Swing Revisited

Dear Music Lovers! We are happy to announce that the album “Swing Revisited” by Stanislaw Soyka, a prominent Polish jazz singer, and Roger Berg Big Band R3B sold gold on the day of the premiere. Thank you everybody for keeping the swing music alive!

The CD and vinyl have been released on the Polish market, however the album is available in digital sales all over the globe. You can get it at Spotify, Google Play, iTunes and in many other online stores. You can read a full note about the record below. Regards and keep swingin’!

Swing Revisited album coverGolden Record Swing Revisited

Stanisław Soyka & the Roger Berg Big Band – ”Swing Revisited”

American swing played with bravado by leading Polish jazzman Stanisław Soyka and the Roger Berg Big Band. In their rendition, recorded at sessions in Malmö and Warsaw, the artists refreshed jazz standards by Duke Ellington and Ray Charles among others.

”Swing Revisited” is an album by Stanisław Soyka, a noted Polish jazz singer, and the Roger Berg Big Band, a Swedish-Danish constellation. Their collaboration stemmed from a spontaneous jam session at the band’s first Warsaw concert. ”I was just overwhelmed by how sensitively they were playing” Soyka recalls. “I couldn’t help it and joined in for three pieces. It was fabulous”.

The album, an unparalleled amalgam of different energies, is a foray into the golden era of swing. Recorded in studios in Sweden and Poland, it is not just another forced updating of classical American songs of the 40s. “Swing Revisited” was recorded along the best „orthodox” lines and with true respect for the swing traditions in order to evoke the old-time masters, because – as the artists emphasize – “you cannot improve on Duke Ellington’s music, you just need to live it your way”.

As Soyka says, “This music has been out of radio stations, dance clubs and concert halls for over 40 years. The big band culture evolved. Orchestras sprang up: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Gil Evans, Carla Bley and others, which enriched the music so much… at the same time overshadowing the artists from the first half of the century, but… when I played these recordings for some young people who had never heard this kind of music before, their faces were radiant and somewhat amazed. It seems that this kind of music still gives the listener a good vibe”.

Tracklist:

1. Let The Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan / Sam “Lovin” Theard)

2. Caravan (Duke Ellington / Juan Tizol)

3. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore ( Duke Ellington / Bob Russel)

4. Fly Me To The Moon (Bart Howard / Bart Howard)

5. Come Sunday (Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington)

6. Hallelujah, I Love Her So ( Ray Charles / Ray Charles)

7. I’m Just A Lucky So And So (Duke Ellington / Mack David)

8. It Had To Be You (Isham Jones / Gus Kahn)

9. Love You Madly (Duke Ellington / Duke Ellington)

10. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers / Lorentz Hart)

11. Night And Day (Cole Porter / Cole Porter)

12. Satin Doll (Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington / Johnny Mercer)

13. Take The „A” Train (Billy Strayhorn / Billy Strayhorn)

14. When I Fall In Love (Victor Young / Edward Heyman)

BIO:

Stanisław Soyka (www.soyka.pl) – a Polish jazz singer, pianist and composer born in 1959. He started singing at the age of seven, being a member of a church choir along with his father. He studied at the Composition and Arrangement Department of the renowned Academy of Music in Katowice. He made his debut in 1979 at a blues and gospel concert in Warsaw’s Philharmonic Hall, performing songs by Ray Charles, Carole King and the Beatles. Recordings from this event were included in his first album “Don’t You Cry”.

In 1981 Soyka recorded “Blublula”, a collection of captivating renditions of such standards as Ellington’s “I’m Just A Lucky So And So” and John Coltrane’s “Naima”, accompanied by the Wojciech Karolak Trio. The album was named “Jazz Album of 1981” and sold gold. This was when Willis Conover, a legendary jazz critic and broadcaster, upon hearing Soyka at the Jazz Jamboree festival, commented: “This guy is the best-kept secret in Polish music”.

In 1988 Soyka commenced his long and productive collaboration with Janusz Yanina Iwański, the guitarist of the jazz-rock band Tie Break. The duo recorded several albums. “Acoustic” is said to have preceded the unplugged era in music by several years. It was followed by “Neopositive” (1992), which included “Tolerancja”, a song that became a big hit.

