Birka Jazz Home
   On Internet since 1999

The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

Please note!
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

Leonard Feather's recordings of Swedish jazz became cover stories in Down Beat


The LPs
in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

As you can see on the previous page, almost all recordings in Sweden were issued on 45 rpm EPs in the 1950s. Some few Swedish 10" LPs were released in the beginning of the decade, and a few 12" in the end of it.

However, a great deal of the best Swedish jazz were issued on LPs by foreign record companies in the USA and other European countries.

So, on this page you will find not only the domestic LPs, but also all those LPs (both 10" and 12") that presented Swedish jazz abroad in the 1950s. Almost all of them were first and originally issued on EPs in Sweden.

First time Swedish jazz draw public attention abroad was at the jazz festival in Paris in 1949. A Swedish group with Arne Domnerus and Putte Wickman among others, made great success in several concerts and became one of the French public's favorites, despite competition from stars such as Charle Parker and Miles Davis.

    Swedish jazz in Paris 1949

The success led to magazine features and radio programs in both Europe and the United States. In USA, Leonard Feather started playing Swedish jazz records in his program "Jazz at its best", and other stations followed. Records from Metronome reviewed in the American jazz press.

In spring 1950 Down Beat wrote about Arne Domnerus recording of Body and Soul:
"He has a wonderful pleasant, liquid clarinet, and an ease of approach to phrasing that is most deceptive. I trust this group is exceptional in Sweden, because if it is typical of their playing level, they can murder most American musicians".

At about the same time the Metronome jazz magazine had a large and enthusiastic feature on Swedish jazz, and in 1951 Down Beat published a special issue about it.

Great success for
Lars Gullin

Swedish musicians and groups were touring around the Europe. For example, in 1954 Lars Gullin was in England and played with the best British musicians. He made great success in both the audience and among the critics.

Lars Gullin at Royal Festival Hall in London

When the LP records started to be issued in 1950 several US record companies were interested to issue the new jazz from Sweden. Reinhold Svensson's recordings for Metronome Records are among the very first 10” LPs from Prestige, so also the recordings of James Moody and Roy Eldridge which were made in Stockholm with Swedish musicians. Recordings by Lars Gullin, Arne Domnerus and Bengt Hallberg followed.

In 1953 Prestige had issued eleven 10” LPs of Swedish origin, all from Metronome Records. Also labels such as EmArcy and Roost issued Swedish jazz, and in England, Esquire and Vogue did the same. Recordings were also made directly to the US market. Leonard Feather was in Sweden a couple of times in the early 50s and arranged such recordings.

Swedish jazz musician was also noted in the American favorite polls. In 1954 Lars Gullin was the Down Beat Poll Winner of New Star for baritonesax.

Best jazz talents

Towards the end of the 1950s the abroad interest in Swedish jazz slowed. But in 1958 there was a readers vote in Down Beat by the question "Which country outside America do you think has produced the best jazz talents?". Sweden received almost 50% of the votes, then followed England 32%, France 11% and Germany 9%.

See also

Swedish jazz 1950s  (1)
EP albums

Swedish jazz 1960s

Swedish jazz 1970s


Swedish Jazz Discography

The very first Swedish jazz LP! Stan Getz and Swedish All Stars.
Label: Metronome BLP-6. 10" LP 1951

Sweden 1950s
The LP albums

Reinhold Svensson: Piano Favorites, vol. 1   Label: Prestige 106   10" LP 1951
Originally issued in Sweden on Metronome 78s

This American 10" LP (Prestige 121) presents the first recordings of Lars Gullin and Bengt
Hallberg as leaders. Gullin plays with a quartet (including Hallberg) in 1951, and a 17 year old Bengt Hallberg plays with a trio in 1950. Both sessions were first issued on Metronome 78s.

Leonard Feather arranged recordings in Stockhom in 1951 with the young Swedish modernists. They were issued the same year in USA on this 10" LP (Prestige 119). In Sweden the recordings were issued on Cupol 78s, and then not until 1974 on LP

   The US 10" version of Stan Getz 1951 Stockholm session (Royal Roost 404). To the right an American 10" anthology from 1950 (Dial 211), which includes Arne Domnerus of Sweden.
Swedish jazz for the first time on LP!

   James Moody made recordings in Stockholm 1949 with Swedish musicians. To the left the first American 10" LP from 1951 (Prestige 110). Originally issued on Metronome 78s. First Swedish issue on vinyl came in 1966 on Metronome MLP 15219 (right).

