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Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

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Birka Jazz record store is closed but Birka Jazz Archive is still available. Scroll down and use the links to browse this comprehensive archive of rare jazz album covers


The pioneers of album cover design

David Stone Martin

The photographic covers

Searching for a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE  1500 series
Defining the hard bop style

BLUE NOTE  4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles

Images of East Coast jazz

Street cred with Thelonious Monk

Moods of Chet and Claxton

Cool West Coast, great Sound

Masterworks by Charlie Parker

Small label, big Bird sound

Bold and striking albums

The classic drummer logo label

The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

Legendary, early 1960s LPs

Free jazz and silk screened covers

Edgy and experimental

The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more

VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more


The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

Changing times in the 1960s

New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

Jazz labels with strong identity

Rare Italian jazz covers

From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza

Jazz labels around the world

Lars Gullin MEP 202  Lars Gullin Quintet   Label: Metronome MEP 202   7" EP 1956

Lars Gullin on Vinyl
Special Feature

  Lars Gullin Bengt Hallberg Prestige

Lars Gullin Quartet   Label: Prestige 121   10" LP

This American 10" LP album from the early 1950s contents the first recordings of Lars Gullin and Bengt Hallberg as leaders. Gullin plays with a quartet 1951 (including Hallberg), and a 17 years old Bengt Hallberg plays with a trio in 1950. Both sessions were first issued in Sweden on Metronome 78s.

Despite a relatively short and troubled life, with many stops and break-ups, the Swedish baritone saxophonist and composer Lars Gullin (1928-76) left many records behind. They are among the best made in Swedish jazz. Lars Gullin gave out about 50 different EPs and LPs in Sweden under his own name and there are numerous of recordings with Gullin as sideman and soloist. Many of Gullin's records in the 1950s were also issued abroad, especially in USA.


  Lars Gullin Zoot Sims

Lars Gullin and Zoot Sims: Americans in Sweden  
Label: Prestige 1341   7" EP

Before Lars Gullin's debut as a leader, he had already the year before performed in several sessions as a sideman. His first session was in April 1950 with Zoot Sims, who was in Stockholm with Benny Goodman's orchestra. Gullin is playing on his own composition Yellow Duck. It was issued by Metronome on a 78, which for many years was the only Swedish issue.

In the United States, the Prestige label gave out the music in 1953 on the EP above. That year, Lars Gullin and Zoot Sims made another recording together, which is issued on the same EP. Playing in the group was also Lee Konitz.

The 1953 recording was issued in Sweden on an EP album by Metronome (MEP 63), with the same title as the US album. More about the Swedish edition below.


  Rolf Ericson Swedish Pastry

Rolf Ericson: Swedish Pastry    Label: Discovery DL2008  10" LP

In autumn 1950 and new year 1951, Lars Gullin also made recordings with Rolf Ericson and Arne DomnÚrus, released partly in Domnerus' name (78s by HMV) and partly in Rolf Ericson's name (78s by the Artist label). In the United States they were issued in 1954 on this 10" LP.

It contains Rolf Ericson's three sessions for Artist 1950-51. It's the first and only vinyl issue with these recordings. Lars Gullin is on all tracks.


James Moody Favorites with Lars Gullin vol 2   James Moody with Lars Gullin vol 3

James Moody Favorites vol 2 and 3   Label: Prestige 125 and 146   10" LPs

Early in 1951 James Moody visited Sweden and met Swedish musicians in some record sessions. Prestige gave out three 10" LPs in 1953, entitled James Moody Favorites Vol 1-3. On ten songs we can hear Lars Gullin playing with Moody. These tracks are on vol 2 and 3. Only a few were issued in Sweden on 78s.


  Stan Getz Swedish All Stars

Stan Getz and Swedish All Stars   Label: Metronome BLP6  10" LP

Lars Gullin also appeared on the most famous of the Swedish-American recordings in the early 1950s. It's Stan Getz' session with Bengt Hallberg in March 1951,
A total of eight songs were recorded and Lars Gullin is on the final two quintet tracks. Otherwise this is a quartet session. It's all issued on this Swedish 10" LP from 1953. Later also issuede on two EPs.

  Lars Gullin Octet Gazell

Lars Gullin   Label: Gazell GEP-10   7" EP

Lars Gullin's second session as a leader was recorded for the Gazell label April 21, 1951. He has left Seymour Osterwall's orchestra, which he played with since 1949, and was touring in the spring of 1951 with Rolf Ericson's quintet.

For this recording the quintet was expanded to an octet with Ake Persson on trombone, who here made his recording debut only 18 years old. This recording was an opportunity for Lars Gullin to write for a larger group that he then often prefered to do. The octed recording was first issued on 78s and later in mid 1950s on this EP.

  Leonard Feather in Sweden

New Sounds from Sweden, vol 1    Label Prestige 119   10" LP

The american critic Leonard Feather arranged recordings in Stockholm in 1951 with the young Swedish modernists. Lars Gullin is playing on four tracks and get a great part in the beautiful ballad A Handful of Stars. The music was issued the same year in USA on this 10" LP. In Sweden the recordings were issued on Cupol 78s, and then not until 1974 on LP.

  Arne Domnerus Nalenorkester

Arne DomnÚrus Nalen Orchestra    Label: Odeon E054-34833  
12" LP 1973.

In autumn 1951, Lars Gullin was engaged in Arne DomnÚrus new group which he initially led together with Rolf Ericson. The orchestra premiered at Nalen Dance Hall in Stockholm on 5 September and then played there almost every night for several years.

The first recordings were issued on 78s. One of the songs was Lars Gullin's composition Barit, which is included on the 1973 LP collection above. On the cover we can see the original group with Arne Domnerus surrounded by Rolf Ericson, Rolf Blomqvist, Gunnar Svensson, Jack Noren, Yngve Akerberg and Lars Gullin.

  Arne Domnerus Around the World

Arne Domnerus: Around the World in Jazz: Sweden  
Label: RCA Victor LPT 3045   10" LP

Arne DomnÚrus new orchestra continued the recordings during the early 1950s. Lars Gullin was in great demand as a soloist and arranger and he wrote originals to the bands repertoire.

