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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


Changing times in the 1960s

The EP record was still a success in Sweden in the early 1960s. But like in rest of Europe and in the USA, the 1960s was changing times for jazz in Sweden. The music began to sound different and the working conditions for the musicians changed.

The legendary Nalen in Stockholm lost its importance as a jazz scene when it changed the musical policy to pop and rock. The musicians have to leave the dance spot and their music need to be intended for listener only.

A new place for jazz in Stockholm was Gyllene Cirkeln (The Golden Circle). It opened in april 1962 with a three weeks long engagement by Bud Powell.

Swedish poster 1962

The heart of Swedish jazz

Gyllene Cirkeln became the heart of Swedish jazz for the next five years. It was a venue for the new generation of Swedish jazz musicians and it gave space for newer forms of jazz to develope. And through all the visiting American musicians, it was a great source of inspiration to the Swedish jazz life.

Swedish poster 1964

Swedish poster early 1960s

Americans in Sweden

Some of the Americans made their home in Sweden, such as Benny Bailey, Joe Harris, Idrees Sulieman, Sahib Shahib, George Russell, Red Mitchell, Sabu Martinez and Don Cherry, and their presence had a very positive effect upon the younger Swedish musicians. Another influential Amerian was Dexter Gordon. Living in Copenhagen, he often made tours in Sweden with young Swedish musicians.

Dexter Gordon at Gyllene Cirkeln, with
Eje Thelin and Torbjörn Hultcrantz
Photo: Nils Edström

Swedish poster 1963

On the other hand, some of the foremost young Swedish soloists need to found engagements abroad, mainly because of the sparsenes of jazz activities in Sweden; musicians like Bernt Rosengren, Rolf Billberg, Eje Thelin among others.

Bernt Rosengren

Jan Allan and Rolf Billberg 1962
Photo: Nils Edström

Domnerus still middlepoint in Swedish jazz

At home Arne Domnerus still was a middlepoint in Swedish jazz. Domnerus himself was an outstanding soloist and the group consisted of some of the top musicians in the country. They mastered a broad musical spectrum, from Ellington moods to experimental contemporary jazz. A great part of the reportoire was composed by pianist Jan Johansson and basist Georg Riedel. The group also found new venues for their music, such as concert halls, performing with symphony orchestras, and in churches together with choirs.

Arne Domnerus

Rolf Ericson, Lars Werner, Bo Wärmell
Photo: Nils Edström

New talents appear

Beside the Domnerus group many new talented soloists appeared in the 1960s, despite the frosty jazz climate. Many of them playing tenor saxophone, such as Börje Fredriksson, Bosse Wärmell, Nisse Sandström, Lennart Åberg and others. Also highly regarded were pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Palle Danielsson, trumpeter Lars Färnlöf with the Staffan Abeleen Quintet, pianist and composer Berndt Egerbladh among others, and of course the singer Monica Zetterlund.

Swedish poster 1963

Staffan Abeleen Quintet
Photo: Nils Edström

The best Swedish jazz musicians had ideas of their own and a musical language that was personal, not only American. They were curious about different kinds of music and created interesting mixtures of jazz, with elements of pop, classical or folk music. Nils Lindberg and Bengt Hallberg for example, created interesting mixtures of symphonic or chamber music, and som groups tried to combined jazz and rock.

Mix of jazz and folk music

The most succesful fusion in Sweden in the 1960s come to be that of jazz and traditional Swedish folk music. Jan Johansson´s LP album "Jazz på svenska" became a big seller, as did Bengt-Arne Wallin´s LP "Old Folklore in Swedish Modern". Also Lars Gullin, Art Farmer, Nils Lindberg and others made recordings with a similar mixture of old Swedish music and contemporary jazz. This kind of fusion was to have influence on much of the music in Sweden for decades to come.

Jan Johansson

Best Swedish jazz

Althought some of best Swedish jazz ever were played and recorded in the 1960s, the public interest for the music form was languishing. It was reflected in slow business for the record companies, among other things. Jazz records were selling less, and there were fewer being produced.

The leading Swedish jazz label Metronome went to pop music and stopped recording jazz music, more or less. Other labels continued, but in much lesser extent than in the 1950s. Only a few talanted young Swedish jazz musicians, and new groups, were offered opportunities to make recordings. On the whole very little of all the great and inspiring jazz which was played in Sweden in the 1960s were produced on records.