During a career that spans more than 35 years, Stanisław Soyka has recorded a number of albums that are milestones in the history of Polish music. He keeps changing, always staying fresh but still instantly recognizable after just a few bars.

The Roger Berg Big Band (www.rogerberg.com) – Roger Berg started drumming at the age of three. From the very beginning he was inspired by the greats: Gene Krupa (Goodman), Jo Jones (Basie), Louie Bellson (Ellington) and, most admired, Buddy Rich. After many years of pursuing varied projects – playing for musicals, in traditional jazz bands (e.g. Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband) and drumming for two decades with the Tivoli Big Band (the Tivoli Gardens Orchestra in Copenhagen) – Roger decided to form his own band. Intent on having a full traditional big band, coming as close to the American swing tradition as possible, he created a unit with a solid sound, known today for a myriad of projects. These include gigs in jazz clubs and at festivals, as well as large concerts, music spectacles and galas like the annual Git Gay Galan in Malmö, as well as a performance at the Eurovision Week of 2013 along with Siw Malmkvist and Ann-Louise Hanson, two icons of Swedish pop music, and a series of spectacular big band battles.

R3B (Roger Berg Big Band) is usually accompanied by a highly accomplished female vocal trio. The instrumentation is 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxophones (who double on clarinet, flute and other reeds), piano, guitar, bass and drums – in other words, a classic big band, worthy of the best days of the swing era.

Big Band Battle 2014

So here we are – the first of this spring’s concerts has just been played in Malmö Konserthus. Last Sunday we met the prominent Carling Big Band with Gunhild Carling and… nearly 1200 listeners!

roger berg big band batle 2014 1

An evening like that is hard to describe in just a few simple words. The project that we’ve been working on for months finally goes on stage. Tough schedule, a lot of preparations, almost 40 musicians to cooperate with, quite a number of tricky music pieces and a meeting with a really BIG audience… All of that makes an event like this a very special and unforgettable experience.

Some people wonder if the “battle” is just a theme or is it a real ingredient of the show? Is it all set up since before or is there a real “fight” and competition happening on stage? Well, to answer this question honestly: both of the bands have one goal – performing in the best and most cheerful way while playing their best numbers and by that – pleasing the audience. They do it in many diferent ways and their repertoire and style differs a lot. However, the “battle” happens for real in many ways. For instance Roger Berg doesn’t know the numbers to be played by Carlings and Carlings don’t know Berg’s agenda. Plus, there are always some spontaneous things to happen, plans to be changed, numbers to be played or replaced… The challenge is real, so is the competition!

At R3B, while preparing for the battles, we think mostly about audience’s expectations and our own ambitions and desires. What should we present? From all the fantastic charts we have – which ones to choose? Which ones to get for the show from the ones we don’t have? How to build a great music experience for our audience, the band we’re playing with (not against!) and ourselves? There’s a lot of thinking, a lot of try outs and play thrus, many hours of youtube watching and digging in the music history. The history we may proudly “dig out” and bring to the contemporary stage. It’s not only a great pleasure and fun – it’s actually a big honor!

roger berg big band battle 2014 2

So, whenever someone comes up to us after the show, writes to us on Facebook or via our website and says that it was a good evening and they had fun, we feel incredibly happy. Not only because they don’t want to get their money back… It’s basically because we can feel that we did the job reasonably well and we get this extra energy to stand up for it once again, and then again and again…

After the Big Band Battle in Malmö on the 13 of april 2014 we feel like the atmosphere of these concerts is absolutely amazing. It’s great to play a battle with so many fantastic musicians and extraordinary personalities on stage. Moreover, the people we have in front of us are real Music Lovers – what an incredible response we got! The next audience we’ll meet on Easter Sunday, the 20th of April, is going to watch the show in Göteborgs Konserthus. If you’re planning to be there – we hope you’ll have a lot of fun!

Footnote: The content of our previous blog had to be moved because of the technical issues. This is why the dates of some posts are not corresponding to the date of the event.

Hello world!

Hello there Music Lovers! We have succesfully moved the blog from the previous location. Now you can enjoy the content on a completely new platform! Hope you will forgive that this process caused some issues in blog’s date register. We hope the new form of the blog with compensate the inconveniences. Enjoy!