In Sweden the recordings were still issued on 78s, but in USA on both EPs and LPs. The LP above contains Lars Gullin's fine composition What a Kick, among others.

The collaboration between Rolf Ericson and Arne DomnÚrus worked unfortunately not the best way. Ericson left the band after a year, and later also Jack Noren and Lasse Gullin left. But Arne Domnerus found skilled replacements and the orchestra became an institution in Swedish jazz.

  Swinging Swedes Blue Note

The Poll winners: New Sounds from the Old World
Label: Blue Note 5019   10" LP

Lars Gullin was now an established Swedish jazz star and began to appear in the favorite polls of the time.

This was recognized in the US and in 1953 noted by Blue Note on the album above. Lars Gullin plays with other Swedish top musicians in a group called The Swinging Swedes.

The space on the record was shared with an English group called The Cool Britons, included Don Rendell and Jimmy Deuchar. In Sweden the Swedish group was issued on Cupol 78s.

  Lars Gullin Polydor EP

Lars Gullin: Gets Started   Label EPH 10727   7" EP

Some of the recordings Lars Gullin made for Metronome in the beginning of his career were never issued. It may possibly due to his 1951 signing with another label, Polydor. Gullin made his first recording for Polydor in October this year.

The Polydor recordings were issued on 78s. Four tracks also came on an EP, called Gets Started, which belongs to the rarest of the Gullin records. He plays four standards with the regular rhythm section of the Arne DomnÚrus group.

  Lars Gullin 1951-1953 Tip

Lars Gullin 1951-1953   Label: Tip 634 105   12" LP 1969

Lars Gullin recorded a total of 16 tunes for Polydor until April 1953. Mainly of these are standard songs, played by a quartet. But there are also a few own compositions with a larger band.

One of these is First Walk, where Gullin plays bass clarinet. Gullin has said that it was with this composition he discovered the direction of his music and realized his close contact with Swedish folk music.

Most of the Polydor recordings came out on 78s, but they were collected in the late 1960s on a LP album on the obscure Tip label (above).

  Lars Gullin 1951-1953 Tip

New Sounds from Sweden, vol 3   Label: Prestige 133   10" LP

Among the Lars Gullin material that Metronome never gave out are a quartet recording in January 1952. Gullin plays with pianist Ingemar Westberg, bassist Bengt Wittstr÷m and drummer Anders Burman.

The music was for many years only available on this 1953 US 10" LP. Both Domnerus and Gullin are heard on tenor sax along with Rolf Blomqvist and Gosta Theselius. It's not difficult to identify the tenor of Lars Gullin.

  Arne Domnerus HMV EP

Arne Domnerus   Label: HMV 7EG 8094   7" EP

Lars Gullin made his last recording session as sideman in Arne DomnÚrus Orchestra in September 1952. Rolf Ericson has left the band and was replaced by Weine Renliden. The horn section was extended with Ake Persson on trombone.

The recording was issued on this EP album. The orchestra played two songs, one of them was the Lars Gullin composition Giro. The other two songs was played by DomnÚrus quartet.

  Lars Gullin Metronome JLP 23

Lars Gullin: New Sounds   Label: Metronome JLP 23   10" LP

In spring 1953 came the first Swedish LP album with Lars Gullin. The recording was a collaboration between Metronome and Prestige and the LP was also issued in the US (see below), and in England by the Esquire label.

The album was recorded in the fall of 1952 directly for the new LP format. Only two of the songs were released on 78. The musicians around Lars Gullin are mainly from Arne DomnÚrus orchestra. All material is written by Gullin who not only is presented as a soloist, but also as a composer and arranger in full scale. The influence of Miles Davis tuba band is evident, among other things by a French horn in the ensemble.

  Lars Gullin Piano Holiday

Lars Gullin: Piano Holiday   Label: Metronome JLP 34   10" LP

Shortly after the first LP, Metronome and Prestige collaborated again with a new 10" LP. It was recorded in February 1953 and issued later that year.

The recording was done with a quartet, and as the title suggest without piano. The model was Gerry Mulligan's popular quartet recordings with Chet Baker. But this Swedish variant is not an American copy but completely original Lars Gullin.

The LP was also issued in England on Esquire, and four of the songs came out on an EP in Sweden with the same title and cover as the LP.

  Lars Gullin Prestige 144

Lars Gullin: New Sounds from Sweden, vol 5  
Label: Prestige 144   10" LP

This is the American version of Lars Gullin's first LP on Metronome. The second LP, Piano Holiday, was also issued in the US, entitled vol 7 with a similar cover, with the same picture of Gullin.

There was a large American interest in Swedish jazz. Until 1953 Prestige gave out about 20 LPs of Swedish origin. It means that every fourth LP from the US company were recorded in Sweden!

The American critics liked Lars Gullin and compared him with Gerry Mulligan. But they found that he differed from Mulligan and played in his own personal style. It was not common among European musicians at this time.

  Lars Gullin Contemporary

Lars Gullin Quartet and Quintet  
Label: Contemporary C2505   10" LP

The music on this 10" LP was recorded in March 1953 when Lars Gullin was about to leave Arne DomnÚrus orchestra. He had started to form his own quintet of young musicians. Putte Lindblom, Georg Riedel and Weine Renliden are included on this recording.

It was mainly made for the American market, entitled Modern Sounds: Sweden. The LP was also issued in France and England on the Vogue label (see below). Half of the songs came on 78s in Sweden, but otherwise remained unissued for many years.

  Lars Gullin Vogue 10

Lars Gullin Quartet and Quintet   Label: Vouge LDE 052   10" LP

Lars Gullin also had a large audience in France and England. This is the English edition of Lars Gullin's recordings for Contemporary. It was also issued in France with the same cover design.

The quintet heard here is in fact the only regular band that Gullin led throughout his career. It toured in the summer of 1953 in Sweden. But he realized that he was not the man to lead a band. The quintet disbanded after the tour and the rest of his life Gullin worked as a freelance musician.

  Lars Gullin Rare and Unissued

Lars Gullin: Rare and unissued recordings  
Label: Dragon DRLP 75  12" LP 1984

Lars Gullin's recordings for Contemporary remained unissued in Sweden for nearly 30 years. They are included on this 1984 LP. Here is also a radio recording with baritone saxophonist Kettil Ohlson Quintet, in which Lars Gullin plays alto, and rare quartet recordings with pianist Bob Laine och drummer Jack Noren.

