Kenny Drew & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: Once a Saturday Night
Once a Saturday Night
Duo (SteepleChase SCCD 30018/19)
Recorded: Copenhagen, Denmark
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
From its release in 1974, Duo became a hit, especially in Japan where it sold thousands. Maybe it was the unique blend of jazz originals, bossa nova, Danish traditional songs and other tunes that appealed to the public. "Once a Saturday Night" (Det var en L�rdag Aften) is one of the most popular Danish folksongs. Originally written in 2/4, it is performed here in 6/8, making it more danceable.
By the way, this tune was the inspiration for Sonny Rollins's "St. Thomas." Rollins's grandmother was from Saint Thomas, the Virgin Islands, which was under the Danish crown until 1917; she learned the song there and sang it often for little Sonny during his childhood. Both the form and harmonies of "St. Thomas" perfectly match "Once a Saturday Night." It is easy to sing either tune against the background of the other.
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen presents the theme and continues into a very lyric solo. After Kenny Drew's piano solo, the two improvise collectively for a chorus before NHØP takes the song out. A charming track in all its relatively simplicity, with NHØP in command most of the time.
Reviewer: Frank Bachmann Møller