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Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (NHØP) (27 may 1946 – 19 April 2005) was a Danish jazz bassist well-known for his fabulous method and musical approach.

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NHØP was born in Osted, close to Roskilde, ~ above the Danish island the Zealand, the son of a church organist. As a child, NHØP played piano, but from the period of 13, that started discovering to play upright bass and at the age of 14, when studying, he started his skilled jazz job in Denmark with his very first band, Jazz Quintet 60. By the period of fifteen, he had the capability to accompany top musicians at nightclubs, working on regular basis at Copenhagen’s Jazzhouse Montmartre, after his debut there on new Year’s eve 1961, when he was just 15. When seventeen, he had already turned down an sell to sign up with the count Basie orchestra, mainly because he was also young to get legal permission to live and work together a musician in the united States.

The Montmartre was a regular stop-off for touring American Jazz stars, and as a member the the home band, the young NHØP performed v saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and also Stan Getz, and pianist bill Evans, through whom he toured in Europe in 1965. Throughout the 1960s, NHØP played with a series of other important American jazzmen that were touring or residents in Denmark, including Ben Webster, Brew Moore, Bud Powell, count Basie, Roy Eldridge, bright Gillespie, Jackie McLean, and vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. He additionally played v Jean-Luc Ponty, and became the bassist of choice whenever a big-name musician to be touring Copenhagen.

He was awarded best Bass Player of the Year by Downbeat Critics’ poll in 1981.

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Ørsted Pedersen operated in duo and trio arrangements v pianist Kenny Drew, recording over 50 albums together. He likewise worked with Stéphane Grappelli and Joe Pass and recorded generally as a leader. His finest known songs room “My little Anna”, “Jaywalkin"”, and also “The Puzzle”, and jazz kinds of traditional Danish folk songs. A duo performance with Rune Gustafsson in ~ Vossajazz 1980, finish on the album just The way You space on the brand Sonet Gramofon, recorded half a year ~ this first meeting. He to be awarded the Nordic the supervisory board Music prize in 1991. This was the first time this prize because that composition to be awarded come a performing musician, and this must be ascribed to his an excellent international standing. He was presumably the many sought-after Danish instrumentalist worldwide ever, and has travelled and also recorded with a collection of the greatest jazz soloists internationally.

◊Prague Concert in 1974

In the live video clip below Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (NHØP) is playing with jazz pianists Oscar Peterson (OP), Count Basie (CB) and also drummer Butch mile (BM) at the Prague Jazz Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, November 8, 1974.

01 Medley: OLD people /WE’LL BE with each other AGAIN (Hill-Robison)/(Fischer-Laine) OP solo (6:13)

02 just FRIENDS (Klenner-Lewis) OP and NHØP (5:44)

03 ns LOVE friend (Cole Porter) OP and NHØP (6:50)

04 MACK THE KNIFE (Brecht-Weill) OP and NHØP (6:56)

05 royal GARDEN BLUES (Clarence & Spencer Williams) OP, CB, NHØP and also BM (3:45)

06 slow-moving BLUES IN G (Basie-Peterson) OP, CB, NHØP and BM (4:57)

07 JUMPIN’ at THE WOODSIDE (Count Basie) OP, CB, NHØP and BM (3:19)


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Ørsted Pedersen additionally had a specific ability to interpret Danish songs and folk melodies. He often played within trio ensembles, partly jointly with the trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and the key-board player Kenneth Knudsen, and partly under his very own name, usually through guitarists favor Philip Catherine and also Ulf Wakenius. In 1999, that co-led a duo v pianist Mulgrew Miller, touring Europe, Japan, Australia, and Korea. This format was later enlarged right into a trio featuring drummer, Alvin Queen. This trio remained intact until Pedersen’s every too at an early stage death.

Ørsted Pedersen died of heart failure in 2005 in ~ the age of 58 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The was endured by his wife, Solveig, and his 3 children.

Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson wrote:

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“From the an initial night the my dear girlfriend Audrey Genovese of Chicago played a Dexter Gordon document that featured Niels Pedersen top top bass, i realized the this music giant and I could someday have the pleasure and also occasion that not just meeting but additionally playing together. This vision and thought took ar in the early 1970s, as soon as I was fortunate enough to have the ability to invite that to sign up with my climate trio. Ns vividly remember Niels stepping in without any fanfare (or rehearsal) for the first concert. This turned the end to be a completely impromptu performance. Ns selected tunes that ns had obtained an OK from Niels about, and believe the or not, we regulated to have actually a wonderful performance that evening, to fill with interesting spontaneity and also musical searching into each other’s jazz thinking.

◊Berlin Concert in 1985

In this live video of a concert in Berlin native 1985 Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen plays v jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and Martin attracted on drums.


After the concert, I immediately thanked Niels and told him how much I enjoyed playing v him, also considering the unforeseen spontaneity that we had actually to work-related through. The audience seemed to have really appreciated the evening. The complying with day I referred to as Norman Granz and also apparently was overly excited about the immediate cohesion the took place in between Niels and myself the night before. V his usual advertisement lib and spontaneous reaction, Norman said, “If it to be that an excellent to play v him, why don’t you usage him together your continuous bassist?” Needless come say, i am happy the this take it place, and also Niels has remained in my group until his recent unfortunate passing.

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Allow me come express mine reaction to his playing this way: very first and foremost, the never obtained in mine way–but he additionally had such a an excellent musical tardy of what i was trying to perform that he served to significantly inspire me from a spontaneous aspect. I came off walking on Cloud 3000 the evening due to the fact that of Niels’ music contribution. He had actually the many phenomenal technique, coupled v incredible harmonic perception, together with impeccable time. Ns shall never forget that evening.

Almost from the evening on, us became very close friends, not just musically but most certainly personally, for I occurred a good admiration because that the depth the Niels’ political, geographical and an individual understandings. He was a guy who had actually an nearly unbelievable riches of historic cognizance related to to europe history. He likewise had a really kindred heart as a person being, constantly able to easily make great friends, have to he care to do so.

People in general who gained to recognize Niels the man grew to love him apart from his unbelievable musical talent and also dexterity on his instrument. Ns think I can afford to do this sort of testimonial of him, for i have had the great fortune to have played with some of the other good bassists in jazz over time: Sam Jones, major Holley and, the course, ray Brown. I provided to marvel in ~ the respect and love (and nearly musical fear) that I experienced in some of jazz’s finest bassists whenever lock were about Niels.

Niels and also Ray ended up being fast friends and also had a great love and also respect because that each other. This might seem odd in that they were usually both operation in the same musical medium.

One allude that I should make here that probably is not recognized by many people, is that Niels could likewise play the piano (many time sitting in because that me in the preconcert sound checks). I understand he had a great love for the piano, which we witnessed when, on a visit to the Bosendorfer piano showroom, he was lovingly impressed v the Bosendorfer cool that I ultimately picked out as my very own choice.

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Over time, I referred to as him (and announced that as) the Viking. He appeared to reap this title, and for some reason it grounding to him.

Niels-Henning to be a player of unbelievable talent and also dexterity, yet selfishly speaking, personally, he became my closestly friend and also brother, and also I shall never forget the or his talent. God bless you, Niels, and also may friend brighten increase the musical people in Heaven as you have actually done top top this earth.”