  Lars Gullin Americans in Sweden

Americans in Sweden   Label: Metronome MEP 63   7" EP

In August 1953 Stan Kenton's orchestra came to Stockholm for a concert. Lars Gullin had been told that Metronome would try to get a recording with some of the musicians in the orchestra, among them Lee Konitz and Zoot Sims. Konitz was one of Gullin's sources of inspiration and he prepared the recording by writing a composition called Dedicated to Lee.

The song was recorded in a night session after the Kenton concert, along with another Gullin composition titled Late Date. The group was called Lars Gullin American All Stars, a septet with only Kenton-musicians + Gullin as principal soloist. The music was issued on a 78 and then on this EP. It also includes music from a Jimmy Raney session (without Gullin) in January 1954, with Putte Wickman, Bengt Hallberg and others.

  Clifford Brown MEP 18

Clifford Brown and Art Farmer   
Label: Metronome MEP 18 and MEP 19   7" EPs

In September 1953 it was time for the next nightly US meeting in the Metronome Studio in Stockholm. Lionel Hampton's big band was in town, peppered with young aspiring jazz stars such as trumpeters Clifford Brown, Art Farmer and Quincy Jones.

The Americans played with Lars Gullin and the other young Swedish musicians and it resulted in two 7" EPs. It's vol 1 above, vol 2 had the same cover design but in a different color. The songs were written and arranged by Quincy Jones.

The music was released in the US by Prestige, first on a 10" LP and then on 12" LPs in several editions over the years.

  George Wallington Metronome EP

George Wallington with the Swedish All Stars  
Label: Metronome MEP 20   7" EP

Pianist in Lionel Hamptons orchestra, who visited Sweden in 1953, was George Wallington. He also was in the studio and played two arrangement by Quincy Jones. The musicians around Wallington were all Swedish. Lars Gullin played solo on both tunes on the EP.

At the same night, recordings also were made by the singer Annie Ross in Hampton's band. She sang two songs with a group that included Lars Gullin and was led by Gigi Gryce. These recordings were issued only on 78s.

  Quincy Jones Metronome EP

Quincy Jones and his Swedish-American All Stars  
Label: MEP 30 and MEP 31   7" EPs

After the visit in Sweden, Lionel Hamptons orchestra went to Paris, where members of the band made recordings with French musicians. The band then returned to Sweden in November 1953 and played in several locations in the country.

Quincy Jones was again responsible for a recording session for Metronome, with musicians from the orchestra and some of the best Swedes. This time was not Clifford Brown in the studio, but Art Farmer, Jimmy Cleveland and drummer Alan Dawson. The Swedes were the same as last time including Lars Gullin and Arne DomnÚrus.

Metronome recorded four songs that were issued on two EPs in Quincy Jones' name. The cover is made by Nisse Skoog with the same design on both volumes, but printed in different colors. The music was issued in the US on a 10" Prestige LP.

Lars Gullin Quintet MEP 27   Carl-Henrik Norin with Lars Gullin

Lars Gullin with Carl-Henrik Norin  
Labels: Metronome MEP 27 and Roulette 67  7" EPs.

Late 1953 and early 1954, Lars Gullin made a couple of recordings with the Swedish tenorist Carl-Henrik Norin. It became two EPs. The first titled Lars Gullin Quintet, and the second Carl-Henrik Norins All Star Band. The drummer on the Metronome EP is Alan Dawson.


Bengt Hallberg MEP 29   Bengt Hallberg MEP 34

Bengt Hallberg and his Swedish All Stars  
Label: Metronome MEP 29 and MEP 34  7" EPs

The most prominent among Swedish jazz musicians at this time was without a doubt Lars Gullin and pianist Bengt Hallberg. In November 1953, they made a recording together that were issued on two EPs in Bengt Hallberg's name. Once again it was a collaboration between Metronome and the american label Prestige, who gave out the music on a 10" LP album (see below).


  Bengt Hallberg Prestige 176

Bengt Hallberg: New Sounds from Sweden  
Label: Prestige 176   10" LP

This is the US 10" LP album that contains the music on the two Metronome EPs above. Featured, beside Hallberg and Gullin, are Arne Domnerus and Ake Persson. Bengt Hallberg wrote the tunes that where named after cocktail drinks.

  Lars Gullin Bengt Hallberg Pacific EP

Bengt Hallberg ensemble featuring Lars Gullin
Label: Pacific Jazz EP 4-17   7" EP

Bengt Hallberg and Lars Gullin also play leading roles in a recording made in January 1954 with an octet that included musicians such as Ake Persson, Putte Wickman and Ernie Englund. The session was led by Simon Brehm and recorded by his label Karusell. But the recording was never issued in Sweden, it was only used in a trade with the American label Pacific Jazz, who gave it out on this 7" EP.

Bengt Hallberg has written the music and Lars Gullin get plenty of solo space. The cover is designed by William Claxton.

  Leonard Feather Swingin in Sweden

Leonard Feather presents Swinging in Sweden  
Label Metronome MEP 50, MEP 57 and MEP 58    7" EPs

In January 1954, Leonard Feather was back in Sweden as a promoter for a touring American package show. Among the musicians Feather had brought from US were Sonny Clark and Red Mitchell and they met up for the recordings with Lars Gullin and other young Swedes.

Three 7" EPs were issued under the title Swinging in Sweden. The cover design was made by Stig Soderqvist, used on all three EPs but printed in different colors.

  Lars Gullin MEP 75

Lars Gullin Quartet   Label: Metronome MEP 75 and MEP 76   7" EPs

Lars Gullin was since several years addicted to drugs and was in the spring of 1954 in hospital for treatment of the problems. He was healthy when he in May 25 went into the studio and recorded Danny's Dream and three more originals. It has become one of his most famous recordings.

The recording was made by a quartet in an inspired and relaxed spirit. Gullin's wife Gerd and son Danny was in the studio all day and Lars Gullin is heard in absolute top form. The session was issued on two EPs (vol 1 and 2). They had the same cover design, printed in different colors.

