Dick Bank has produced a dozen albums led by or featuring the pianist Jan Lundgren. He sends a communiqué about a Lundgren performance in tandem with Bengt Hallberg, a fellow Swedish pianist 34 years his senior. In the bebop years, Hallberg was a favorite pianist of visiting players including Stan Getz, with whom he was featured on Getz’s influential recording that introduced “Dear Old Stocklholm” to American listeners. Many commentators consider Lundgren the successor to Hallberg in touch, harmonic acuity and melodic invention. Mr. Bank writes:
Friday, September 9 at 7:30 at the venerable Konserthuset in Stockholm,Together Again For The First Time!
Bengt Hallberg and Jan Lundgren.
The Konserhuset is sold out (1200 capacity). They’ll be playing tunes like “All the Things You Are,” “Lover Man,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Sophisticated Lady,” plus original compositions for two pianos.
Jan is quite thrilled about it. Hallberg is the last living icon from the golden years of Swedish jazz. He will be 79 on Tuesday (same day as Mel Tormé and Dick Haymes and the day after Jesse Owens!
Jan previously recorded with Swedish jazz legends Arne Domnérus and Putte Wickman. Finally, he is paired with Hallberg. Sadly, it won’t be recorded.
It was ten years ago that Jan and Pete Jolly recorded Collaboration, which critic Alun Morgan called, “The best two-piano album, both technically and musically, ever produced.”
For more information about the event, go here. If you happen not to read Swedish, there’s an English translation option. If you read neither, Konserthuset makes available translations from Afrikaans to Yiddish. What, no Zulu?
Digging with their usual efficiency, the Rifftides staff has discovered that although the concert will not be recorded, Lundgren and Hallberg have made a two-piano album. It seems to be available at this website.
If you have forgotten or never heard the liquidity of Hallberg’s work, there is a prime example from 1953 in his accompaniment and solo in this recording by Clifford Brown and Art Farmer with the Swedish All Stars. The first trumpet solo is by Farmer. The other players are Lars Gullin, baritone saxophone; Åke Persson, trombone; Arne Domnérus, alto saxophone; Gunnar Johnson, bass; and Jack Norén, drums. The tune is “Falling in Love With Love.”