In 1998 I was studying physics at the university in Uppsala. I was just beginning to play Hammond jazz gigs, but so far not in Uppsala. A few months earlier I had been introduced to a played with saxophone player Tore Berglund, who was living in Uppsala at the time and quite active on the scene. He got a date at the legendary Katalin, where I already had attented many great concerts with both Swedish and international artists. For this gig, he got together a quartet with people he was working with in other projects, drummer Ola Bothzén and guitar player Bobbo Andersson. For me it was quite exciting since they all were older and more experienced than me.
The gig went really well. We played some of my songs, like The Hellkvist Shuffle and Morgonkaffe, and some other souljazz tunes. We had a lot of fun, and if I remember correctly, there were quite a few people there attending. This quartet would then become the first group in my own name.
So, musically, it was a hit and a milestone in my life. Practically, however, there were a few setbacks. It was the first time I rented a van to tranport the organ, and I couldn’t really navigate it in small spaces. so I ended up scratching it not once but twice! Quite badly as well. Also, after the gig I realized I had lost my 9-pin cable for the organ and leslie, and they aren’t cheap either. So, financially it was a loss, but well worth it in retrospect. And since then, I have learned to manouver a van!
Also, it was the first time that I had bring the organ up a spiral staircase, and I didn’t have any dollys or other equipment. I gathered a few of my unsuspecting friends and we managed to get it up there, but it was a real ordeal. I still hear my friends talking about it now and then.
Now, 25 years later, it’s interesting to look at the program for concerts that month in 1998. You can see it in the gallery below. Several of those playing, like Claes Janson and Ulf Johansson I didn’t know at the time. Now they’re good friends, and I’ve played with them a lot over the years. Also, some of the names are legends that are no longer with us. Esbjörn Svensson passed away far too young, just 10 years later. The last dates, March 30th and 31st, were Hansson & Karlsson, a truly legendary organ-drums duo from the 60s that were on a reunion your. Back in the days they even played with Jimi Hendrix. I went to see one of the shows, but I don’t remember which date. But neither Janne Carlsson nor Bosse Hansson is still with us today.
There is an old tape recording of this concert, but at the moment I don’t know where I have it. But if I find it I’ll put out a few samples!