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Bobo Stenson: Thoughts too Deep for Tears

Bobo Stenson
Bobo Stenson
Bobo Stenson
Bobo Stenson

Back in the early ’90s, when Charles Lloyd had begun his comeback into active music after a self-imposed absence of 20 years, he gave frequent interviews to curious jazz journalists. At some point, when the conversation turned to one of his recent concerts or albums, Lloyd would ask suspiciously, “Have you checked out Bobo yet?” He liked to test writers, and if his current piano player, Bobo Stenson, had not blown you away then Lloyd lost confidence in you on the spot.

Some American journalists remembered Stenson from a quartet he co-led with Jan Garbarek in the early ’70s. But whether they knew the name or not, when they heard Stenson with Lloyd most asked themselves the question that so many Americans journalists ask when they encounter a world-class European jazz musician: “Who is this guy? Where did he come from? How did he get this good?”

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Originally Published

Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad has a BA from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Iowa (where he attended the Writers Workshop). He taught English at Central State University in Ohio, then left the academic world for the private sector. His affiliation with publications such as JazzTimes, Stereophile, The New York City Jazz Record and DownBeat has enabled him to sustain active involvement in two of his passions: music and writing.