JAZZPAR Artists - Erling Kroner
   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.

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