Alex Riel (drums)
Poul Halberg (guitar)
Frans Bak (keys)
Hans Ulrik (sax)
Bo Stief (bass)
During the 1980s SANTA CRUZ was one of the most successful jazz-rock fusion bands in Denmark. Today their only release from those days, the LP Daylight from 1985, has a cult like status in the country. Since then each of the band members has been leading their individual groups and has achieved great national and international careers in pop, rock and jazz. Poul Halberg, for instance, has long been one of the most sought-after rock guitarist in Denmark. Equally Alex Riel is today considered one of the most significant jazz drummers coming out of Europe due to his extensive work with world legends like pianist Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Freddie Hubbard etc.
A few years ago at a memorial concert for the original bass player of Santa Cruz, the band got together again to play for the occasion. Original band members Poul Halberg, Frans Bak and Alex Riel were now assisted by bassist Bo Stief and sax player Hans Ulrik. The reunion was an overwhelming success and the guys didn't hesitate to make this band permanent. Since then SANTA CRUZ has had great success touring, and the band's live CD Cruzing from 2006 was very well received.
What ALL ABOUT JAZZ said about Cruzing" (Cowbell 2006):
After a 25-year hiatus, one of Europe's premier fusion bands, Santa Cruz, reunited at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2005 and demonstrated to the enthusiastic crowd that it's music was still as energetic as ever. The Danish quartet, led by drummer Alex Riel, delivered the retro sounds of '70s and '80s fusion, comprised of equal parts harmony, arrangements and heady improvisation. At a concise 41 minutes, the recording still packs a huge punch, with stimulating performances and well-developed selections that showcase the bandmembers' life-giving connections with each other and the crowd. [...] Santa Cruz gives listeners a bounty of good music on this memorable reunion. Encore!"
NEW CD OUT NOW!
The band's new release When The Sun Goes Down" (Gateway 2009) is a studio recording made in two days. It presents no less than 12 tracks - mostly first takes - including a couple of old favourites from SANTA CRUZ's touring days in the '80s. Most of the tunes are new compositions by the band members; tunes that in each their way capture the spirit of the '80s, yet express both originality and relevance for 2009.
Like the band's live performances this new release is bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Check out the band's myspace profile to listen to some of the new tunes and find more info on the band. The CD can be purchased from various sites (see the myspace profile for links) and downloaded from iTunes etc.