See also

Swedish jazz 1950s  (1)
EP albums

Swedish jazz 1950s  (2)
LP albums

Swedish jazz 1970s


Swedish Jazz Discography

Swedish jazz webzine

 Monica Zetterlund - Lars Gullin   Label: Columbia SEGS 70   7" EP 1960

Sweden 1960s

 Lars Gullin: The Swedish Modern Jazz Group   Label: Barben 1004   12" LP 1960
 Photo: Stig Forsberg

   EPs from 1960: Arne Domnerus with Sextet (Artist AEP 1053),
and with Trio: Rund Funk (Artist AEP 1084)

 Jan Allan - George Riedel: Sold I Musik   Label: Philips 421 536 PE   7" EP 1960

 Arne Domnerus   Label: Metronome 15062   12" LP 1960
 Design: Stig Söderquist

 Arne Domnerus Quartet   Label: Artist AEP 1050   7" EP 1960
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Jan Johansson Trio   Label: Artist AEP 1051   7" EP 1960
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Lars Gullin Quartet   Label: Artist AEP 1059   7" EP 1960
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Bengt H. Malmquist

 Lars Gullin: Blue Mail   Label: Artist AEP 1075   7" EP 1960
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

   Same session in 1960 gave two EPs for the small Jöns label. Left: Lars Gullin with Putte Wickman, Eje Thelin, Harry Bäcklund a.o. (Jöns 6010). Right: The same group but without Gullin (Jöns 6008)

   Toots Thielemans with Reinhold Svensson (Metronome MEP 9006), and
with Arne Domnerus (Metronome 9055). Both EPs from 1960

 Mäster Johansgatan 12   Label: Megafon MFEP 2   7" EP 1960

 Arne Domnerus: Come Listen With Me   Label: Telefunken 14179   12" LP 1960
 Design: Lars Wahlberg   Photo: Torbjörn Ehrnvall

 Bengt Hallberg: Kiddin´ on the keys   Label: Karusell 1006   12" LP 1960
 Design: Löw

 Charlie Parker in Sweden   Label: Sonet SLP 27   12" LP c.1960

 Stan Getz Quartet with Jan Johansson: At Large.   Label: Karusell KEP 383   7" EP 1960

 Boris Lindqvist: Scoubidou!   Label: Sonet SXP 4025   7" EP 1960

   Jazz by Sun Ra (Sonet SLP 23) and Chambers Music by John Coltrane (Sonet SLP 28)
American recordings, but remarkable Swedish LP issues from 1960

 Nils Lindberg: In TV Time   Label: Columbia SEGS 74   7" EP 1960

   Rune Öfwerman Trio x 2 from 1960: The LP Funky Festival (Gazell GNG 1200),
and the EP Jack´s Back (Gazell GEP-39)

   Two EP albums from 1961 by Jan Johansson and Rune Gustafsson (both playing guitar)
Johansson & Gustafsson (Megafon MFEP 9) and The Runestones (Metronome 9073)

 Monica Zetterlund   Label: His Master´s Voice SGLP 506  
12" LP 1961   Originally on Columbia EPs

 Staffan Abeleen: It's soultime   Label: Sonet SXP 2521   7" EP 1961
 Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist

 Harry Arnold: Let's Dance on Broadway   Label: Metronome 15069   12" LP 1961
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Bernt Rosengren with Komeda: Crazy Girl   Label: Muza N0187 (Poland)   7" EP 1961

 Rune Gustafsson: Young Guitar   Label: Metronome 15072   12" LP 1961
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Jan Johansson: Tio Fingrar   Label: Megafon MFEP4   7" LP 1961
 Design: Tor Alm

 Jan Johansson: 8 bitar Johansson   Label: Megafon 1   12" LP 1961
 Design: Tor Alm

 M. Zetterlund: Sakta vi gå genom stan   Label: Philips 433 404 PE   7" EP 1961
 Design: Yngve Solberg nbsp; Photo: Sven-Åke Persson

 Arne Domnerus: Jump for Joy   Label: Artist AEP-1105   7" EP 1961

 Quincy Jones with Swedish big band: The Boy in the Tree.
Label: Mercury EP 60338   7" EP 1961

   Toots Thielemans Whistle, Plays Guitars and Harmonica (Metronome MLP 15089), and
Harry Arnold Guest Book w. Coleman Hawkins, Lucky Thompson a.o. (Metronome MLP 15081)
LPs from 1961 and 1962

 Arne Domnerus - Rolf Ericson: Stallbröder   Label: Artist AEP 1110   7" EP 1962
 Design: Stig Söderqvist