Lars Gullin EmArcy EP 6071   Lars Gullin EmArcy EP 6072

Lars Gullin Quartet   Label: EmArcy 6072 and 6170   7" EPs

The Danny's Dream session was issued in the United States on both LP and EP. Above the two EPs. The records helped Lars Gullin win the Down Beat critics poll in 1954 as New Star on Baritone sax. He became the first foreigner to win a similar price.


  Lars Gullin MEP 77

Lars Gullin Septet   Label: Metronome MEP 77 and MEP 78   7" EPs

Just a week after Danny's Dream, Lars Gullin recorded another two EPs, which also belongs to the best he ever done. The records (vol 1 and 2) had the same cover design by Nisse Skoog but printed in different colors.

The four compositions are called the Flower tunes. The titles comes from the Latin names of some flowers, which had in common that they were yellow and thus alluded to Gullin's name (Yellow = "Gul" in Swedish).

Nisse Skoog who made several of the Gullin album covers, was originally a jazz musician and played trumpet in the 40s and 50s.

Lars Gullin EmArcy Garden   Lars Gullin EmArcy Cat-in-clover

Gullin's Garden   Label: EmArcy 26044   10" LP
Cat-in-Clover   Label: EmArcy 6077   7" EP

The so called Flower tunes were issued in the United States on both LP and EP. Above to the left the 10" LP and to the right the EP.

On Metronome's Swedish EPs the four compositions are named after the flowers Latin name. On the American LP, as well as on the english EPs on Esquire, the flower titles have their English name. "Lotus corniculatus" thus for example has become Cat-in-Clover.


Lars Gullin EmArcy Garden   Lars Gullin EmArcy Cat-in-clover

Lars Gullin EmArcy Garden   Lars Gullin EmArcy Cat-in-clover

Lars Gullin on EPs in England

Lars Gullin was popular also in England. Here are four example of 1954 recordings for Metronome, issued on EPs in England by the Esquire label.


Lars Gullin with Moretone Singers   Lars Gullin Mortone EmArcy

Lars Gullin with the Moretone Singers  
Label: Metronome MEP 86 and MEP 87   7" EPs
EmArcy 36059   12" LP

In the summer of 1954, Lars Gullin played with Lulle Ellbojs Orchestra at Tivoli in Copenhagen. In connection with this commitment Metronome made a recording with Gullin and the Danish choir The Moretone Singers. It was released on two EPs. It's volume 2 to the left above. The design is made by Stig Soderqvist. Volume 1 has a similar cover, but in a different color.

The arrangements were written by Gullin in collaboration with Gunnar LundÚn-Welden. Some members of Ellbojs Orchestra participates in the horn section. The rhythm section consists of the Danish drummer William Schiopffe, pianist Bengt Hallberg and bassist Georg Riedel.

The recording was also issued in the US on 12" LP, displayed to the right above.


  Lars Gullin Tribute to Britain

Lars Gullin: Tribute to Britain  
Label: Metronome MEP 105 and MEP 106   7" EPs

At the end of 1954, Lars Gullin visited England for a short tour and played with English musicians. Home again, he recorded two EPs called Tribute to Britain, vol 1 and 2. The records have the same cover, but in different color, with a London-inspired design by Stig Soderqvist.

  Lars Gullin EmArcy LP

Lars Gullin   Label: EmArcy 36012   12"LP

The music on the EPs Tribute to Britain was in 1955 issued in the United States on a selftitled LP. It's Lars Gullin's first 12" LP, released six months before the LP with Moretone Singers.

He was now an established name in American jazz circles. In the liner notes of this LP is said that the Lars Gullin is comparable with any top American jazz musician and that the quality of Swedish jazz in general is best in the world, second only to the United States. The image on the album is a photo collage from Gullin's packed concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

The album also includes the four tunes from the Gullin Metronome session with Carl-Henrik Norin in November 1953

  Lars Gullin EmArcy EP   Lars Gullin EmArcy EP

More Gullin!   Label: EmArcy 6121 and 6123 

The music from Tribute to Britain was also issued on EPs in the United States. The record to the left above includes the gorgeous ballad Manchester Fog. Lars Gullin has said that he had carried the song since 1952. It was temporarily titled at this time, originally intended to be named Prima Vera. That was the name of it when it was recorded again nine years later, on the Gullin album Portrait of My Pals.

  Lars Gullin Jutta Hipp

Jutta Hipp with Lars Gullin   Label: Karusell 3018   7" EP

One of the rarest record with Lars Gullin is an EP with Jutta Hipp from 1955. Jutta Hipp was a very talented German pianist who in the winter of 1955 played in Sweden with a quartet. She had been discovered by Leonard Feather and had the year before made a recording in New York for Blue Note.

In Stockholm she was joined with Lars Gullin and they made a quartet recording under the direction of Simon Brehm. The plan was that the material would be used in a future Blue Note LP, but Simon Brehm's negotiations with the US company failed and he released the music on his own label Karusell.

Jutta Hipp's career as a jazz musician was short. After a few years she abandoned music and returned to her first interest of painting and photography.

  Lars Gullin with Rolf Billberg

Rolf Billberg Quintet featuring Lars Gullin  
Label: Sonet 2505   7" EP

The altoist Rolf Billberg and Lars Gullin have made many memorable recordings together. First time they met in a recording studio was in March 1955 and the meeting can be heard on this EP.

The music was first issued on the small Modern Music label and the recording was made in a primitive do-it-yourself studio. Rolf Billberg played the tenor sax at this time and in the rhythm section are Claes-G÷ran Fagerstedt, Georg Riedel and Bo Stoor.

  Lars Gullin Sextet MEP 129

Lars Gullin Sextet   Label: Metronome MEP 129   7" EP

Rolf Billberg led an quartet with Jan Allan which used to play at jam sessions at Nalen in Stockholm during the winter of 1954-55. In the early spring, Lars Gullin joined the group and it led to a tour in Norway and engagement at jazz clubs in Sweden. No recordings were arranged, except for a gig in April 1955 at Stockholm Concert Hall, issued on a 1982 Dragon LP (see below).

However, in June 1955 Gullin and Billberg made a recording with another temporary assembled group. It was issued on the EP album displayed above.

