Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen / May 27, 1946 - April 19, 2005

Give the bassist some! I always loved NHØP's bass playing on so many great jazz records that I felt the need to point out his birthday today and show some respect. From Denmark, he started playing bass at 13 and went pro pretty quickly. At 17 he was offered the bass role in the Count Basie band but was too young to legally travel to the US for work.

He supported many visiting jazz artists at the Jazzhus Montmarte in Copenhagen, including playing with Sonny Rollins, Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell, Stan Getz, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and others. He toured with Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ben Webster, Jean-Luc Ponty, Tania Maria and many, many more. He and pianist Kenny Drew held a longtime duo project, recording dozens of albums. As a composer he combined American jazz improv with Danish folk music. He could play bop, swing, Latin or avant-improv styles. And he really only needs to be known as NHØP. How cool is that?

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