Our Songs




Always curious and always looking for new challenges,  Alex Riel has been an important innovator of modern drumming in Europe. He was among the very first to record a “free”solo on his debut album in 1965 and he was a founding member of the beat-group Savage Rose, while also playing with Bill Evans, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon and being a member of Monica Zetterlund’s quartet. From the last 20 years we know him for his work with Enrico Pieranunzi, Kenny Werner, Mads Vinding and many others. On “Our Songs”, Alex Riel brings together two musical “playmates”: The legendary bassist Bo Stief, who like Riel, belongs to the generation of Danish musicians who started their professional careers at Montmartre in the 60s, and Carsten Dahl, one of Europe’s most innovative piano players.

The trio plays balance with themselves and each other, and simply lets the music flow unhindered. So where, then, does the music flow? Basically, this is classic piano-trio jazz, and while Carsten Dahl is “in charge”, he never overshadows the trio’s creative affinity. Quite appropriately, the mood is established with, “My Song” a classic Keith Jarrett number. In many ways Riel’s playing is discreet, often poetic, so it’s fitting that Dahl has dedicated his composition for the album, “The Poet” to Alex. We are also treated to a couple of melancholic Swedish folk songs reminiscent of
legendary pianist Jan Johansson, plus the trio’s own folklore-inspired “Høstdansen” (“Harvest Dance”). Along the way there are also four freshly interpreted American jazz standards, including John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” as a lyrical ballad – in direct contrast to the high-powered original version. The personal and musical friendship of the three musicians is obvious. It’s playful, creative and beautiful when Alex Riel, Bo Stief and Carsten Dahl play their songs.

Alex Riel – Drums

Bo Stief – Double Bass

Carsten Dahl – Piano

1. My Song 03:44
2. Høstdansen 02:58
3. Moon River 05:22
4. Den milde dag er lys og lang 02:26
5. The Poet 05:15
6. Vem kan segla forutan vind 04:00
7. My Funny Valentine 04:44
8. Stella by Starlight 05:14
9. Giant Steps 03:28
10. Jag vet en dejlig rosa 02:30
11. Drømte mig en drøm 03:08

“Spanning generations there’s great chemistry” – Stephen Marlbank


“The three musicians perform their versions of the standards in an outstanding and extremely beautiful and sometimes also original way, at the same time as they do their own things as if they have never done anything else. Beautiful from start to finish!” – Jan Granlie, Salt Peanuts*


“The interplay is sublime, and the pulses like a jogger’s pace.” – Jazz Weekly


“These veterans are very much at the top of their game throughout this enjoyable meeting.” – Dryden, The New York City Jazz Record


“These three long-esteemed figures of contemporary Danish jazz have come up with an absolute cracker of an album.” – Tucker, JazzJournal