  Lars Gullin with Chet Baker

Lars Gullin with Chet Baker   Label Dragon DRLP 36   12" 1982

Lars Gullin was now a big name abroad in Europe and got more and more offers of concerts and tourings with foreign musicians. In October 1955 he was in Stuttgart, Germany and played with Chet Baker.

This 1982 LP contains a previously unreleased recording with Baker's American quartet + Gullin. The group also included pianist Dick Twardzick. However, the just started tour went into a tragic when the 24 year old Twardzick died in a Paris hotel room after an overdose, just six days after this recording.

On the Dragon LP we also can hear Rolf Billberg and Lars Gullin quintet from their gig at Stockholm Concert Hall in April 1955.

  Lee Konitz with Lars Gullin

Lee Konitz Septet   Label: Carrish LCA 29010   7" EP

In January 1956, Lars Gullin was in Germany and made recordings with Lee Konitz. It was the Italian Gigi Campi who organized a series of concerts and radio recordings for a group that beside Konitz and Gullin basically consisted of tenor saxophonist Hans Koller's German band.

Three EPs were issued on the Italian record label Carisch. On the first volume (above) the group plays Late Summer, a composition by Lars Gullin.

Lars Gullin MEP 199    

Lars Gullin MEP 202   Lars Gullin MEP 196  

Lars Gullin MEP 200   Lars Gullin MEP 201  

Lars Gullin MEP 203  

Lars Gullin MEP 204  

Lars Gullin MEP 198   Lars Gullin MEP 197  

Marathon session for Metronome and 9 Lars Gullin EPs

April 23, 1956, Lars Gullin went into the Metronome studio in Stockholm and stayed for four days. The result was 9 Swedish EPs and two American LPs on Atlantic and East-West, a total of 17 tracks.

It was the Atlantic label who had ordered the recordings. They wanted a complete picture of Gullin; as a soloist and composer in various orchestral sizes. The EPs were issued in one sequence as Metronome
MEP 196 - MEP 204, all displayed on the pictures above. The cover photos were taken by Bengt H. Malmqvist.

  Lars Gullin Atlantic

Lars Gullin: Baritone Sax   Label: Atlantic 1246   12" LP

Of the 17 tracks recorded in the Metronome studio in April 1956, were 7 of them issued in the US on this Atlantic LP. It received much attention and was for example featured in an article in Time Magazine.

  Lars Gullin East West

Lars Gullin Swings   Label East-West 4003   12" LP

A few years later another 8 tracks from the Metronome marathon session were issued on the Atlantic sub-label East-West, entitled Lars Gullin Swings. East-West was a short-lived label, only producing 4 LPs.

  Lars Gullin Metronome Years

Danny's Dream: Lars Gullin 1951-1954  
Label: Metronome JMLP 2-101   12" 1974

The marathon session in April 1956 was Lars Gulin's final recordings for for Metronome. The label continued to record Swedish jazz a few more years, but then passed to pop music.

In conjunction with its 25th anniversary in 1974, the label gave out two double-LPs with Lars Gullin's recordings 1951-1956. The first volume was called Danny's Dream and the other Manchester Fog.

In addition, they issued 5 double albums entitled Swedish Jazz 1949-1961 and Americans in Sweden 1949-1959 where Lars Gullin plays a prominent role in several of them. All albums had the same cover design as the album above.

  Theselius Bally

Gosta Theselius: Swedish Jazz   Label: Bally 12002   12" LP

In April 1956, when Lars Gullin during four days made his last recordings for Metronome, there was also a fifth studio day in a row. But this time the recordings were made in G÷sta Theselius' name and produced by the Belgian Jacques Kluger. The result was a LP album for the obscure American Bally label, owned by a company in Chicago that made pinball and slot machines. The album title was Swedish Jazz.

Some new musicians, who had not been present earlier in the week, appears on this recording, among others Bengt Hallberg and Bjarne Nerem. The music remained unissued and virtually unknown in Sweden for many years. Not until 1974 it was given out on a Gazell LP.

  Lars Gullin Session at Midnight Lars Gullin Session at Midnight alt

Lars Gullin: Session at Midnight   Label: Sonet SXP 2501   7" EP

In the spring of 1956 a jazz concert was organized in a suburb of Stockholm where Lars Gullin played with a quartet consisting of Rune Gustafsson Sture Nordin and Robert Edman. Parts of the concert were recorded. One of the songs, a seven-minute version of Lover Come Back To Me, was eventually issued on this EP.

To the right above the second pressing with an alternate cover design. Both pressings are rare and the music has never been issued on vinyl in other ways. On the B-side, Lars Gullin is replaced by the pianist Reinhold Svensson. Both cover photos were taken by Bengt H. Malmqvist.

  Rolf Billberg Lars Gullin

Gullin-Billberg Quintet   Label: Sonet SXP 2002   7" EP

Autumn 1956, Lars Gullin was touring in Europe and played with Chet Baker among others. In Copenhagen he met altoist Rolf Billberg, now playing tenor in Ib Glindeman Orchestra.

The Danish Sonet arrranged a recording and an EP album was issued. We hear the two Swedish soulmates play with a Danish rhythm section consisting of Paul Godske, Poul Gregersen and William Schiopffe.

  Lars Gullin Ake Persson

Lars Gullin - Ake Persson   Laabel: Philips P08202L   12" LP

In early 1957, Lars Gullin made recordings for Philips. He played two songs in a quintet with trombonist Ake Persson and also with a quartet. It became a LP album which is one of the first Swedish 12" LPs ever, and the very first for Lars Gullin. The beautiful cover photo is taken by Tore Johnson.

  Lars Gullin Philips EP

Lars Gullin   Label: Philips 421 512 PE   7" EP

Lars Gullin's quartet recordings for Philips was also issued on EP. Lars Gullin plays with two different rhythm sections, one of them consisting of Claes-Goran Fagerstedt, Torbjorn Hultcrantz and Sune Spangberg. They then continued to play together during the spring, often as a quintet with Stig Soderqvist on valve trombone.

It was intended that they would tour during the summer, but Lars Gullin abstained. He was replaced by Bernt Rosengren and the legendary group Jazz Club -57 was formed.

