Frank Büchmann-Møller : Svend Asmussen as entertainer


The Danish jazz violinist Svend Asmussen (1916-) became internationally known already during the late 1930’s as a very talented jazz musician. In 1943, he gave up leading his band to join Stig Lommer’s Hornbæk Revue. Stig Lommer was manager of the Hornbæk Revue from the mid-1930’s until 1949, when he became the manager of the ABC Theatre in Copenhagen. Here he continued producing annual revues that also was exported to Stockholm. Asmussen was an actor in Lommer’s revues from 1943 to 1958 – the first years teamed with sister and brother Gerda and Ulrik Neumann - and from 1945 also as leader of a quintet that also performed on stage.. Normally, the revues in Denmark were produced during the spring, while the revues in Stockholm took place during the summer time. The rest of the year, Asmussen toured Scandinavia and Europe with his band.

Around 1958, Asmussen formed a trio with guitarist Ulrik Neumann and Swedish singer Alice Babs, which in Holywood 1959 took the name Swe-Danes. Swe-Danes became instantly famous and toured Europe and the USA until late 1961 when the group disbanded. Asmussen and Neumann then continued as a duo, making around 1000 shows in Scandinavia until 1965, at which time Asmussen began concentrating on his jazz career full time again. Continued, though, making sporadic shows with Alice Babs from1967 until 1975.

The presentation will be accompanied with photos and music from some of Asmussen’s shows.





Frank Büchmann-Møller: Librarian, since 1994 employed at the Danish National Academy of Music in Odense. Among his jazz writings are You just fight for your life. The story of Lester Young. (1990), You got to be original, man! The music of Lester Young. (1990), Someone to watch over me. The life and music of Ben Webster. (2006), and – with Henrik Wolsgaard-Iversen - Montmartre. Jazzhuset I St. Regnegfade 19, Kbhvn K. (2008). In cooperation with Kjeld Frandsen a new book, Svend Asmussen. 100 år for fuld musik, will be published by Lindhart & Ringhof in november.