Fredrik Norén Band

In 1980, Fredrik Norén Band won the award ”Jazz in Sweden”. Only a decade before, one could often hear jazz musicians express concern over the future of jazz music in Sweden, since there appeared to be no new jazz generation to pass the torch to. But then came the 1970’s, and an enormous amount of young, exciting musicians came forth, creating a broad sprectrum of styles and personal expressions.

Four representatives for this, at the time new generation, can be heard on this album together with the band leader Fredrik Norén (1941-2016), by then a well-established musician, unweariedly enthusiastic and continually developing. Fredrik started playing professionally in 1960, in pianist Staffan Abeleen’s band. Later, he performed and recorded with several of the premier jazz groups in Sweden, among others those of Lars Sjösten, Lars Gullin, and Rolf Ericsson. At this time, he also played with Lars Färnlöf’s “Sansara”, and with Björn Alke’s Quartet. Fredrik Norén had also performed with a great many American soloists that visited Sweden, among them Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Art Farmer, Brew Moore, and Cab Calloway.

Norén started thinking about forming his own band in 1977, and looked around in Stockholm for suitable musical partners. He found was he was looking for among the young musicians that regularly practiced and jammed at Fasching, the jazz club run by the Swedish Jazz Musician’s Society. The new band started rehearsing a number of Jimmy Heath songs that Fredrik had the sheet music to, and was introduced to the radio audience with a successful broadcast only a few weeks later, in spring of 1978. The band later performed at many clubs, festivals, and concert platforms around the country, becoming one of the most well-known and popular jazz groups in Sweden. A large number of original compositions by its own members contributed in giving the quintet its distinctive profile.

Tenor saxophonist Stefan Isaksson, aka Isak, was at the time of this recording only 24 years old, but was already regarded as one of the most skilled jazz musicians in Sweden. He played both classical and rock music before turning his interest towards jazz. By a coincidence he was assigned saxophonist Tommy Koverhult as his music teacher in high school, and that proved to be something of a turning point.

Baritone saxophonist Hans Peter Andersson, aka H.P., was also very young at the time, only a couple of month older than Stefan, and no less distinguished. He comes from a musical family, but was primarily self-taught as a musician himself. He wrote the song “Gato nero” on this album.

The pianist Ulf Sandberg, 28 years old at the time, also came to jazz via rock. During the 1970’s he performed with saxophonists Christer Boustedt and Rune Stålspets, among others. He was also a member of the jazz group Birka.

Bassist Hans Larsson was the youngest in the band, only 23 years. He joined the band in 1979, and had a couple of predecessors. He also played the electric bass, having also performed in the rock genre before. He had played with several great acts, such as Monica Zetterlund and Soul Train. The track “Blues of Magal” on this album is his original composition.

Technician: Rune Persson
Producer: Lars Westin
Editor: Suzanne Öhman-Sundén
Graphics: Pontus Reuterswärd
Cover photos: Paul Gerhard Deker
Recorded in Metronome Studios, Stockholm, 24–26 March 1980

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Show playlist

    • 1.
      Blues of Magal Music: Hans Larsson

    • 2.
      Ida Music: Stefan Isaksson

    • 3.
      Vals för Stefan Music: Ann-Sofi Söderqvist

    • 4.
      Gato nero Music: Hans-Peter Andersson

    • 5.
      Kvarten Music: Stefan Isaksson

    • 6.
      I've Seen Music: Lars Gullin

    • 7.
      Helena's Song Music: Fredrik Norén

  • Total playtime
Digital // CAP 21846 // Jazz in Sweden // Jazz // Releasedate: 5 March, 2015