The time when Danish musicians felt substandard to visiting American jazz artists is over. But for Jesper Thilo, this was never the case. He received early recognition and appreciation from Americans, who from the very beginning regarded him as a musician that could easily achieve the level they represented. One could have asked Webster, Hawkins, Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, “Sweets,” Clark Terry, Dizzy and any of the other international names that Thilo played with during his long and glorious career. The inarguable consensus was, and is, that he’s always been effortlessly on par with the Americans and since the early 1960s positioned himself as a colossus on the Danish jazz landscape.
Jesper Thilo has been a musician for more than 60 years and is still at the top of his game, leaving a striking impression and always guaranteeing a monumental musical level, from his early days with the Arnvid Meyers Orchestra, to the DR’s Big Band, to any of the other countless ensembles of Danish and international acclaim he’s lent his sound and spirit to. Thilo is both a pioneer and a beacon whose euphonious and authoritatively timeless virile swing style casts a long shadow.
There are those who may have read or heard somewhere that the Danish saxophonist can be something of a “copycat.” And it’s true that with his incredible technique, Jesper Thilo is able to play and sound like pretty much anyone he wants to in any given moment… But he’s also never considered this to be a negative thing. In fact, he believes that a good copy is often better than a problematic original. Listeners who have heard Thilo at venues around the world and on numerous recordings know that he is an original, through-andthrough.
Asked why he doesn’t play like other ’modern’ saxophonists like Coltrane or Michael Brecker, he usually responds: “It’s because there was no J....... more