Burnin Red Ivanhoe

Burnin Red Ivanhoe was a Danish jazz-rock band that was primarily active during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band was headed by multi-instrumentalist Karsten Vogel who — along with the rhythm section of Jess Stæhr and Bo Thrige Andersen — later formed the instrumental powerhouse Secret Oyster.

Members: Karsten Vogel (saxophone, cello, organ), Steen Claësson (vocals, guitar 1969), Arne Würgler (bass, 1969) Kim Menzer (flute, violin, trombone, harmonica), Ole Fick (guitar, vocals), Jess Stæhr (bass), Bo Thrige Andersen (drums)

Burnin Red Ivanhoe sprung from a songwriting partnership between saxophonist, cellist, keyboardist, and songwriter Karsten Vogel and lyricist Niels-Erik Wille, who began working together in the mid-1960s. Inspired by American avant-garde jazz and the UK beat boom, Vogel wrote tunes to Wille‘s words.

In 1966, Vogel played on the free-jazz album Nu! by Danish trumpeter Hugh Steinmetz. Vogel composed two cuts on the album, “Stress-it” and “Pigen Prosa.” He enlisted that album’s drummer, Bo Thrige Andersen, along with singer, guitarist, and violinist Steen Claësson. They formed the psych-rock band The Burnin ‘Red Ivanhoes. Wille would serve as their non-performing lyricist, ala Keith Reid (Procol Harum), Betty Thatcher (Renaissance), and Pye Dubois (Max Webster).

Their first concert occurred on May 22, 1967 at the Munkekælderen on Nørregade in Copenhagen. Soon thereafter, Arne Würgler joined on bass. In late 1968, trumpeter Kim Menzer and guitarist Ole Fick completed the first-recorded lineup. With the name modified to Burnin Red Ivanhoe, they played a high-profile opening slot for Spooky Tooth at the Brøndby Popklub on December 14, 1968.

During 1969, Burnin Red Ivanhoe played more than 100 shows. Their debut album, M 144, appeared in October of that year on Sonet.

  • M 144 (1969)
  • Burnin Red Ivanhoe (1970)
  • 6 Elefantskovcikadeviser (with Povl Dissing) (1971)
  • W.W.W (1971)
  • Miley Smile/Stage Recall (1972)
  • Right On (1974)
  • Shorts (1980)


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