Jump to content

DR Big Band

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Danish Radio Big Band with John Scofield concert at the DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen October 2019

The Danish Radio Big Band (aka DR Big Band), often referred to as the Radioens Big Band is a radio ensemble and big band founded in Copenhagen in 1964 at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).

Band history


Originally called the New Radio Dance Orchestra, in the early years the band was led by Ib Glindemann. But over the next few decades many new faces joined, such as Chris Potter, Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, and guest soloists like Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Joe Henderson.

The band is one of the premiere large jazz ensembles in Denmark, the Danish Radio Big Band (aka DR Big Band) is a dynamic ensemble with a sophisticated approach to post-bop jazz and swing. Although a spotlight organization in their own right with a roster of top Danish musicians, they have built a strong reputation for their many collaborations and recordings with world-renowned jazz soloists. Founded as the New Radio Dance Orchestra in 1964 by bandleader Ib Glindemann, the DR Big Band was initially an outgrowth of the then-Danish Broadcasting Corporation Danmarks Radio's desire to represent jazz in the country and over the airwaves. Since 2009, the band has been based out of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's Copenhagen complex DR Byen, or "DR City," along with several other nationally funded arts ensembles.

As a recording outfit, the DR Big Band debuted in 1970 with Brownsville Trolley, which featured the band led by saxophonist/composer Ray Pitts and trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg. However, the band's output increased throughout the decade under the leadership of famed trumpeter Thad Jones, who had relocated to Copenhagen. During this period, they delivered such well-regarded albums as 1978's By Jones, I think we've got it, and 1979's A good time was had by all. There were also numerous live performances during the band's first three decades, including dates with such luminaries as Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hubbard, and many more.

More albums followed in the '90s and found the band starting to showcase artists like saxophonist and guest conductor Ernie Wilkins (Suite for Jazz Band) and Danish saxophonist Jesper Thilo. They also released albums paying homage to the music of Jones and Duke Ellington. This trend of showcasing an artist and their work continued over the next decade as the band played with such luminaries as Thomas Clausen, Toots Thielemans, Renee Rosnes, Eivor Palsdottir, Jim McNeely, and others.

In 2009, they paired with longtime Wynton Marsalis drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts for Impaler, followed a year later by Chromazone with guitarist Mike Stern. Similarly, trumpeter Randy Brecker was the focus of 2011's The Jazz Ballad Song Book. Also that year, lauded saxophonist Chris Potter joined the group for Transatlantic. More albums followed, including works with Richard Bona, Vincent Nilsson, and the band's own trumpeter Gerard Presencer (Groove Travels). Vocalist Curtis Stigers collaborated with the ensemble for his 2017 Frank Sinatra salute One More for the Road. That same year, they delivered the live album Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band, which showcased a 2010 performance with the iconic Rolling Stones drummer.






  • Peter Dahlgren
  • Petter Hängsel
  • Vincent Nilsson
  • Annette Saxe
  • Jakob Munck Mortensen


  • Peter Fuglsang
  • Nicolai Schultz
  • Hans Ulrik
  • Karl-Martin Almqvist
  • Anders Gaardmand

Rhythm group:

  • Søren Frost (dr)
  • Kaspar Vadsholt (b)
  • Henrik Gunde (p)
  • Per Gade (g)