 Bengt Hallberg   Label: Metronome JLP-22   10" LP 1953

 Lars Gullin: New Sounds   Label: Metronome JLP-23   10" LP 1953

 Teddy Wilson Trio   Label: Metronome BLP-26   10" LP 1953

 Toots Thielemans and Olson Brothers   Label: Metronome JLP-30   10" LP 1953

 Lars Gullin: Piano Holiday   Label: Metronome JLP-34   10" LP 1953

 Swing Session with Reinhold Svensson and Putte Wickman  
Label: Metronome JLP-36   10" LP 1953

 New Sounds from the Old World. With the Swinging Swedes (Lars Gullin, Rolf Ericson a.o.),
and the Cool Britons (Don Rendell, Jimmy Deuchar a.o.)   Label: Blue Note 5019 (USA)  
10" LP 1953   The Swedish tracks originally on Cupol 78s

 Around the World in Jazz. Sweden: Arne Domnerus   Label: RCA Victor LPT 3032   
Issue: 10" LP early 1950s   Originally on HMV 78s (recorded 1951)

 US 10" albums from 1953: Reinhold Svensson, vol. 2 (Prestige 129), and
Arne Domnerus (Prestige 134)   Originally on Metronome 78s

 New Sounds from Sweden, vol. 3   Label: Prestige 133   10" LP 1953
First issue of the Lars Gullin Quartet session, the others originally on Metronome 78s

 Lars Gullin: New Sounds from Sweden, vol. 5   Label: Prestige 144   10" LP 1953
US edition of Metronome JLP-23

   American 10" albums from 1953: Lars Gullin (Prestige 151 - originally Metronome JLP-34),
and Bengt Hallberg (Prestige 145 - originally Metronome JLP-22)

 Lars Gullin: Modern Sounds Sweden   Label: Contemporary 2505 (USA)   10" LP 1953
Mostly original recordings - no Swedish issue at the time   Design: Robert Guidi

   The Clifford Brown session in Stockholm (originally Metronome EPs) was issued on 10" LP in USA in 1953 (Prestige 167) and on 12" in 1956 (Prestige 7055)

 Alternate cover design to the 10" album above (Prestige 167).   Photo: Dave Greenberg

 Rolf Ericson: Swedish Pastry   Label: Discovery DL 2008   10" LP 1954 (USA). Recorded in Stockholm in 1951 and originally issued on Artist 78s. This is the first and only vinyl edition
Design: Burt Goldblatt

 American 10" LP version in 1954 (EmArcy 26039) of the two Metronome EPs by Åke Persson and Hacke Björkvist entitled "The Modern Swedes" (MEP 66-67)

 Lars Gullin Quartet / Quintet   Label: Vogue LDE 052 (UK)   10" LP 1954
UK issue of the Contemporary 10" album above

Bengt Hallberg - Reinhold Svensson: Piano Moderns   Label: Prestige 174 (USA)
10" LP 1954   Originally on Metronome EPs (MEP 24 and MEP 32)

Bengt Hallberg and Swedish All Stars: New Sounds from Sweden   Label: Prestige 176 (USA)
10" LP 1954   Originally on Metronome EPs (MEP 29 and MEP 34)   Design: David X. Young 

Jimmy Raney with Swedish All Stars   Label: Prestige 179 (USA)
10" LP 1954   Originally on Metronome EPs   Design: David X. Young 

 Lars Gullin Quartet (Danny's Dream)   Label: EmArcy 26041 (USA)   10" LP 1954
Originally issued on Swedish Metronome EPs   Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Lars Gullin: Gullin´s Garden   Label: EmArcy 26044 (USA)   10" LP 1954
Originally issued on Swedish Metronome EPs

 Roy Haynes: Bushman´s Holiday   Label: EmArcy 26048 (USA)   10" LP 1954
Recorded in Stockholm and originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Lars Gullin   Label: EmArcy 36012 (USA)   12" LP 1955
Originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Lars Gullin with the Moretone Singers   Label: EmArcy 36059 (USA)   12" LP 1955
Originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Swedish Jam Session   Label: His Master's Voice DLPC 12   10" LP 1956
 Photo: Lasse Larsson

 Gösta Theselius: Swedish Jazz   Label: Bally 12002 (USA)  12" LP 1956
Produced directly for the US market. First Swedish issue in the 1970s

This is Stan Getz´ Metronome session 1951, presented on 12" LP for the first time.
Label: Roost 2207 (1956). Compare with the Roost 10" LP above!   Photo: Herman Leonard

 Chris Dane: Smart Songs for the Smart Set   Label: Cadence CLP 1010   12" LP c.1956
 Design: C. Haas-Hill

