Tate’s Delight




The legendary American saxophonist Buddy Tate meets the Danish quintet White Label on the new album Tate’s Delight – Groovin’ at the JASS Festival.


The meeting took place at the Holstebro JASS Festival in September 1982. JASS stands for Jutland’s Active Musicians’ Society. For almost 20 years since the foundation in 1975, the society presented an annual jazz festival during the last week of September. The concerts took place at the Holstebro Hall and the nearby Restaurant Laksen.


Tate’s Delight was recorded at Restaurant Laksen with no rehearsals. Some tunes, but not all, were agreed upon, when BT and White Label took the stage. It became one of those spontaneous events, where the music is created on the spot, but one for which the musician has been preparing throughout his career as an improvising jazz musician.


The album is separated into two parts. First, BT is heard with the rhythm section, showcasing his beautiful, but rarely heard clarinet on magnificent renditions of the Duke Ellington tunes In A Mellow Tone and Mood Indigo. On the second part of the album, Jens Søndergaard and Poul Valdemar Pedersen join in on the last three songs, recreating the intense jam session spirit of the golden age of swing.


Buddy Tate was a prominent tenor saxophonist during the swing era who joined Count Basie’s Orchestra in 1939 after the death of Herschel Evans. He remained in the band for 9 years until he moved to New York City, where he led a crowd-pleasing group for 21 years (1953-74) at the prestigious Celebrity Club in Harlem. BT kept busy after the Celebrity Club association ended, playing and recording in a small-group format that included Basie veterans like trumpeter Buck Clayton and trombonist Al Grey.


White Label was a Danish quintet based in the city of Odense, where they performed regularly at a popular venue called Sophus Ferdinand. Three musicians – alto saxophonist Jens Søndergaard, pianist Ole Matthiessen and bassist Niels Præstholm – were from Copenhagen, while trumpet player Poul Valdemar Pedersen and drummer Ove Rex were from Odense. In March 1982, the group toured the Soviet Union, playing 10 concerts in Tbilisi, Baku and Moscow. The quintet was one of the first bands from the West to play in the USSR in several years. The tour was a success, and was repeated in 1983 and 1985.


This session is an excellent example of the musical encounters that have taken place in Denmark over the years. BT was among the many legendary international stars, who came and played with Danish musicians, thus contributing to the special bond between Danish and American jazz.


So, kick your feet up and enjoy one of the finest American tenor saxophonists from the swing era groove irresistibly with White Label!