  Lars Gullin Expressens Elitorkester

Arne Domnerus and Expressens Elitorkester: Relax
Label:: RCA EPS 98   7" EP

The recording with "Expressens Elitorkester" was one of several recordings with the winners of the critics poll. Lars Gullin of course, was a big favorite in such contexts. He participated in recordings made 1951 and 1952, issued only on 78s.

A recording in January 1957 was issued on a EP called Relax. One side with Arne Domnerus Quartet and one side with "Expressens Elitorkester" including Lars Gullin, Domnerus, Ake Person, Bengt Hallberg and others.

  Lars Gullin Sonet 2514

Lars Gullin Quintet   Label: Sonet SXP 2514   7" EP

There were no more recordings in 1957 for Lars Gullin after the Philips sessions. It was a problematic year for him and he was in long periods admitted to hospitals. He had previously made a recording with Rolf Billberg for the Danish Sonet label, and get in contact with the Swedish part of Sonet. They agreed to record a LP album and wrote a one-year contract.

The recordings began in January 1958 and continued on and off throughout the spring. First out was this EP with two Gulin originals played by a quintet included Jan Allan, Rune Gustafsson, Claes Lindroth and Sune Spangberg. The EP, with its nice image of Lars Gullin in front of the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, is a rare one. Cover photo by Bengt H. Malmqvist.

  Lars Gullin Sonet 2519

Lars Gullin Plays   Label: Sonet SXP 2519   7" EP

Sonet issued a second EP with Lars Gullin before the release of the planned LP album. It's mostly music from a session in January 1958 when Gullin used the same quartet as in the recording for Philips a year earlier. The songs are Night in Tunisia, Fine Together and Good Day To You, the latter two Gullin originals.

There is also a duet with Lars Gullin and Rolf Billberg on this EP, called Sweet and Lovely. It's a beautiful piece of music with two like-minded improvisers.

  Lars Gullin Sonet 2519

The Artistry of Lars Gullin   Label: Sonet SLP 1   12" LP

When Sonet in 1958 released the LP with Lars Gullin's new recordings, it was clear that the record company had saved the best for last. There was additional materials compared to the EPs, among others the song Aesthetic Lady, considered as one of Gullin's best compositions.

The album itself was an extravagance in luxury and lavish details. Something similar had never before been released in Sweden. The edition was limited to 1000 numbered and signed copies. The covers were fold out like a book and contained a booklet with text and many photographs. Sonet had issued Lars Gulin's first own LP and done their best to highlight the great artist they had been dealing with.

  Lars Gullin Fine Together Sonet LP

Lars Gullin: Fine Together   Label: Sonet SLPD 2542   12" LP 1973

After the grand LP album, it was surely intendent to continue the cooperation between Sonet and Lars Gullin. But that did not happen.

Sonet summarized the brief era of Lars Gullin in a double album in 1973 called Fine Together. It begins with three tunes from 1951 that was recorded for Gazell (Gullin's second session as leader) and is followed by the 1956 recording with Rolf Billberg in Copenhagen. The rest of the album is devoted the recordings in 1958 with the addition of some unissued material. Among others an alternate take of the Gullin / Billbergs duet recording of Sweet and Lovely. It is completely different from the version that was released on the EP.

  Stan Getz in Town Stan Getz in Town vol 2

Stan Getz in town   Label: Karusell KEP 349 and KEP 350   7" EPs

In August 1958, Stan Getz was in town (Stockholm) for new recordings with Swedish jazzmen including Lars Gullin. The music came on two EPs. One of the songs is titled Stockholm Street, which Lars Gullin wrote especially for the occasion.

  Lars Gullin Fine Together Artist EP

Lars Gullin Octet: Fine Together   Label: Artist AEP 1025   7" EP

Lars Gullin was not feeling well in the autumn of 1958 and the gigs were few. In January 1959 he played in an octet session for the Artist label, with Rolf Billberg and others. It was ment to be a series of recordings for the label, but Lars Gullin got an inventation to attend a jazz festival in San Remo. So he went to Italy and wasn't back in almost a year.

Artist gave out the so far recorded material on an EP which included a re-interpretation of the composition Fine Together which Gullin recorded for Sonet a year earlier. On the EP were also new versions of For FJ Fans Only and Merlin as well as a new composition, The Black Rose.

  Lars Gullin with Gil Cuppini

Lars Gullin with Gil Cuppini   Label: Astraphon Y.1785   7" EP

In Italy Lars Gullin felt welcome and well looked after. The best Italian musicians knew him and were familiar with his music. Jazz fans knew who he was. It gave him many opportunities for jobs. He also met up with American musicians such as Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan for joint concerts.

The first Italian record session was held in March 15 in Milano with the drummer Gil Cuppini and his quintet. The music was released on this EP album. The two songs (Topsy and I'll Remember April) is also included on a Cuppini LP album on the Broadway label.

Lars Gullin Basso-Valdambrini   Lars Gullin Il Jazz in Italia

The Basso-Valdambrini Octet   Label: Jolly 5007   12" LP
Il Jazz in Italia: 4 Dimensioni   Label: RCA Italiana 60000  12" LP

Lars Gullin continued to make recordings in Italy. He often played with tenor saxophonist Gianno Basso and trumpeter Oscar Valdambrini, which are on the first recording with Gil Cuppini. The two Italians had their own band together, in which Lars Gullin joined both for recordings and tours.

Lars Gullin had his wife Berit with him in Italy, and in April their son Peter was born. Both have testified the family happiness that prevailed during the time in Italy, and the working environment and creative power it gave to Lars Gullin. He wrote a lot of music during the year, which he used for a long time to come.

For the LP above left, titled New Sound from Italy, Gullin has written two songs - Peter of April and Fata Morgana. He has also written several arrangements and participates as a soloist. The album was also issued in the US by Verve.

In June 1959 he went to the studio and plays with an Italian all-star group and also recorded a couple of songs with a quartet. Some of this material is available on the classic and rare LP album above right, Il Jazz in Italia: 4 Dimensioni.


