Lars Sjösten piano, Gunnar Bergsten baritone sax,
 Patrik Boman bass, Bo Söderberg drums
 

WHAT IS JAZZ?

I remember from my school days during the fifties the day the music lesson was going to be about jazz. It was very exciting. The teacher came in, showed us Leonard Bernstein's LP What Is Jazz?, put it on and asked a pupil to turn the record after the first side. He then left the room for the rest of the lesson. I guess this made me even more hungry to listen to and learn about jazz.
There were the records with Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Lars Gullin, Lee Konitz, Bengt Hallberg and all the others. There were all the local musicians playing jazz for dancing audiences. Below the stage you could see a lot of people listening. Their heads bobbed up and down in time with the music.
After school I moved to Stockholm and got the wonderful opportunity to work with living legends of jazz at the club The Golden Circle. Musicians like Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Lars Gullin, Ben Webster and Bernt Rosengren made life worth living.
Through the years I've also led my own groups and made national and international tours, as well as many recordings. Now I've assembled some of Sweden's best jazz musicians in a quartet. They give me this great feeling of timeless jazz that has been ingrained in me since my early years.
We want to share it with you!

Lars Sjösten, jazz pianist, composer and arranger
LARS SJÖSTEN, piano

During the 60's, Lars Sjösten, who was born in 1941, often worked at the world famous jazz restaurant The Golden Circle in Stockholm. He played with many jazz greats like Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer and Bernt Rosengren.
Lars also played in Lars Gullin’s groups - the great Swedish baritone saxophonist and composer. He became a close friend of Gullin’s and their cooperation has meant a lot to Sjösten’s own music-making. In 1997 The Lars Gullin Society gave him the Lars Gullin Prize for the first time "for his of many years deserving way of exercising the musical heritage of Lars Gullin". Through the years Lars Sjösten has led his own groups and freelanced. He has made many recordings and received public response as well as governmental support. His tours have taken him to metropolises like Paris, Moscow, Vittoria da Praia (the Azores) and Emmaboda.
Lars is also an established composer with a flair for strong melodies and beautiful chords. On record you can hear his flowing lines and rich harmonies in recordings in his own name and also with Dexter Gordon, Lars Gullin, Benny Bailey, Rolf Ericson, Bjarne Nerem, Lee Konitz, Putte Wickman and many others.

GUNNAR BERGSTEN, baritone sax

Gunnar Bergsten was born in 1945. As a youngster he played the trumpet in a brass band. In his teen’s Gunnar heard Lars Gullin and Pepper Adams and got interested in the baritone sax. In 1965 he began to play in internationally acclaimed Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson’s big band. After that, his warm and expressive playing has been heard in many different contexts. For example he has played in Bernt Rosengren’s groups and in Maffy Falay’s Sevda, a group that during the 70's played a mixture of jazz and Turkish folk music.
In 1996 Gunnar received the Grammy award for his first CD in his own name. On other records you can hear Gunnar Bergsten with, among others, Bernt Rosengren, Björn Alke, Tommy Koverhult, Lars Sjösten and Lee Konitz.

PATRIK BOMAN, bass

Patrik Boman, born in 1964, belongs to the increasing group of younger jazz musicians that understands the importance of tradition. He has been playing the bass since he was 14 years of age and appreciates bassists like Paul Chambers and Oscar Pettiford. Patrik was educated at the High School of Music in Malmö and Stockholm. After that he has played and recorded with many Swedish and international great musicians, for example James Moody, Rune Carlsson, Lou Donaldson, Bernt Rosengren and Mark Murphy.

BO SÖDERBERG, drums

Bo Söderberg was born in 1952. He was active on the music scene in Umeå and played with Lars Lystedt Quintet, Eskil Columbus Quartet, the opera and the symphony orchestra in Umeå. Bo studied jazz music at High School of Music in Stockholm. He is a member of Lars Sjösten Quintet, Fredrik Ljungkvist Quartet (CD: Falling Papers, Dragon Records), Robert Nordmark Quintet, Magnus Lindgren’s Seven Steps and other groups. Bo is a very dynamic player and a master of making the most of a room’s acoustics. "Bo Söderberg plays with drive and authority which give his music-making a relieving presence." (OrkesterJournalen)

Press Voices:

"Amazing vitality, lyric and sonorous"
(Nya Wermlandstidningen)
"A tone of the distinctive character of the native country"
(Politiken)
"Sjöstenian beauty", "exceptionally beautiful ensemble sound"
(OrkesterJournalen)

JAZZ, SWEDISH QUALITY

Our ambition is to combine a lyric, Nordic tone with that blue and deep swing that permeates all true jazz music.
We let quiet, meditative passages be succeeded by forceful, outgoing chunks and are very particular about creating a strong atmosphere.
Our repertoire consists largely of compositions by Lars Sjösten and Lars Gullin, intermixed with carefully chosen evergreens and jazz standards. We’re always on the lookout for good European jazz songs and we also like to play the blues!