including Dino Saluzzi - and is the first Danish jazz
musician to take up elements from Argentinean tango. Since the late 80s
Kroner concentrated on the piano-less nonet, the Dark Side Orchestra with
among others Lars Beijbom (dm), Bob Rockwell (ts) and Argentine bandoneón-player
Gustavo Toker as the tenth member. Currently Kroner co-leads the Danish-Swedish
Beijbom Kroner Big Band and plays with Niels Jørgen Steen's A-Team,
Jan Kaspersen's Special Occasion Band and Grupo Changó.
Kroner formed his first American-Danish quintet during his year in Boston.
Back in Denmark in the fall of 1970 the quintet recorded an LP and the
band went through some changes in the 70s often expanded to a tentet.
In 1977 the band had become an American-Swedish-Danish recording unit,
reorganized at the request of the Danish Jazz Academy. The record "The
Forgotten Art" among other things led to the annual Ben Webster Prize
awarded to Kroner in 1979, which again led to the inauguration of a new
Erling Kroner Tentet recording two LPs and working until 1988. Simultaneously
Kroner sporadically worked with the quintet format with various line-ups.
Kroner appears on two LPs with The Danish Radio Big
Band led by Thad Jones; four LPs with Leif Johansson's Orchestra, three
LPs and a CD with Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band. Kroner's four LP- and
two CD-recordings stick out - easy to recognize with their distinct touches
of Mingus, tango ... and Kroner. The Danish Jazz Magazine Jazz Special
had "Beijbom Kroner Big Band - live in Copenhagen" chosen by
Danish jazz reviewers as the best Danish jazz record of 1996.
The "Dream Quintet":
Kroner's idea of a dream quintet took form in 94 after
hearing Bévort's saxophone playing. Her sound and intonation, her
knack for effortless blending with other horns, her solos and strong feeling
and her work-alike approach to improvisation intrigued Kroner. This was
the magic he had been looking for. Kroner sat up a jam with Henrik Simonsen
(dm) and that was it! Kurt Larsen - an old acquaintance on baritonesax
in Erling Kroner Big Band from 1975 - was brought in after his CD "Circle",
having a short original solo-vehicle for accordion, reminded Kroner of
the greatest badoneon-players of Argentina. Finally Kroner found the bass
player while conducting an ad hoc big band in Århus, Denmark. Kroner's
"Dream Quintet" was a reality January 95. The repertoire is
from Kroner inspired by Charles Mingus, Astor Piazzolla, Paul Bley, Albert
Ayler, Duke Ellington, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dino Saluzzi and Eric Dolphy.
The mixture of African-American and Latin-American music prevails.