  Lars Gullin with Franco Cerri

Franco Cerri and his European Jazz Stars  
Label: Italian Columbia OPX 8010   12" LP

A few days before Lars Gullin left Italy and went back to Sweden, he was featured on a recording with guitarist Franco Cerri and his European Jazz Stars. On the cover of this rare LP album we see Gullin along with the rest of the group.

  Lars Gullin Artist EP

Lars Gullin Quartet   Label: Artist AEP 1059   7" EP

In January 1960, Lars Gullin continued the recordings for the Artist label that begun a year earlier. This time he used a quartet with Lars Bagge, Claes Lindroth and Stubben Kallin. They played three songs on the EP album that was released. On a fourth song Rolf Billberg is added on alto sax.

In the liner notes, pianist and critic Lars Werner writes that the stay in Italy has affected Gullin's playing: "His sound is very much his solos a kind of surface authority wich was lacking before...his phrasing is assured and firm."

  Lars Gullin Sax Appeal

The Swedish Modern Jazz Group: Sax Appeal  
Label: Barben 1004   12" LP

In February 1960, Lars Gullin recorded with a group called The Swedish Modern Jazz Group. The music was issued by the small Barben label and the LP album was entitled Sax Appeal. The other saxophones were played by Rolf Billberg, Harry Backlund and Allan Lundstr÷m and the music was written and arranged by Nils Lindberg.

Superb music, but it is the title and the eye-catching cover that made this album famous. Unfortunately the cover only appears on the original pressing. When the album was released again ten years later on the Telestar label, the blonde and the saxes were replaced by something more harmless!

Not much is known about the Barben label. Producer was Emil Bourin, who also wrote a long liner notes to Sax Appeal. The photo is taken by Stig Forsberg.

  Lars Gullin Blue Mail

Lars Gullin: Blue Mail   Label: Artist AEP 1075   7" EP

Around the same time as Sax Appeal was recorded, Lars Gullin concluded his contract with the Artist label. It was done with an octet recording that was issued on the EP album Blue Mail. The group included Rolf Billberg, Harry Backlund and Bengt-Arne Wallin.

All three songs on the album are new compositions by Gullin. There are the melancholy and beautifully poetic melody The Yellow Leavenworth's Love to the Earh, and two similar but slightly more bluesy tunes, Blue Mail and Baritonome.

  Lars Gullin Artist LP

Lars Gullin 1959-1960   Label: Artist ALP 30-114   12" LP 1974

The three EPs Lars Gullin made for Artist, were collected in 1974 on this LP album from 1974. The record company was interested in continuing the cooperation with Lars Gullin in the early 1960s and offered him to become a producer. But he declined.

It seems that Gullin found it hard to settle in Stockholm after the return from Italy. He describes himself in the book "Jazz Amour Affair" by Keith Knox: - I was all alone and it felt as if time slipped away from me, it was wasted ... I just went around on the streets, I could not write, I had no gigs.

  Lars Gullin Monica Zetterlund

Lars Gullin - Monica Zetterlund   Label: Columbia SEGS 70   7" EP

In the late 1950s, singer Monica Zetterlund made her first recordings for Columbia. A LP album and seven EPs were issued before she, in June 1960, made the eighth EP which became her last for Columbia. Lars Gullin was engaged and the EP was issued in both names. Monica Zetterlund's recording career then continued at Philips.

Lars Gullin has arranged two of the songs and plays with an orchestra that also contains strings. Gullin is the only soloist alongside Monica Z. The record is rare and sought after among collectors.

  Lars Gullin Jöns EP

Lars Gullin   Label: Jöns 6010   7" EP

In September 1960 Lars Gullin made a recording for the very short-lived record label Jöns. He joined Putte Wickman's sextet and played two compositions, Stockholm Street and Our Knob. They were issued on this rare EP with a cover that had Gullin's printed signature as the only decoration. In Putte Wickman's band played among others Eje Thelin and Harry Backlund. The sextet also recorded some songs without Gullin, issued on another EP. It seems to be the only records the company ever released.

For Lars Gullin it was his last recording session in Sweden for four years. In 1961 he moved to Copenhagen in Denmark.

  Lars Gullin Erik Moseholm

Erik Moseholm: Two Oscars to Oscar  
Label: Hit Records HR 708   7" EP

In Copenhagen Lars Gullin met Rolf Billberg and they played together in a quintet with Danish musicians on jazz clubs like Vingaarden.

Lars Gullin also appears on a recording with bassist Erik Moseholm in April 1961. It is a tribute to Oscar Pettiford and was issued on EP, entitled Two Oscars to Oscar. The recording was made with an octet including trumpeter Allan Botschinsky.

  Lars Gullin Brew Moore

Brew Moore in Europe   Label: Debut DEB 137   12" LP

In 1962 Lars Gullin was permanently settled in Copenhagen. He also met the American tenor saxophonist Brew Moore and they often played together at the jazz club Montmartre.

In May-June 1962 Gullin and Moore were in Stockholm and played a week at the Golden Circle with Swedish musicians. A month later Lars Gullin played with a quartet in two weeks at the same club.

In September Lars Gullin and Brew Moore recorded for the Danish Debut label, who issued the LP Brew Moore in Europe On the album cover are Lars Gullin and Brew Moore with Sahib Shihab in the background.

  Lars Gullin Archie Shepp

Archie Shepp/Lars Gullin Quintet: The House I Live In  
Label: SteepleChase 6013   12" LP 1980

It seems to have worked well for Lars Gullin during the first time in Copenhagen. But the competition increased and the gigs at Monmartre and other clubs became fewer and fewer, as giants like Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster moved to town.

During the summer of 1963, he was up in Stockholm again and played on the jazz club Golden Circle, and in November he had his last gig at Montmartre. It was with the American free jazz successor Archie Shepp. Danish Radio made a recording which was issued on LP in 1980. Lars Gullin tryed to challenge Shepp, but the question is whether he succeeds. Some consider it, while others just seem to hear a cry for help.

  Lars Gullin with Strings

Lars Gullin with Strings   Label: Sonet SLP 2659   12" LP 1980

Lars Gullin was back in Stockholm at the beginning of 1964. Rolf Billberg had also returned and they started playing more and more together. In February, they played with a quintet in two weeks at Gyllene Cirkeln. Gullin met the producer Gunnar Lindqvist at EMI who wants to give out an LP with some new material Gullin had written in Copenhagen.

