Det var ju Europas största hamn efter Hamburg.

#9: Jazz of the day pt. 2

Posted in Jazz of the day by FREE AKTION on January 22, 2009


I would like to see some reactions from my readers on the jazz of the day. My selection du jour is “Spain” by Chic Corea and Return to Forever. This also came on randomly yesterday and although I love both the bird album and the feather album, they are generally best enjoyed in their entirety. So to hear this one on its own yesterday was similar to the Pharoah Sanders thing yesterday. Maybe I was just all hyped to get some fresh air and I was into anything.

Return to Forever – “Spain”

Who hates this and who loves it?

To get you started, here’s the reaction the song is getting in my kitchen right now:

It’s like the adventures of the caterpillar. It’s going where it needs to go, and then all of a sudden…life starts to slow down.

Please listen and elaborate in the box below!


#8: Jazz of the day pt. 1

Posted in Jazz of the day by FREE AKTION on January 21, 2009


The first installment of a hopefully ongoing series was inspired by an experience I had earlier today. I put on my headphones and went to get some paper at the paperstore and as I got off the tram a new song shuffled on through on the portable music player. It was one of those things where you hear something that is slightly familiar but it just sounds so fresh and bright.

I was listening to the opening cut off the Pharoah Sanders 1972 album “Wisdom Through Music”. It’s called “High life”.

Pharoah Sanders – “High life”

I would love for this album to sound like this but I’m afraid it won’t. But the SOUND of this recording. I’ve never heard any ambient music that floats the way this song floats. It elevates and then it situates itself, gently hovering.

I love this music.

#7: Singing his praises while stealing his phrases

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 20, 2009


One of the first jazz albums I ever bought on compact disc was “New Tijuana Moods” by Charles Mingus. It’s not my favorite Mingus LP and in retrospect I feel like it’s a pretty weird introduction to his music (don’t miss out on “Los Mariachis”, though!). I found it on the shelf the other day and realised that back then, around 95 or 96, Tijuana was just a spanish sounding word to me. Reading more about Mingus in recent times, mostly in Nat Hentoff’s often hilarious book “Jazz is”, the TJ/LA connection is all the more colorful and decadent. The writing on Mingus is very entertaining, mostly because of the fact that Mingus had a gift for being extremely funny and deeply profound at the same time. I thought I’d share a few classic words with you this Tuesday morning.

Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra run around the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments.

Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.

They’re singing your praises while stealing your phrases.

Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy.

Finally, as recited on Wikipedia:

In 1955, Mingus was involved in a notorious incident while playing a club date billed as a “reunion” with Parker, Powell, and Roach. Powell, who had suffered from alcoholism and mental illness for years (potentially exacerbated by a severe police beating and electroshock treatments), had to be helped from the stage, unable to play or speak coherently. As Powell’s incapacitation became apparent, Parker stood in one spot at a microphone, chanting “Bud Powell…Bud Powell…” as if beseeching Powell’s return. Allegedly, Parker continued this incantation for several minutes after Powell’s departure, to his own amusement and Mingus’ exasperation. Mingus took another microphone and announced to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t associate me with any of this. This is not jazz. These people are sick.” This was Parker’s last public performance; about a week later Parker died after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

#6: Känn din historia

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 16, 2009


The following is an excerpt from a school paper that I wrote with my friend Gustav Rosengren. We were studying Library and Information Science together at the time and the paper was dealing with how jazz music was represented in the music collections of Swedish libraries. It was not the most brilliant piece of text ever rushed from a printer into the hands of a professor, but we had a lot of fun. We even started a record label.

The following section still holds up though, a brief history of how jazz was introduced in Sweden. We cover the initial response up until when the music gained acceptance and and eventually was (to simplify it) divided into two scenes, where one is the traditional dixieland style jazz and the other one is nearing high brow with its percieved experimentalism and creative freedom. To briefly summarize the summary.

What this has to do with the creation of this album is still up to you to discover. I have a few ideas, but I will wait a while to share them with you. Just enjoy this moment.

Here it is in all its Swedish glory:

Det är svårt att med säkerhet bestämma när jazzmusiken introducerades i Sverige. Man ser de första tendenserna kring skiftet mellan tio- och tjugotal; bland annat förekommer begreppet ”jass” i annonsering för diverse evenemang. Ernst Rolf ackompanjeras samma år av en konstellation som går under namnet ”Svenskt jazzband”, men huruvida detta går att betrakta som den första jazzmusik som spelades in i Sverige är tveksamt.

Den nya musiken fick närmast omedelbart både anhängare och belackare. Att människor utvecklade en starkt negativ inställning till jazzen hade inte enbart sitt ursprung i ett motstånd mot musiken i sig, utan i lika stor utsträckning i mötet mellan den västerländska kulturen och de svarta musiker som framförde den. Detta främmande inslag var med stor säkerhet avgörande för jazzmusiken skulle mottas. Erik Kjellberg menar i ”Svensk jazzhistoria” att det bidrog till att en musik vars beståndsdelar kanske egentligen inte var helt obekanta för den svenska publiken kom att framstå som mycket exotisk; ”(ä)ven om det redan från början fanns åtskilligt av västerländska inslag – både historiskt och musikaliskt – i den tidiga jazz som den vita världen lärde känna, kom man att ta fasta på det ”afrikanska”, om vilket man egentligen visste föga. Kontakten med de svarta artisterna satte de egna värderingarna och utgångspunkterna på prov. Vad skulle man tycka och tänka inför mötet med dessa människor?


#5: Last notes first

Posted in Action by FREE AKTION on January 15, 2009

Video: #1: Start at the finish (on Vimeo.)

The very first raw sound recording is now  available.  The title of this song will probably involve some wordplay in the vein of the “Gothenburg-humor” that is so popular.

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#4: Dynamonde Studio, Malmö. January 10, 2009.

Posted in Action by FREE AKTION on January 12, 2009





Top to bottom: Petter Samuelsson, Douglas Holmquist, Pär Gustafsson, Johan Gustavsson.

#3: Det blev ett rätt normalt möte.

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 8, 2009

#2: Sjömansbok, helt enkelt.

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 8, 2009

#1: This is where I’ll start.

Posted in Contemplation by FREE AKTION on January 8, 2009