Regarded by many as the premier jazz bassist in Europe, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen has performed with a diverse assortment of musicians over the years, from mainstream giants to bebop legends to less- known members of the avant garde. Currently, Pedersen is represented on record by "Trinity," an album that focuses on the crisp and fluid acoustic-guitar jazz of brothers Boulou and Elios Ferre.
By heritage and temperament, the freres Ferre are firmly linked to the Gypsy-jazz stylings of Django Reinhardt. On previous albums, they saluted Django's genius by demonstrating his influence on them. "Trinity" displays many of the same qualities, especially when Boulou, playing lead, adopts Reinhardt's sharply percussive attack, his use of unexpected chords (and melodic diversions), and his scurrying solo style in which sixteenth-notes abound.
But "Trinity" is not for Djangophiles only. Primarily a collection of jazz standards, including "Lover Man" and "Groovin' High," the album is blessed by several complex, subtle arrangements with a decidedly contemporary flavor. In fact, several performances recall the inspired duets recently recorded by Larry Coryell and Phillip Catherine.
Pedersen's understated playing is tasteful and supportive, and the dark, woody tone he frequently pulls from his instrument suits this acoustic setting perfectly. ON RECORD, ON STAGE THE ALBUM NEILS-HENNING ORSTED PEDERSEN -- Trinity (SteepleChase SCS 1171). THE SHOW PEDERSEN with Phillip Catherine and others Friday through Sunday at Charlie's Georgetown.