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 2, TV2 which was also showing rare photos, depicting Riel with Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Bill Evans and acclaimed rock group The Savage Rose.
A live jazz concert with some of Denmark’s brightest jazz musicians
Last year the record ”Walk With Me” was released to great critical acclaim. It featured a collaborative project spanning beautiful ballads and swinging jazz, completed by a handful of the most hard-working and skilled Danish jazz musicians. A little while later, three of the original players gathered for a memorable evening in the concert hall of Amager Bio.
The bassist Mads Vinding ties the quartet together with his confident style. Vinding has played with all of the legends of jazz, and is often mentioned as the musical heir of late NHØP.
The pianist and composer Carsten Dahl takes the keys. His play is, as always, playful and technically skilled. Carsten Dahl is a highly productive musicians, but his work never lacks quality – instead, his piano is rich with experience.
Above all soars the unique voice of Margrete Grarup. She manages to balance force and delicacy and always retains a certain humility even when her powerful voice is at its most expressive.
Niclas Campagnol plays the drums, a recent addition to the original group. A regular on the Danish jazz stage, he easily complements the others with cool and understated rhythm.
The mood is audibly lively, and the musicians clearly long to entertain as they invite the audience along on the journey.