The Touch

Søren Kristiansen & Thomas Fonnesbæk play the music of Oscar Peterson and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen




Only time can tell if a musical composition will be considered a “classical” piece by future audiences, but as Danish music critic Søren Schauser has predicted: “In a couple of years we will see pieces by an Ellington or a Peterson in regular concert programs in entirely classical contexts”.

With “The Touch” Søren Kristiansen and Thomas Fonnesbæk present their take on a classic piece of jazz, playing the music of Oscar Peterson and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – classical but improvised!


Oscar Peterson & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
OP and NHØP gave us something unique and unforgettable, just as the classical composers did and still do. Being the world’s greatest virtuosos on piano and double bass respectively, their immense technique and ‘Touch’ made them unique. Their collaboration was likewise special because they were equals. For instance, Oscar Peterson’s arrangement for “On The Trail” (Great Connection, 1971) was presumably written because he had found a bassist that could keep up both musically and technically.


The ultimate technical and musical challenge
The music of OP & NHØP is maybe the most challenging repertoire that exists in classical jazz. It requires ‘The Touch’… The nuanced, personal touch – the soft, almost inaudible accompaniment and an effortless technique. Søren Kristiansen describes the process: “Exactly like in soccer, The Touch is something you practice. When you play piano or the double bass you need to be able to control the instrument to express yourself freely in the moment.”


Søren Kristiansen & Thomas Fonnesbæk
Søren Kristiansen is one of the best and most acknowledged pianists in Denmark. Born and raised on the small Danish island Ærø he became a pianist in Jesper Thilo’s quartet at a very young age and later on he toured in Denmark and all over Europe with a number of great classical American musicians. Søren Kristiansen is famous for his great technique, phenomenal swing, and vast amount of repertoire. An unusual musician – one of the few of his kind in Denmark.


Thomas Fonnesbæk was the obvious choice as bassist to The Touch, and he is one of the younger Danish bass players who continues the virtuosity which NHØP was the first bassist to introduce. There is a wildness and energy in Thomas Fonnesbæk’s musical style that is very unusual. Unorthodox, but technically perfect.