Bitter Funeral Beer Band: Praise Drumming
Bengt Berger & Bitter Funeral Beer Band
Live in Frankfurt 82
with Don Cherry & K. Sridhar
CE09 – Release date october 16, 2007
Bitter Funeral Beer Band was a unique band with an early world music with an own identity that mixes african funeral music and improvisation with a nordic touch that has not existed before or after the few years in the 80’s that the band was active. Led by Bengt Berger who had studied a couple of years in Ghana, the band based a lot of the music on the funeral music concept of the Lo-Birifor people of northern Ghana.The band did its first cd, Bitter Funeral Beer, on ECM and then one more, Praise Drumming (vinyl only) on the swedish Dragon label.
June 25, 2018: The Italian label Black Sweat Records has released “Live in Frankfurt 82” on vinyl!
This is how they present the album:
“First of all, Bengt Berger – a pioneer of the Swedish underground of the 70’s and historical member of bands such as the Archimedes Badkar and Arbete Och Fritid – is a versatile drummer-percussionist and well-educated ethno-musicologist with several research sojourns in India and Ghana. Deeply influenced by Hindustani, Carnatic and West Africa music, he founded in 1980 the Bitter Funeral Beer Band, an ensemble of 12 elements, basing his ideas on the traditional funeral music of the people of Lo-Birifor, in the northern region of Ghana.
The marriage between this afro polyrhythmic roots, with the spiritual jazz of the eternal Don Cherry and the indian sarod of K. Sridhar is in the direction to a pan-internationalism of profound spirituality, which blends different geographical traditions in a single contemplative gaze. It is the convergence towards a music without boundaries, where every instrumental voice shines and is well fermented and integrated. Music is unity.”
They have also put the album for you to listen on Bandcamp
Lineup and soloists:
Bengt Berger, Ko-Gyil (Lo-Birifor funeral xylophone), Atsimevu (Ewe master drum);
Anita Livstrand, Ko-Gyil, voice, percussion;Bosse Skoglund, percussion;Thomas Mera Gartz,percussion, tenor sax;Sigge Krantz, acoustic and electric bass, guitar, percussion;Matthias Helldén, cello, percussion;Tord Bengtsson, violin, guitar, percussion;Christer Bothén, tenor sax, bass clarinet, percussion;
Björn Hellström, bass clarinet, flute, percussion;
Ulf Wallander, soprano sax, tenor sax, percussion;
Jörgen Adolfsson, soprano sax, alto sax, percussion;
Tommy Adolfsson, trumpet, percussion; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;
K. Sridhar, sarod.
Frankfurt 82 – soloists:
1. Darafo 7:16 Soloists: Matthias Helldén, cello; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;
2. Chetu 9:38 Soloists: Sigge Krantz, elgitarr, Don Cherry, pocket trumpet
3. Bitter Funeral Beer 9:42 Soloists: K. Sridhar, sarod; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet, Anita Livstrand, röst; Thomas Mera Gartz, tenorsax;
4. Funeral Dance 26:04 Soloists: Tord Bengtsson, fiol; Tommy Adolfsson, trumpet; Ulf Wallander, tenorsax; Björn Hellström, flöjt; K. Sridhar, sarod and Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Sigge Krantz, elbas; Jörgen Adolfsson, altsax; Tommy Adolfsson, trumpet; Christer Bothén, tenorsax; Matthias Helldén, cello; Bosse Skoglund and Thomas Mera Gartz, drums;
5. Gahu (trad. arr. Berger) 3:55 Soloist: Bengt Berger, Atsimevu
Country & Eastern released two live concerts by the band on october 16, 2007:
CE 09 Live in Frankfurt 82, was recorded by Hessischer Rundfunk at 18 Deutsches Jazzfestival at Alte Oper in Frankfurt with Don Cherry and the indian sarod maestro K. Sridhar as guests, and
CEX09 Live in Nürnberg 84 was recorded by Bayerischer rundfunk.
Download a cover for your mp3 download.
Press release: C&E News october 2007
Nominated for a swedish jazz grammy 2007!
“This is exhilarating music that reaches for a touch of the divine and does not stop until it gets there.” – Jason Weiss