Simon Spang-Hanssen (DK), b. April 13, 1955,
performed at the Paris JAZZPAR 1990 Prize Concert with his French-Danish
Quartet: Simon Spang-Hanssen (ts, ss, fl), Andy Emler (p), Francois Moutin
(b), and Louis Moutin (d).
During the interwar period Paris was generally considered
the European jazz metropolis. A number of great American stars lived there
for several years, and the local jazz musicians were among the best on
the Continent. After WW2, the French capital was challenged
periodically by several European cities, Copenhagen being a serious one.
Thus it was no coincidence that after Denmark, JAZZPAR went to France.
The Paris Prize Concert took place at La Cigale, in
the heart of the city, a former cabaret where the greatest French stars
performed, now an up-to-date and multi-purpose middle size hall with good
acoustics, well suited to and often used for jazz arrangements. At The
JAZZPAR La Cigale Concert, Simon Spang-Hanssen and his Quartet were added
to the program - for obvious reasons.
Simon Spang-Hanssen has lived and performed in Paris
for several years. His first idols were Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker.
Later on free jazz became the thing. From avant-garde he went to more
structuralized music, while still trying to keep the free spirit alive
within a more definite framework. Today all time greats like Thelonious
Monk and Dexter Gordon, as well as a number of contemporary names, are
central to his musical universe.
Spang-Hanssen has been a member of many well-known Danish
and French groups. Together with Pierre Dørge, he co-founded The
New Jungle Orchestra. He has played with John Tchicai and Strange Brothers,
with Jan Kaspersen Quintet, Atilla Engin Band, various Nene groups, The
Voodoo Gang, Bekummernis, etc. Currently, he is active with The Denis
Badault Duo/Quartet in particular.
All other members of The Simon Spang-Hanssen Quartet
are important young players from the French capital. Versatile Emler can
be heard in any context from solo piano to big band but is especially
known for his compositions, more or less in the fusion mold. The Moutin
Brothers has played with a number of the best known French jazz groups
on the scene, Martial Solal, Michel Portal, Trio Machado ...