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Best of 2023

Bengt Nordström

Bengt "Frippe" Nordstr​ö​m (6LP Box + Booklet)

Label: Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu

Format: 6LP Box + Booklet

Genre: Jazz

In stock


Second edition. 300 copies, all parts identical to the first edition For the past decade, Mats Gustafsson has fastidiously produced and compiled the most thorough and comprehensive collection of archival solo recordings of the late legendary Swedish saxophonist and eccentric archivist of free music activity in Sweden, Bengt “Frippe” Nordström (1936–2000). Bringing together rare and unreleased recordings taken from an extensive collection of home-recorded solo sax improvisations, it documents his radical and experimental approach to the instrument, which predates the avant-garde solo work of artists such as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Brötzmann and others.

Little is known about Nordström outside of the small circle of avid free music aficionados, largely owing to the fact that the releases on his in-house label Bird Notes were pressed in editions as small as 1 to 10 copies. These 78, 45 and 33 rpm artifacts, often only made as test pressings for friends, were never introduced to the broader music market at the time. Over 50 metal masters were produced in 12” and 7” format and were combined or recombined on different records, which makes these objects exemplars of a kind of pre-post-modern approach to distribution and manufacturing — both a nightmare and a wet dream for collectors up to this day.

Nordström was well-acquainted with Don Cherry and Albert Ayler, befriending both the legendary artists in their respective time in Stockholm. He recorded Ayler's first solo record Something Different!!!!!! in 1962, founding his Bird Notes label in the process. Over the following decade, his trusted ¼-inch tape recorder was used to document his own practice and many other free music events in Stockholm.

Frippe was known for his eccentric personality and strikingly formal attire, a musician with the dress sense of a bespectacled accountant haunting the jazz clubs of Stockholm seven nights a week. Notoriously, the outsider would frequently storm the stage of ensembles with no prior invitation to collaborate or simply gate-crash the gig by playing his sax from the audience.

Cat. number: nvnc-lp032/036, nvnc-ep001
Year: 2023


Natural Music (album/nvnc-lp032)

Drastic Plastic (album/nvnc-lp033)

Någonting (album/nvnc-lp034)

Reality (album/nvnc-lp035)

To Bengt (10inch/nvnc-lp036)

When Will The Blues Leave? (single/nvnc-ep001)

A 32-page booklet with essays by Thomas Millroth and John Corbett, unpublished photography, rare press clippings and notes from the artist.


Mastering by Andreas 'Lupo' Lubich

Concept and design by Teresa Iten

Produced by Mats Gustafsson, Thomas Millroth and Antoine Prum for NI-VU-NI-CONNU