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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

Jørgensen, Leif Juul / Lundgaard, Jesper / Kristiansen, Søren / Riel, Alex: Just Jazz

Leif Juul Jørgensen is back on the jazz scene. From time to time he's been less active, but through his musical career he has been a member as a clarinet player of Arnvid Meyers Orchestra and more lately Theis/Nyegaard Jazz Band. Furthermore he has performed with Bud Freeman, Vic Dickenson and Edmond Hall. He has now formed a new quartet The Danish Jazz Quartet featuring legends from the Danish jazz scene: Søren Kristiansen (piano), Jesper Lundgaard (double bass) and Alex Riel (Drums).

This new release Just Jazz, which is the quartet's first, delivers sparkly renditionds of standards. The quartet plays with a surplus of elegance, enthusiasm and experience that comes from a full life in the service of jazz. Here is room for the personalities of the musicians to shine forth in a lively and mature interplay. The music was performed live in Silkeborg, Denmark in April 2014 and is engineered and produced by Jesper Lundgaard.