Former members


Chief conductors




As leader/co-leader

  • Brownsville Trolley Line (Sonet, 1970) – recorded in 1969. conducted by Ray Pitts and Palle Mikkelborg.
  • By Jones, I think we've got it (Metronome/Atlantic, 1978) – recorded live at Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen. conducted by Thad Jones.
  • A good time was had by all (Metronome/Storyville, 1979) – recorded live at Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen in 1978. conducted by Thad Jones.
  • Crackdown: First U.K. Tour (Hep, 1988) – recorded live at Glasgow and York in 1987
  • Nordjazz Big 5 (Odin, 1991) – conducted by Ole Koch Hansen
  • Suite for Jazz Band with guest conductor Ernie Wilkins (Hep, 1992) – recorded in 1991
  • Ambiance with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (Dacapo, 1994) – recorded in 1993
  • A Little Bit of Duke featuring Jesper Thilo (Dacapo, 1995) – compositions of Duke Ellington. recorded in 1994.
  • Danish Radio Big Band Plays Thad Jones (Dacapo, 1996) – compositions of Thad Jones. recorded in 1994.
  • This Train (Dacapo, 1997)
  • Ways of Seeing (Storyville, 1999) – recorded in 1997
  • Nice Work with Jim McNeely (Dacapo, 2000) – recorded in 1998
  • The Power and the Glory: A salute to Louis Armstrong with Jim McNeely featuring Leroy Jones (Storyville, 2001) – compositions of Louis Armstrong
  • Renee Rosnes and the Danish Radio Big Band with Renee Rosnes (Blue Note, 2003) – conducted by Jim McNeely. recorded in 2001.
  • Lady Be Good with Etta Cameron (Content/DR/CMC, 2004) – conducted by Nikolaj Bentzon. recorded in 2003.
  • Cuban Flavour (Cope, 2004)
  • Trøllabundin with Eivør Pálsdóttir (Cope, 2005) – conducted by Jesper Riis. recorded in 2004–05.
  • Dansk Stereo (Cope, 2005)
  • Dedication Suite with Jim McNeely (Cape, 2006) – recorded in 2002
  • The James Bond Classics featuring Szhirley (EMI/Red Dot, 2008)
  • Jazz Divas of Scandinavia with Caecilie Norby, Silje Nergaard, Rigmor Gustafsson (Red Dot, 2009)
  • Cirkus Summarum (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • Merry Christmas, Baby with Sinne Eeg, Bobo Moreno (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • Impressions of a West Side Story (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • The Music of Jacob Gade (EMI/Red Dot, 2009) – compositions of Jacob Gade
  • The Impaler featuring Jeff "Tain" Watts (Red Dot, 2010) – recorded in 2009
  • The Phoenix with Vince Mendoza (Red Dot, 2010)
  • Cirkus Summarum 2010 (EMI/Red Dot, 2010)
  • Chromazone featuring Mike Stern (Red Dot, 2010)
  • Play Bill Evans with Jim McNeely (Stunt, 2012) – compositions of Bill Evans. recorded in 2000.
  • The Danish Radio Jazz Group With Bent Jædig – 1964 - 1966 (Jazzhus Disk, 2012)
  • Spirituals (Storyville, 2014) – conducted by Vincent Nilsson
  • Jazzin' Around Christmas (Storyville, 2016) – conducted by Dennis Mackrel
  • At the Heart of a Selkie with Eivør, Peter Jensen (Tutl, 2016) – also with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble
  • Gerard Presencer featuring DR Big Band, Groove Travels (Edition, 2016)[4] – recorded in 2015
  • Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band with Charlie Watts (Impulse!, 2017) – recorded in 2010
  • The Beast with Mathias Heise (Giant Sheep Music, 2018)[5]
  • Light Through Leaves with Peter Jensen, Morten Büchert (ILK Music, 2021)[6]
  • Miho Hazama featuring DR Big Band, Imaginary Visions (Edition, 2021)[7]

As guest


See also



  1. ^ "Engelsk stjernetrompetist i DR Big Bandet". DR. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  2. ^ Iben Have; Charlotte Rordam Larsen; Anja Molle Lindelof; Morten Michelsen; Henrik Smith-Sivertsen, eds. (2018). Stil Nu Ind: Danmarks Radio Og Musikken (in Danish). Aarhus Universitetsforlag. p. 235.
  3. ^ "The Danish Radio Big Band extends its contract with Chief conductor Miho Hazama". DR. 26 October 2021. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Gerard Presencer, Groove Travels". Edition Records.
  5. ^ "Mathias Heise & The Danish Radio Big Band - The Beast (CD)". Giant Sheep Music.
  6. ^ "Peter Jensen, Morten Büchert & DR Big Band: Light Through Leaves". ILK Music.
  7. ^ "Miho Hazama, Imaginary Visions". Edition Records.
  8. ^ "Marius Neset Tributes - CD". ACT Music. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2021.