Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Jazz på svenska bassist Georg Riedel has died at the age of 90

The double bassist Georg Riedel who appeared on 1964 European classic jazz album Jan Johansson's Jazz på svenska (''Jazz in Swedish'') has died in Stockholm at the age of 90. Of Czech Jewish and Sudeten German parentage, as a young child Riedel …

Published: 28 Feb 2024. Updated: 4 months.

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The double bassist Georg Riedel who appeared on 1964 European classic jazz album Jan Johansson's Jazz på svenska (''Jazz in Swedish'') has died in Stockholm at the age of 90. Of Czech Jewish and Sudeten German parentage, as a young child Riedel migrated to Sweden from his native Czechoslovakia after the German annexation of the Sudetenland. Swedish pianist Jan Johansson (1931-1968) remains a haunting influence through pristine modal harmony, a painterly almost impressionist distance, and the harnessing of the lilt of Swedish folk music on jazz in Europe. Johansson is certainly a hero to leading advanced pianists spanning the continent notably English musician Kit Downes and many fine players before him including most influentially in the lifetime of the groundbreaking e.s.t., the much missed Esbjörn Svensson.

Groups such as Ensemble Edge have paid tribute to Jazz på svenska in recent years - Riedel's contribution to its success was significant. As well as appearing on the seminal Johansson album, Riedel during a long and distinguished career also composed music for Pippi Longstocking writer Astrid Lindgren's films as well as collaborating and arranging material for the great Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund. Writing in The Guardian in 2011 leading British jazz critic John Fordham, reviewing the Jan Johansson/Georg Riedel album In Hamburg noted how ''very compatible'' the bassist was to Johansson. Georg Riedel, photo: Arild Vågen

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Beyond the Bassline British Library exhibition representing 500 years of Black Music in Britain opens this spring

500 years of Black Music in Britain is marked in a new British Library exhibition containing more than 200 artefacts beginning this spring. Entitled ''Beyond the Bassline'' the exhibition will run until late-August and documents the music of …

Published: 27 Feb 2024. Updated: 4 months.

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500 years of Black Music in Britain is marked in a new British Library exhibition containing more than 200 artefacts beginning this spring. Entitled ''Beyond the Bassline'' the exhibition will run until late-August and documents the music of African and Caribbean people in Britain over half a millennium drawing on the British Library’s sound archive and a sense of environment and performance spaces spanning many types of music from ''classical, gospel and jazz through to reggae, jungle and afroswing,'' according to a press release issued by the Library.

Curated by the Library's Dr Aleema Gray in collaboration with Associate Professor Mykaell Riley, director of the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster, the exhibition includes audiovisual material, ranging from interviews with activist Amy Ashwood Garvey, calypsonian Lord Kitchener and Afrobeat iconoclast Fela Kuti to performances by singer Shirley Bassey, pianist Winifred Atwell and saxophonist Joe Harriott plus footage from the MOBO Awards and Top of the Pops.

Musical instruments exhibited include a double bass belonging to Gary Crosby OBE and a 1950s steelpan on loan from the Horniman Museum in south-east London also figures. Beethoven’s tuning fork, presented to violinist George Bridgetower in 1803, the subject of an opera by Julian Joseph OBE, is also an exhibit as are manuscripts and books including a handwritten letter by 19th century opera singer Amanda Aldridge.

Beyond the Bassline live events include club takeovers by No Signal (26 April), Touching Bass (3 May and 12 July) and Queer Bruk (21 June) plus conversation events involving singer-songwriters Eddy Grant (26 April) of The Equals and later 'Electric Avenue' renown and the great Birmingham 'Love and Affection' singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading CBE (18 June) are scheduled. The exhibition follows a three-year partnership tasked to ''research, foreground and reposition six centuries of African musical contributions to the UK.''

Beyond the Bassline runs from 26 April​. Tickets go on sale today