Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hans Ulrik - Suite of Time (2015)

The internationally renowned Grundtvig’s Church, an architectural
pearl on top of Bispebjerg in Copenhagen’s northwest, celebrates
its 75th anniversary this year. The church was built to commemorate
priest, poet and politician N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), whose
thoughts on Christianity, the Age of Enlightenment and democracy
have been extremely influential in Danish culture. The idea of a
church honoring Grundtvig originated from architect Peder Vilhelm
Jensen Klint (1853-1930). The foundation stone was laid in 1921, and
the church was inaugurated in 1940. Klint’s design was inspired by the
typical Danish village church, for – in the architect’s own words – “the
town church is the mother of Grundtvig’s Church”. Using five million
yellow bricks, he combined the typical medieval village church
with the market town’s gothic church and its great European ancestor,
the cathedral.

In perfect, harmonious dimensions and clean-cut, lucid
lines he created the unique architectural vision of a crystal. The pillars,
the rounded arches and the reflective light, produce a welcoming
sanctuary mirroring Grundtvig’s interpretation of Christianity. The
church houses no images. It is in itself an image uniting the unassuming
common life on earth with enlightenment and divinity in the
friendly exchange, which is the very core of Grundtvig’s ideas.
As part of the celebration of Grundtvig’s Church’s anniversary, saxophonist
and composer Hans Ulrik was invited to compose music to
be performed in the church and on CD – a jazz mass. Historian Henrik
Jensen’s highly personal cultural critique was likewise written for the

He examines history from 1940 to our time, zooming in on
defining years – 1945, 1967, 1989 and 2001 – in a poetic framework.
His entire text is included in the album notes paired with Ole Meyer’s
beautiful photos of the church. Hans Ulrik’s contemporary historical
jazz suite is composed in four movements plus prelude, sacrament
and postlude and inspired by Henrik Jensen’s words as an expression
of the mood of each period. THE SUITE OF TIME characterizes the
period from 1940-2015, in which the 75-year old church has seen the
development of the late modern society from the German occupation
in the ‘40s through the reflective ‘50s, the youth rebellion of the ‘60s,
the silent generation of the ‘80s to the IT boom and financial crisis.
Henrik Jensen states that the chaos of two world wars shrouds the
period in a shadow of latent cultural pessimism, challenging hope and
political vision.

Hans Ulrik is one of Denmark’s most popular and dedicated jazz
musicians. He is renowned not only for his Scandinavian sound but
also for his versatility. Born in 1965, he began playing saxophone at
an early age. He studied at Berklee College of Music 1984-86, and a
year after his return to Denmark he started playing professionally. All
through his career he has led his own bands, but his focus enables
him to contribute to other’s projects without losing his own identity.

His exquisite and solid playing is in great demand, leading him
through a long list of freelance assignments and session jobs. These
abilities combined with a genuinely professional attitude have made
him one of the great saxophonists in his generation. He has proven
that it is possible to make jazz albums that are modern, artistically
important and inviting. In other words: Hans Ulrik has reached a
broad audience without compromising his artistic integrity. Over the
years he has released a string of influential albums in collaboration
with John Scofield, Peter Erskine, Eliane Elias, Lars Danielsson, Lars
Jansson, Gary Peacock, Eiving Aarset, Steve Swallow, as a member of
Emborg/Larsen Group in the ‘90s, with Marilyn Mazur Future Song,
the Danish Radio Big Band and many others.

SUITE OIF TIME is a grave work in a unique Danish mood, written
by a mature and lucid artist of international format. He chose his
musicians for this unusual and challenging project among the best of
the best. Everyone in the band behind SUITE OF TIME is an outstanding
artist in his own right, and each has made their mark – also as

Hans Ulrik, sax
Henrik Gunde, Fender Rhodes
Peter Rosendal, flugabone and Wurlitzer
Kaspar Vadsholt, bass
Anders Mogensen, drums
Marilyn Mazur, percussion

Suite Of Time Part 1 [1945]
Suite Of Time Part 2 [1967]
Suite Of Time Part 3 [1989]
Suite Of Time Part 4 [2001 And After]
Min Jesus, Lad Mit Hjerte Få
The Sacrament
O Du Guds Lam