Drummer Jon Christensen passed away last week at the age of 76. He’s closely associated with ECM records, having recorded 55 sessions for them beginning with Jan Garberek’s Africa Pepperbird in 1970. I wanted to pull together some of my favorite Christensen recorded performances beginning with something from his pre-ECM days, a 1963 session with Norwegian singer Karin Krog with her original lyrics on a standard made popular in the jazz world by John Coltrane.
Next, the Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Christensen. This is the group that helped introduce Christensen throughout the jazz world. The original studio recording of this piece was released on the Jarrett recording Belonging.
With Tomasz Stanko – trumpet John Surman – soprano sax, bass clarinet Dino Saluzzi – bandoneon Michelle Makarski – violin Anders Jormin – double bass
with Terje Rypdal Group feat. Palle Mikkelborg, Håkon Graf, Sveinung “Thunder Thumb” Hovensjø and Jon Christensen doing a TV special for NRK in 1978.
with Jakob Bro, Thomas Morgen
with Sonny Rollins – Bobo Stenson – Arild Andersen – 1971 – Jazzfestival Kongsberg – Norway