That new material, among others the composition Portrait of My Pals, was first performed in a concert at Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. Lars Gullin and Rolf Billberg is the main soloists and they are backed by strings and a group of jazz musicians. The concert was recorded but was not given out until 1980.

  Lars Gullin Portrait of my pals

Lars Gullin: Portrait of my Pals   Label: Columbia SSX 1010   12" LP

The return to Stockholm in the spring of 1964 meant an artistic turning point for Lars Gullin. In June, he recorded the planned LP for EMI Columbia, entitled Portrait of my Pals. He plays six own compositions - the reinvention of Prima Vera / Manchester Fog and five brand new. He is backed by, among others Rolf Billberg and Jan Allan, and a string section.

The albuim is the first of six LPs by Gullin produced by Gunnar Lindqvist. It is his own first album in four years and it was a brilliant comeback for him. He was hailed as the greatest artist in Swedish jazz.

  Lars Gullin Gyllene Cirkeln

Lars Gullin at Gyllene Cirkeln  
Label: EMI 7C062-35627   12" LP 1979

The success of Lars Gullin with Portrait of My Pals led to a two-weeks egagement at Gyllene Cirkeln in Stockholm in December. He played with a large group including strings at the club. It was an unusual arrangement with many troubles for all involved, but after all a great musical success. Everyone could hear that Lars Gullin was very inspired and probably never had been better.

The EMI producer Gunnar Lindqvist made some privately recordings, but it took until 1979 before it came out on LP. There are selectet parts of Gullin's solos on the record and also a couple of tunes from Lars Gullins next engagement at Gyllene Cirkeln, in January 1965, when he played with a quintet that included Harry Backlund and Staffan Abeleen among others.

  Lars Gullin Live

Lars Gullin: Live!   Label: Columbia E062-34045   12" LP

Despite the artistic success of the mid-1960s, the next few years became hard and filled with troubles for Lars Gullin. The harsh climate for jazz made that gigs were few. In addition he had many social problems to contend with. In 1966 he moved with his family to Moshult in Småland in southern Sweden. The coming years he only had odd local jobs and just occasional gigs in Stockholm.

Next LP album came out in 1969, entitled Live! It contains live recordings made during the summer in Stockholm. Lars Gullin plays with a quartet/quintet that includes Bernt Rosengren and Lalle Svensson.

  Lars Gullin with Marlene Widmark

Marlene Widmark / Teddy Wilson: I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart  
Label: Odeon E062-34172  12" LP

The summer gigs in Stockholm 1969 was a new sort of comeback for Lars Gullin. He was back in town and no one could understand what he's done in Småland so long. He made several acclaimed performances during the summer, for example playing with Lee Konitz at Gyllene Cirkeln. But however, Lars returned to Småland and moved with his family to a new house in Visselfjärda.

In April 1970 participated Lars Gullin on a LP album with the singer Marlene Widmark. In addition to Lars Gullin and Teddy Wilson the singer was backed by musicians as Rolf Ericson, Bernt Rosengren and Bjarne Nerem. Lars Gullin plays several fine solos, among others in the title song.

  Lars Gullin Jazz Amour Affair

Lars Gullin: Jazz Amour Affair   Label: Odeon E062-34289   12" LP

In 1971, Lars Gullin mostly was working with composing. Among others he wrote the suite Jazz Amour Affair which he recorded and EMI gave out on LP. Gullin plays with Norrkoping Symphonic Orchestra and a septet including Rolf Ericson, Bernt Rosengren, Lars Sj÷sten and others.

The cover drawing has been made by Gullin's daughter Poulina.

  Lars Gullin Like Grass

Lars Gullin: Like Grass   Label: Odeon E062-34874   12" LP

Ever since mid 1960s Lars Gullin's playing had been hampered by dental problems. Because of that, Gullin during a couple of years in the early 1970s, only plays piano. But he could return to the saxophone during the last years of his life.

In August 1973 was a LP album issued with his piano playing. It was entitled Like Grass. He played both old and new compositions in various combinations - solo, duo, trio and quintet with the participation of Lee Konitz, Bernt Rosengren, Red Mitchell and Island Ostlund.

  Lars Gullin Bluesport

Lars Gullin: Bluesport   Label: EMI E062-35141   12" LP

Lars Gullin was back in the recording studio in September 1974 and now he played baritone sax again. The new album is titled Bluesport. It's a new sound in the saxophone, warmer and with more energy than before. The compositions and arrangements have a new fresh contemporary feeling.

Lars Gullin is backed by Bernt Rosengren and Maffy Falay and a rhythm section which includes percussionist Okay Temaz.

  Lars Gullin Qujintet in Concert

Lars Gullin Quintet Live in Concert featuring Bernt Rosengren  
Label: Storyville SLP 432    12" LP 1984

The time after the recording of Bluesport was an active period for Lars Gullin. In the autumn of 1974 and in 1975 he was heard on several occasions in Stockholm and elsewhere in the country, often accompanied by a quintet which included Bernt Rosengren, Lars Sj÷sten, Bjorn Alke and Fredrik NorÚn.

An LP was issued in 1984 by the Storyville label. The picture of the group on the album was taken in May 1975 in front of Brandenburg Gate in the former East Berlin. The group made a week long tour in East Germany and the music on the album was recorded during a concert in Berlin.

  Lars Gullin Aeros Atomica Suite

Lars Gullin: Aeros Atomica Suite   Label: EMI C062-35282   12" LP

Lars Gullin recorded his last album in February 1976. He died in May the same year. The album was issued after his death, entitled Aeros Atomica Suite. It was produced by Gunnar Lindqvist and had a cover painting made by Lars Gullin's wife Mailis.

Aero Aromatic Atomica Suite consists of three parts and is played by the Swedish Radio Jazz Group with Gullin and Bernt Rosengren as principal soloists. Lars Gullin himself was very pleased with the result and the album was hailed as a masterpiece and a highlight of his career.

In the spring, Lars Gullin was on a tour in western Sweden which seems to have been poorly organized and connected with financial problems. The tour was too much for Lars Gullin. He was sick and in May 17, 1976 he collapsed at home and died. He was just 48 years old.