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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Svend Asmussen--An appreciation

Svend Asmussen "Shut Up, Behave Yourself"

Svend Asmussen, the celebrated Danish swing jazz violinist who died Feb. 7 at 100, was among the first world-class Scandinavian jazz musicians, not to mention first jazz violinists. Also known for being a cut-up onstage with his band, he collaborated with a wide range of music legends including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lionel Hampton, bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman and Indian violinist L. Subramaniam.

"Svend Asmussen was a legend, a great violinist," said Subramaniam, via email. "I was honored to make a record with him called Garland, way back in 1982."

Garland was credited to Dr. L. Subramaniam featuring Svend Asmussen.

"I first met him when we were both featured on the same TV show in Denmark," Subramaniam continued. "He was a great star, and everyone knew him. We stayed in touch over the years. He had the flexibility to blend in and play with other musicians. I had some music and he weaved his way into everything so beautifully. His improvisation had so much feeling and emotion and excellent musicianship. It was a pleasure to play with an artist of that caliber."

Dr. L. Subramaniam and Svend Asmussen "Infinite Journey"



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