 Rune Öfwerman: Ett! Tu! Tre!   Label: Gazell GMG-1202   12" LP 1962
 Photo: Bengt H. Malmqvist

 Bengt-Arne Wallin: Old Folklore in Swedish Modern   Label: Dux DLP 700   12" LP 1962
 Design: Yngve Solberg

 Eje Thelin: Jazz Jamboree 62   Label: Muza XL0186 (Poland)   10" LP 1962

 East End Jazz Men   Label: Telefunken BLE 14294-P   12" LP 1962

 Monica Zetterlund: Ahh!Monica!   Label: Philips P 08211 L   12" LP 1962
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Kary Lasch

   EPs from 1962 by Monica Zetterlund: När min vän (Philips 350 198 PF),
and Kalinka (Svenska ljud 1)

 Monica Zetterlund: Vilse-Valsen   Label: Philips 433 418 PE   7" EP 1962

 Monica Zetterlund.   Label: Philips Ph-1   Privately issued 7" EP 1962

 Sonya Hedenbratt and Jan Johansson: Du    Label: Megafon mfep 11   7" EP 1962
 Design: Tor Alm

 Lars Lystedt: Fanfar   Label: Jazz Records 1401   10" LP 1962
 Photo: Jan Strömberg

 Jan Johansson: Innertrio   Label: Megafon 2   12" LP 1962
 Design: Tor Alm

 Albert Ayler: Something different!   Label: Bird Notes BNlp 1   12" LP 1962
 Design: Bengt Frippe Nordström   Photo: Nils Edström

 Bertil Löfgren - Bosse Wärmell   Label: Jazz Records 1201   7" EP 1962

   EPs from 1962: Jazz på svenska by Jan Johansson (Megafon MFEP 10), and
Djingis Kahn by Staffan Abeleen Quintet (Sonet SXP 2522).

   LPs from 1962 and 1963: Putte Wickman Big Band (Karusell KALP 1009), and
Alice Babs with C-H Norin and Bengt Hallberg (Telestar TRS 11133)

 Jan Lööf: Konstfackjazz   Label: Sir Isaac Nyton SIN-EP1   7" EP 1962

 Dixie Group 62   Label: Bromma Jazz LP1   7" LP 1963

   Swedish tradjazz LPs from 1962 and 1963
Cave Stompers (Storyville SLP-148) and Storyville Creepers (Bromma Jazz 2)

 Den svenska revivaljazzrörelsen (Brita Lindahl, Grav-Olle a.o.)  
Label: Bromma Jazz 3   10" LP 1963

   EPs from 1963: Lars Lystedt Sextet (SweDisc SWEP 103), and
Barnvagnen by Jan Johansson (Megafon mfep 12)

 Bengt Hallberg at Gyllene Cirkeln   Label: Metronome 15122   12" LP 1963
 Design: Sten Ove Starkenberg  

 Nils Lindberg: Trisection   Label: Columbia SSX 1004   12" LP 1963
 Photo: Bo Trenter

 Eje Thelin: So Far   Label: Columbia SSX 1005   12" LP 1963
 Photo: Bo Trenter

 Cave Stompers - Storyville Creepers - Jazz Doctors   Label: Storyville SLP-149   12" LP 1963
 Design: Sid

   LPs from 1963: Rörelser by Jan Johansson and Georg Riedel (Megafon mflp 3),
and Jack Pot! by Jack Lidström (Karusell KALP 1013)

   EPs from 1963: Lill-Arne Söderberg Sextet (Cupol CEP356)
and Slim's Blues Gang (Pirate MPA-711)

 Monica Zetterlund: Monicas Vals   Label: Philips PE 433 434   7" EP 1963
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Lars Falck

   Soundtrack from the Swedish film "Vittnesbörd om henne" (Philips 433 420 PE), and
En valsmelodi (Philips 433 452 PE). Monica Zetterlund EPs from 1963 and 1964

   Gals and Pals EP from 1963 (Metronome MEP 9096),
and the LP "Favorites" from 1964 (Metronome MLP 15151)

   EPs from 1963: Nygammal vals eller Hip man svinaherde by Bengt-Arne Wallin (Dux),
and En gång i Stockholm by Arne Domnerus (HMV 7 EGS 270)

 Monica Zetterlund: Waltz for Debby   Label: Philips 350 238 PF   7" Singel 1964

 Monica Zetterlund: Make Mine Swedish Style   Label: Philips BL 7647 (UK)   12" LP 1964
No Swedish issue 

