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JAGD, BUGGE, BECK - Jagdselskabet 

JAGD, BUGGE, BECK - Jagdselskabet 
GO Danish Folk Music GO0122 

The three names here are fiddlers Steen Jagd Andersen and Kristian Bugge and pianist Malene Daniels Beck; and pretty meaty stuff it sounds when played by this trio. All 17 tracks are the compositions of Steen Jagd, and he describes them as being “made on the shoulders of Danish folk music and dance tradition.” Well, yes, but the evidence here is that these clever compositions and the way in which they are played go well beyond their own traditions.

A number of the compositions sound like they are adaptations from traditional, sometimes British, sources. The opening track, for example, seems to light on several of the bars that give La Russe its distinctive quality and elsewhere there are references to Sow’s Lament For The Tatties and Scots and old time tunes. An English dance caller would find more than half of the tracks suitable as polkas, waltzes, jigs, hornpipes etc. Pigernes Glæde has all the bounce and swing needed for the sort of reels used for American contra dancing, whilst Den Tætte Hopsa has all the pace and panache of a Hungarian czardas.

The album also has its quirky moments; Ida Bleska has its different parts played in varied tempos. It is described as “a family dance that derives from somewhere in southern Germany”. Ah! That must be the reason why the words of The Troggs’ Wild Thing are declaimed over the slower parts!

This trio has been playing together for dances for 10 years and its solid, attacking dance music makes exciting listening and must be a joy to also dance to.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 145 of The Living Tradition magazine