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Best of 2024

Nisse Sandström Group

Nisse Sandström Group (LP)

Label: Caprice Records

Series: Öppet

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

In stock


Stellar Tip! Previously unreleased recordings of one of Sweden's most legendary jazz groups. A raucous and energic set of free jazz from the vibrant Swedish scene of the mid '60s – a perfect match for the groundbreaking German scene of the FMP generation! Quoting Jim O'Rourke from the hype sticker: “Someone quadruple booked the same session, because the music on this record is at the crossroads where FMP, Faust, The Insect Trust, and Catherine Ribiero met, but we know that road was never built. Nisse Sandström must have found the blueprints for the future, because he built that road.”

Under the moniker Öppet, Caprice presents a relatively underexplored period in Swedish creative and experimental music, from 1965-75. In Sweden in the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a very rich period of music, everything from free jazz to word music. What’s odd is that not many of these groups got to be released on record, despite all the ongoing live gigs. Fortunately, some of the recordings was saved and it is some of these recordings that Caprice, in collaboration with musician Mats Gustafsson and Roger Bergner of the Center for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research, have been researching in hope of presenting long unheard music anew.

“Many experiments and ambitious attempts to fashion musical fusions were never released; it was often felt – in line with the ideological spirit of the age – that releasing music on a profit-making label constituted a commercial gesture. The music was essentially free – for the people, by the people, to the people. Thus, an extremely small amount of creative music was released in the form of audio recordings during this period. The recordings were mothballed, filed away in archives. This was, for music, an extremely important period in which many ideas and experiments were initiated and completed, but never followed up, deepened. This era is still a blind spot on the international music map”, says Mats Gustafsson.

And again: “There is no better way to open this series of albums than with the Nisse Sandström Group. They blazed a trail leading to radical, hitherto-unknown openings and perspectives in a context in which psychedelic rock, free jazz and the classical music of the day could meet. The group was active for many years and succeeded in forging a collective approach to playing in which each member was free at every moment – but what was common to the group was that the ensemble was top priority, superordinate to soloist contributions. Evocative, open, radical. It feels like pure magic to listen, more than a half century later, to this wonderful, free, creative collective music.”

Cat. number: CAP 21936
Year: 2024
Track A1 recorded at UNM, Historiska museet, Stockholm, 9 February, 1966. Track A2 recorded by Sveriges Radio in December 1965, and broadcasted as part of the radio programme Jazzforum on 15 January1966. Track B recorded at Dans In, Gröna Lund, Stockholm by Sveriges Radio on 24 July, 1967, and broadcasted on 30 August, 1967. Gatefold sleeve, also housing an eight-page booklet with liner notes and an interview, both in Swedish and English.
Holy crow, what a find! | Read more

Holy crow, what a find! This album collects three pieces of previously unknown music, recorded between 1965–67 by a wild Swedish quartet whose music destroyed the lines between free jazz, free rock and new music. Led by reed player Sandstrőm (whose subsequent recordings are excellent, but nowhere near this nuts) the first track is a savage blast of free jazz quoting from Ayler’s “Ghosts” amid howls of maniacal pleasure. Amazingly the C-melody saxophone on this cut (“Partita Per Pianoforte”) is played by Bjorn J:Son Lindh, whose fusionoid 1970s work is pretty square. Trumpet and cello are handled by Mats Hagström (notable for work with GL Unit). Erik Dahlbäck (later of Fläsket Brinner) covers drums, electronics and little instruments. It’s especially odd to note that all these guys showed up as the musicians on a 1967 single by the Swedish parody pop band Gårunt Show. Despite this, both tracks on the first side are very cool blurts of freedom predating most parallel Swedish action.

On the B side, Bengt Linnarsson (of Baby Grandmothers/Mecki Mark Men) adds electric bass to the mix. And the long single track, “Bränn Fläsket” (“Burning Ham”) is a masterpiece of rock based freakery. Pulsing drums and bass, crazy vocals, tape music overlays, this tune has it all! Recorded in August 1967, this track makes them contemporaries of Pärson Sound, who are generally considered the ur-root of the Swedish smoke generation.

The interview included makes it clear these players were coming out of a very jazzcentric tradition, one they felt was kickstarted by Gil Evans’s Into The Hot LP (a Cecil Taylor disc in all but name). There are hints regarding the process by which this crazy music got made, but the final results are pure magic. Anyone with a hankering for the music of the Pärson Sound/International Harvester/ Träd, Gräs Och Stenar continuum, or Don Cherry’s Swedish era, is in for a real treat. One can only hope this is just the tip of a subunderground Scandinavian iceberg. I could use a whole shelf of such stuff. Byron Coley

- The Wire