 Monica Zetterlund: Ohh!Monica!   Label: Philips 08221 PL   12" LP 1964
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Lars Falck

 Monica Zetterlund: Waltz for Debby   Label: Philips 08222   12" LP 1964
 Design: Jan Wahlquist   Photo: Lars Falck

 E. Thelin: German Jazz Festival   Label: Metronome 15158 (Germany)   12" LP 1964
 Design: Gunther Kieser  

 Idrees Sulieman: The Camel   Label: Columbia SSX 1008(Swedish)   12" LP 1964
 Photo: Bo Trenter

   LPs from 1964: Visa på annorlunda vis by Art Farmer (Swedish Atlantic 1430), and
Jazz på svenska by Jan Johansson (Megafon mflp 4)

 Jan Johansson Quintet: Sommar Adjö   Label: Megafon MFEP 16   7" EP 1964
Design: Tor Alm 

 Lars Lystedt: Jazz under the Midnight Sun   Label: SweDisc 10   12" LP 1964

 Lars Gullin: Portrait of my Pals   Label: Columbia SSX 1010(Swedish)   12" LP 1964
 Photo: Bo Trenter

 Staffan Abeleen: Persepolis   Label: Philips PL 08217   12" LP 1964
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Lars Falck

 Arne Domnerus: Jazz Under The Stars   Label: RCA LPM 10012   12" LP 1964

 Jan Johansson: In Pleno   Label: Megafon 5   12" LP 1964
 Design: Tor Alm

 Georg Riedel: Contrast   Label: HMV 7EGS307    7" EP 1964

   LPs from 1964: Jazz Ballet by Georg Riedel (SweDisc SWELP 3), and
Choose Now! by Gugge Hedrenius (Columbia SSX 1007)

   LPs from 1965: Barnkammarmusik by Jan Johansson and B-A Wallin (Megafon mflp 7),
and Dancing in the Dark by Ernie Englund (SweDisc SWELP-L 27)

 Berndt Egerbladh: Schizo   Label: SweDisc 26   12" LP 1965

 Bernt Rosengren: Stockholm Dues   Label: Columbia SSX 1013(Swedish)   12" LP 1965
 Photo: Bo Trenter

 Börje Fredriksson: Intervall   Label: Columbia SSX 1021(Swedish)   12" LP 1965
 Design: Bengt Croneby   Photo: Bo Trenter

 Berndt Egerbladh: But When I Started To Play   Label: Nashville 30-108   12" LP 1965

 Staffan Abeleen: Downstream   Label: Philips PY 842551   12" LP 1966
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Per-Erik Wallin

 Rolf Billberg: We´ll Be Together Again   Label: EMI Odeon E054-34830   12" LP 1966

   LPs from 1966: Lars Färnlöf - Börje Fredriksson: Oj Oj Oj (RCA LPM 10.064),
and Arne Domnerus: Mobil (Megafon mflp 8)

   Alice Babs & Duke Ellington: Serenade to Sweden (Telestar TRS 11 100 - also Reprise 5024)
and Tony Scott: Swinging in Sweden (RCA Camden CAL 9). Both LPs from 1966

   LPs from 1966: Gals & Pals sing something for everyone (Metronome MLP 14256), and
Dansa med TV by Jan Johansson (Megafon mflp 9)

   LPs from 1966: Dansa med Putte by Putte Wickman Big Band (Swe Disc SWELP 46), and
Merit Hemmingson at the Esquire Club (Sonet SLP 50)

 Adventures in Jazz and Folklore with B-A Wallin, Jan Johansson, Georg Riedel, Bengt Hallberg
Label: Dux DLP 705   12" LP 1966

 Alice Babs ´67 with Bengt Hallberg
Label: EMI His Masters Voice SCLP 1065   12" LP 1966

 Bengt Ernryd: Musik   Label: Magnum 713   12" LP 1966
 Photo: Anders Lagerberg

 Guido Manusardi: Blue Train   Label: SweDisc 57   12" LP 1966
 Design: Lars Erstrand

 Gilbert Holmström: Utan misstankar   Label: Megafon MFLP 6   12" LP 1966
 Design: Ulf Thorén

 Monica Nielsen with Jan Johansson: En människa   Label: Karusell KALP 1021  
12" LP 1966   Photo: Carl-Johan De Geer

 Peps Persson: Linkin' Louisiana Peps   Label: Olga SO 36   7" EP 1966  

   LPs from 1966: Kjell Öhman: No Comments (Nashville NSLPS 30-106),
and Alice Babs 1947-1950 (Cupol CLP 30-30)

