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Jagd, Bugge, Beck

GO' Danish Folk Music
Review by Chris Nickson

This album is one for those who delight in hardcore instrumental Danish folk music. The trio of violinists Kristian Bugge and Steen Jagd, and pianist Malene Beck, used to play together regularly, and recently began collaborating for dances again, performing traditional music and for this album, Jagd’s compositions.

His music is certainly inspired by the tradition, and it’s very much music for dancing, even with the delightfully quirky touches that pepper tracks like “Afrikaneren,” with its little piano interludes, and the changes in tempo. But listen and you’ll catch little bits to set these pieces apart from the standard dance repertoire. Humorous little asides, if you like, along with the marches, hopsas, polkas.

Listen "Mr Peanut"

It's wonderful to have Beck on disc again. She’s a great accompanist, working smartly and intuitively behind others, and ready to fill in and elaborate. Bugge is one of Danish folk’s leading figures, and while Jagd is an unknown, his compositions are likely to find a wider, footloose audience. No stars and no egos here, just three musicians superbly serving up 16 slices of music, ending with the filigreed delicacy of “Mr. Peanut,” an unlikely title for something so lovely.

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