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Guldår & krisår: Svensk jazz under 1950- och 60-talen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Years of Gold & Years of Crisis : Swedish Jazz in the 1950s and ‘60s (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the history of jazz in Sweden during two dynamic and critical decades, the 1950s and ’60s. My analysis also discusses methodological challenges that a (Swedish) jazz historian can face. It is a descriptive study which complements my production of a series of CD albums – including text booklets – called Svensk Jazzhistoria (Swedish Jazz History), issued by Caprice Records between 1999 and 2005. The 1950s have often been regarded as “The Golden Years” in Swedish jazz, while the ’60s witnessed a general “crisis.” The dissertation illustrates the principal differences between these periods, from both a musical and sociological perspective. The sources for this investigation are interviews with musicians and other people involved in the production of jazz performances and recordings, as well as jazz magazines and other printed material. The controversial connection between jazz and drugs is discussed. This dissertation also identifies what is typically Swedish in Swedish jazz during both periods. Lars Gullin’s recording of his composition Danny’s dream (1954) is examined from both musical and historical perspectives. There is a discussion of the influences of folklore on jazz musicians such as Jan Johansson and Bengt-Arne Wallin in the ’60s. Many Swedish musicians started as accordionists, and the significance of this instrument in Swedish jazz is considered. With the exception of the Swedish Radio Studio Orchestra under the direction of Harry Arnold, Swedish big band music of the ’50s was not up to international standards. Almost all big bands in Sweden disappeared in the late ’50s, but in the late ’60s there was a strong big band revival, together with swing – almost forgotten in the decade of free form and experimentation. Another topic is Swedish jazz vocalists, mainly female. When Monica Zetterlund made her “sensational” debut in 1958, Alice Babs had been the leading jazz singer in Sweden for many years. Zetterlund developed new areas of musical expression, including jazz singing in her native language, which was at first suspiciously viewed as a commercial strategy. Two different venues for jazz are examined: the famous dance hall Nalen in Stockholm and a small part-time jazz club for concerts in the northern city of Sundsvall. Finally, important and influential media such as the jazz magazines Orkester Journalen and Estrad, together with the Metronome Records company are considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Svenskt Visarkiv , 2007. , 246 p.
Studier i musikvetenskap, ISSN 1103-6362 ; 17
Keyword [en]
Jazz history, interviews, vocalists, folklore influences, accordionists, Big Bands, jazz literature, discographies, record companies, repertory, myths, media, drugs, venues
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6846ISBN: 978-91-85374-446-9OAI: diva2:197192
Public defence
2007-06-08, hörsalen, Manne-Siegbahnvillan, Frescativägen 24-26, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16Bibliographically approved

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