Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen
Orsted Pedersen first learned to play piano but took up the bass as his friend Ole Kock Hansen was also a pianist and they wanted to play duets together. He achieved an amazing facility on his new instrument while still in his mid-teens, making his first record at the age of 14. Playing regularly at the noted Montmartre Club in Copenhagen from early in 1961, he accompanied and occasionally recorded with visiting and expatriate American jazz stars, including Brew Moore, Yusef Lateef, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell and Bill Evans (with whom he toured in the early 60s, having earlier refused an invitation to join Count Basie). He recorded frequently in the 60s, 70s and 80s, happily ranging from mainstream through bop to free jazz with artists such as Don Byas, Ben Webster, Tete Montoliu, Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Anthony Braxton and Albert Ayler. By the end of the 70s he had sealed his international reputation, thanks in part to a long stint with Oscar Peterson that continued well into the 80s. He has made a number of fine duo albums with Kenny Drew (Duo), Joe Pass (Chops) and Archie Shepp (Looking At Bird). A superbly accomplished technician, his brilliant virtuosity is underpinned with a great sense of time and dynamics. His solos are always interesting and display his awareness of the roots of jazz bass while acknowledging the advances made in more recent years.