Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra (1965)

Selected Track: Tenth Lament


Sahib Shihab (flute, baritone saxophone, cowbells).

Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra: Bent Jaedig (flute, tenor saxophone); Palle Mikkelborg, Palle Bolvig (trumpet, flugelhorn); Allan Botschinsky (flugelhorn); Poul Kjaeldgard (trombone, bass trombone, tuba); Svend Nielsen (trombone, bass trombone); Torolf Molgard (trombone, euphonium).


OK this is cheating, it is not a new addition, but since being knocked out six times in a row by high rollers infesting ebay at the moment (Blue Notes routinely closing £200+), I don’t have any new additions right now. So its make do.

Raz wheeling out Shihab’s Cats, and Matty’s references to sheet music,  got me reaching into the cabinet for some choice Shihab that isn’t found on that double album, and what better than sending out for a Danish for sustenance. It’s hard to believe this was written and recorded between 1963-5. The orchestra all look like they have been styled “retro” for a cover shoot, but it is truly 60’s Copenhagen, Denmark. (For those who don’t know, Denmark is like Sweden, but without the self-assembly furniture)

If there is a standout track for me, difficult choice, it is “Tenth Lament”. It sets out in tune with its’ title, a mournful classical jazz orchestra piece beautifully scored by Sahib with contrasting brass voices. Then half way, it explodes, with what in my view is Sahib’s finest baritone sax solo, minor key changes and all, counterpointing the dramatic chordal changes of the brass section. And so it returns to earth.

Vinyl: Oktav Japan reissue 2001

The original European pressing from 1965 is impossibly rare, fetching stupid sums. This japanese Octav reissue from 2001 still commands a hefty premium, but it is a great heavy pressing worthy of the music. Good time to polish up your Danish.

3 thoughts on “Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra (1965)

  1. Nice to read your blog, it always helps if I don t know which record I should play next.
    Listened to Sahib last night.(The Japan copy of course not the original- maybe one day ) Wonderful music.


  2. The sheer rarity of the album has lead to many ‘grey’ posts of the entire album on many other weblogs, from which I picked it up somewhere in 2007. For some reason I’m not too fond of the album, but maybe have to let it ‘grow’ on me some more. I guess its the loud brass stabs here and there, ’cause they have made me run for the volume dial more than once 😉 Oh, and just so you know: the CD reissue of this gem contains a vocal bonus track, entitled “Little French Girl”.


    • “Jazz Orchestra” is not to everyones taste. I have liked more after listening to Mingus and getting the ear attuned to multiple voices. The acid test is whether you like Sahib’s playing and compositions. Personally I love them, but there is plenty of room for other opinion. Seems they all read sheet music too!


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