 Rolf Ericson - Cecil Payne: Transatlantic Wail   Label: Nixa NJL 5 (UK)   12" LP 1956
Originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Roy Haynes and Quincy Jones recordings in Sweden 1953 and 1954 were collected on this
US 12" LP (EmArcy MG 36083) in 1956. Originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Lars Gullin: Baritone Sax   Label: Atlantic 1246   12" LP 1956
 Design: Marvin Israel   Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist   The recordings were commissioned by Atlantic, but were also issued on Metronome EPs

 Rolf Ericson and his All American Stars   Label: EmArcy 36106   12" LP 1956
Originally issued on Metronome EPs

   Jazz Smörgåsbord with N-B Dahlander Quintet & Paul Hindberg Quintet (Hollywood LPH-33),
and Real Smooth by Reinhold Svensson (Hollywood LPH-37). Both US LPs from 1956 and originally issued on Metronome.

 Various Artists: Jazz from Sweden   Label: Philips B08200L   12" LP 1957

 Lars Gullin - Åke Persson   Label: Philips P08202L   12" LP 1957
 Photo: Tore Johnson

 Bengt Hallberg   Label: Philips P08201L   12" LP 1957
 Photo: Tore Johnson

 Bengt Hallberg   Label: Epic 3375   12" LP 1957
The American edition of the LP above (Philips P08201L)

   LPs from 1957: Rune Öfwerman Trio: Gavern (RCA LPM 9805C), and
Harry Arnold: This is Harry and the Mystery Band (Metronome MLP 15006)

 Charlie Parker and Arne Domnerus in Sweden   Label: Oktav 164   12" LP c.1958
 Photo: Jan Friedlund

 Monica Zetterlund: Swedish Sensation   Label: Columbia 33CSX20   12" LP 1958

 Harry Arnold: Quincy´s Home Again   Label: Metronome 15010   12" LP 1958
 Design: Stig Söderqvist   Photo: Harry Kampf

 The Artistry of Lars Gullin   Label: Sonet SLP-1   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Sune Spångberg / Gunnar Bergström

 Alice Babs - Ulrik Neumann: When the children are asleep   Label: Decca LK 4000  
12" LP 1958

   Recorded in Stockholm (Metronome EPs) and exported to USA (LPs):
Tommy Potter (East-West 4001) and Tommy Flanagan (Prestige 7134) - both issued in 1958

 Lars Gullin Swings   Label: East-West 4003 (USA)   12" LP 1958
Originally issued on Metronome EPs

 Sture Swenson - Jack Noren: The Exhibit   Label: Replica 1007 (USA)   12" LP 1958

    Another two American LP versions of Swedish Metronome EPs:
Jimmy Raney - George Wallington (EmArcy 36121) and Herbie Mann (Prestige 7136)
Both LPs were issued in 1958

   American LPs from 1958 and 1959 by Stan Getz with Swedish musicians. In Stockholm (Verve 8213) was recorded in 1955, and Imported from Europe (Verve 8331) was recorded in 1958.
Both LPs were originally issued in Sweden on Karusell EPs

 Ernestine Anderson: It´s time for Ernestine   Label: Metronome 15015   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderqvost  Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist

 Harry Arnold: Flight SK 641   Label: Metronome 15017   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderqvost  Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist

 Joe Newman: Counting Five in Sweden   Label: Metronome 15018   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderqvost  Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist

 Quincy Jones: Stockholm Sweetnin´   Label: Metronome 15020   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Bengt H. Malmquist

 Leonard Feather presents Swedish Punch   Label: Metronome 15026   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Bengt H. Malmquist

 Alice Babs: Alice and Wonderband   Label: Decca LK 4326(Swedish)   12" LP 1959
 Design: Lasse Molé

 Bengt Hallberg - Rita Reys: Two Jazzy People   Label: Philips P08203L   12" LP 1959

 Arne Domnerus: When Lights Are Low   Label: Telefunken BLE 14120   12" LP 1959

 Harry Arnold: Havin´ a ball   Label: Metronome MLP 15029   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Bengt H. Malmquist

 Quincy - Here We Come   Label: Metronome MLP 15030   12" LP 1959
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Bengt H. Malmquist

 I Love Harry Arnold & All His Jazz   Label: Atco 33-120 (USA)   12" LP c.1959-60
 Photo: Richard Heimann   Originally Metronome recordings

 Lars Werner - Bernt Rosengren: Bombastica   Label: Jazzland 26   12" LP 1960
Originally issued in USA. No Swedish issue before a Dragon CD in 2000!