   LPs by Gals and Pals from 1966 and 1967: På nya äfventyr (Metronome MLP 15277),
and I San Francisco (Metronome HLP 10.518)

 Georg Riedel: Riedaiglia   Label: SR Records 1051   12" LP 1967
 Photo: Pål-Nils Nilsson

 Monica Zetterlund   Label: Philips PY 842558   12" LP 1967
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Jan Ekenryd

 Jazz Doctors: Nygammal Jazz
Label: Trad Jazz TRALP 1   12" LP 1967

 Monica Zetterlund: En slump   Label: Svenska Ljud 6   7" EP 1967
 Design: Yngve Solberg   Photo: Jarl Ekenryd

 Hansson & Karlsson   Label: GP-Produktion GPS 1015   7" EP 1967

   LPs by Jan Johansson from 1967 and 1968: Jazz på ryska (Megafon mflp 10),
and Jazz på ungerska (Megafon mflp 11)

   LPs from 1968: Organ jazz by Kjell Öhman (Discofon DELP 5004),
and Blues Connection by Linkin´ Louisiana Peps aka Peps Persson (Gazell GMG-1212)

   LPs from 1968: Polare by Kjell Öhman and Douglas Westlund (Polydor 2379 002),
and Jazz påStampen by Ove Lind (Gazell GMG-1213)

 Groovin´ with Sabu Martinez   Label: Metronome 15316   12" LP 1968
 Design: Stig Söderquist   Photo: Roland Skogfeldt

 Bengt Frippe Nordström: Natural Music   Label: Bird Notes 2   12" LP 1968
 Design: Bengt Frippe Nordström   Photo: Torbjörn Ehrnvall

Börje Fredriksson   Label: EMI Odeon E 054-34009   12" LP 1968

Från skolbands-jazzens födelse   Label: Gazell GMG-1210   12" LP 1968

Knud Jörgensen Quartet   Label: Polydor EPH 10837   7" EP 1968
 Design: Bo Gabrielson

 Hansson & Karlsson: Rex   Label: Polydor 46264   12" LP 1968
 Design: Jan Öqvist

   Another two LPs by Hansson & Karlsson from 1968 and 1969:
Monument (Polydor LPHM 46260) and Man at the Moon (Polydor LPHM 46265)

   Bengt Hallberg: P som i Piano (EMI Columbia SSX 1038), and
Ove Lind: Swing in Swinging Sweden (CBS RM 52719). LPs from 1968 and 1969

   Bengt Hallberg - Kjell Baekkelund: Contrasts (Sonet SNTF 601 - UK), and
Lars Gullin Live (EMI Columbia E062-34045. LPs from 1968 and 1969

   Merit Hemmingson Plays... with quintet incl. Sabu Martinez (RCA Camden CAS 22), and
Håll i gång med Gimmicks (Discofon DELP 5005).   LPs from 1968 and 1969

 Radiojazzgruppen: Höstspelor   Label: SR Records 1058   12" LP 1969
 Design: Nisse Skoog

 Radiojazzgruppen: Vårdkasar   Label: SR Records 1071   12" LP 1969
 Design: Nisse Skoog

 Bernt Rosengren: Improvisationer   Label: SJR Records 1   12" LP 1969
 Design: Ragna Rosengren

 Berndt Egerbladh plays the Organb with a Swing   Label: Nashville NSLPS 30-109   12" LP 1969

   LPs from 1969: Lars Gullin 1951-53 (Tip 634105), and
Musik genom fyra sekler by Jan Johansson (3 LP box Megafon mflp 12-14)

   LPs from 1969: På skiva med Jan Johansson (Megafon mflp 16), and
Claes Rosendahl spelar blå-gul musik (Cupol CLP 43-30)

   LPs from 1969: Elis Regina - Toots Thielemans (Philips PY 842564), and
Siljabloo is Back! by Gunnar Nilsson (Columbia E062-34027)

   LPs from 1969: Jazz på Stampen by Svend Asmussen (Gazell GMG-1216), and
Leif Strand´s Chamber Choir with Arne Domnerus, Bengt Hallberg a.o. (Proprius 7701)

 Made in Sweden: Snakes in a hole   Label: Sonet SLP-2504   12" LP 1969
 Design: Ardy Strüwer

 Lasse Färnlöf: Chameleon   Label: RCA Victor LSP 10279   12" LP 1969