Hälleviks tradjazzfestival, which this year had a focus on female musicians and orchestras playing traditional jazz, had a grand opening with the dutch sextet
Alice in Dixieland.

No one will be “sorry now” by Alice

It was all in (100% commitment) from first note, and sometimes it was like the saxophone player Anja Nielsen and the trumpet player Suzan Veneman tried to squeeze out their instruments in all bendings and curves.

Alice in Dixieland consists of six experienced and skilled musicians, that freely mixes between different genres. Take a dose of dixieland, quite a  lot of swing, a little bit of bebop and a tiny bit of mainstream, plus a large dose of joy, and there we have the Alice-ladies in front of us. The band started for over thirty years ago and have been playing almost all over the world, and now we have the première here in Hällevik.

Important ingredients in Alice in Dixieland are the vocals. The singer Louise Hensen manage the fastest and the most intense songparts in a refined way, as well as the languishing and emotionally filled ballades.

But what really stands out is when Anja Nielsen and Suzan Veneman also grips the microphones and the trio shines in harmonies in the spirit of Andrews Sisters.
Mijin Kim behind the piano swings whenever needed and has somehow almost some poetic seeking solos in the calmer tunes.

Behind the bass we find Sylvia Maessen, like a stable rock all the time. On the drum stool sits Lielian Tan like a little snow weather. She is not that kind of hard-beating drummer, but her rolling way to handle the drums is filled with lightnes, big joy and a lot of small intricate rythmic trips.

Among the choice of tunes were “Ain’t she sweet” with fine Andrew Sisters-song parts. “Viper mad” in a very fast tempo, but in the same time light and fluffy. The Anja Nielsen arrangement “Crazy he calls me” with emotional vocal by Louise Hensen.
In  “Hit that Jive Jack” Suzan Veneman and Anja Nielsen incites each other into deeds in a trumpet-saxophone duel. 

“I’ve found a new baby” is being performed as a fast, slightly hilarious swing where Leilian Tan gets thunderous applause for her drum play. From the Cole Porter-musical Kiss Me Kate did we enjoy “Too darn hot” and, not to forget, the fine Connie Francis hit “Who’s sorry now?” I guess there is no one to say yes on that question in the festivaltent in Hällevik.