The jazz quartet Birka was formed in Stockholm in 1976 by the drummer Rune Carlsson. Its name came naturally, as three quarters of its members had studied together at the Birkagården folk high school in Stockholm. Birka was a group with a clear, personal jazz profile, and worked primarily with its own musical material.
Rune Carlsson (1940-2013) had, by the time of this album’s release, already enjoyed a long career as a jazz drummer. Among other ventures, he was a regular drummer at Gyllene Cirkeln (The Golden Circle) – the veritable home of jazz in 1960’s Stockholm. He had played with Coleman Hawkins, been a member of Bill Evan’s trio, and later on also had his own trio together with pianist Bob Stenson and bassist Palle Danielsson. Other collaborations included Eje Thelin, Wayne Shorter, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Red Mitchell.
Nisse Sandström, tenor saxophone, was born in Katrineholm in 1942. He had previously played with several American guests, such as Clark Terry and Dexter Gordon, and participated in many different constellations. Among those, Red Mitchell’s “Communictions” and Egil Johansen’s “Jazz Inc.”. Nisses roots are in the bebop-style, a solid ground to develop on.
Bassist Bronislaw Suchanek was born in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, in 1948. He has a solid education at the Music Academy, and has collaborated with some of the premier Polish jazz musicians, and played in the Polish Radio Jazz Orchestra. He has also worked with, among others, Don Cherry and Art Farmer. On this album, he’s written the tracks Song for Bass, Duo, Longing, and Sketch in Blue.
Guitarist Anders Karlén, born in Stockholm in 1956, was the youngest member of Birka, and by the time of this recording regarded as a great potential in Swedish jazz. He has written three of the tracks, Björksav, Anders vals, and Backflyt.
Birka was awarded Orkester Journalen’s and Tonfallet’s award “Jazz in Sweden” in 1978.
Technician: Nils Edström
Editor: Suzanne Öhman
Cover art: Hans Viksten
Recorde in Fridegård High School’s aula in Bålsta, March-April 1978
1.Björksav Music: Anders Karlén7'41
2.So Many Things Music: Bernt Rosengren4'48
3.Anders vals Music: Anders Karlén7'00
4.Song for Bass Music: Bronislaw Suchanek5'45
5.Backflyt Music: Anders Karlén5'19
6.Duo Music: Bronislaw Suchanek/Rune Carlsson3'53
7.Longing Music: Bronislaw Suchanek3'45
8.Sketch in Blue Music: Bronislaw Suchanek12'05
- Total playtime