MENU


Riel, Alex

Biography

Alex Riel, (13 September 1940 in Copenhagen, Denmark), is a Danish jazz and rock drummer. His first group Alex Riel/Palle Mikkelborg Quintet won Montreux Grand Prix Award at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1968 and it was published in Billboards June 1968 edition. Riel has recorded with, among others, Kenny Drew, Kenny Werner, Bob Brookmeyer, Thomas Clausen, Bill Evans, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Jackie McLean, and Dexter Gordon. He has also worked with a wide range of important jazz musicians, including Ray Brown, Donald Byrd, Don Cherry, Art Farmer, Stéphane Grappelli, Hank Jones, Thad Jones, and Ben Webster. He formed a renowned jazz ensemble with bass player Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Kenny Drew.

He was also a founding member in 1968 of the popular Danish rock group The Savage Rose. His album The Riel Deal won a Danish Grammy Award Jazz in 1996. In September 2010, Riel reached seventy years of an age and it was celebrated at the famed Jazzhus Montmartre. The event was broadcast live with the title Celebration Of A Living Jazz-Legend by the Danish national television, which also showed rare photos, depicting Riel with Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Bill Evans and acclaimed rock group The Savage Rose.




Recordings

Sands, Christian / Riel, Alex / Fonnesbæk, Thomas: Take One - Live at Montmartre

To begin a CD with an unaccompanied intro to a ballad indicates some confidence from the main soloist on this excellent double CD with the young talented American pianist Christian Sands in the company of the two Danes bass player Thomas Fonnesbæk who is said to be the next NHØP and a Montmartre legend the drummer Alex Riel. The music is recorded live in Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen in October 2014. The three musicians had never met before, but already on the first evening they found their common beat and developed it through the next two concerts, which naturally led to the best takes being collected for this double CD.