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Bengt Hallberg
Bengt hallberg 2011.jpg
Bengt hallberg in October 2011
Background information
Born (1932-09-13)13 September 1932
Göteborg, Sweden
Died 2 July 2013(2013-07-02) (aged 80)
Uppsala, Sweden
Genres jazz
Occupation(s) composer, musician
Instruments piano

Bengt Hallberg (13 September 1932 – 2 July 2013) was a Swedish jazz pianist, composer and arranger.

Born in Gothenburg, he studied classical piano from an early age, and wrote his first jazz arrangement at the age of 13. At the age of 15 he recorded his first record as a member of a group led by bassist Thore Jederby and in 1949 he recorded with the Swedish alto saxophonist Arne Domnérus for the first time, and the two musicians continued to play together for several decades.

During the 1950s, Hallberg played with leading visiting American players, including the tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, recording "Dear Old Stockholm" (originally "Ack Värmeland du sköna") with him, and alto player Lee Konitz in 1951, and trumpeters Clifford Brown and Quincy Jones in 1953. Jones first recorded arrangement featured Hallberg. In the same period he worked with baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin, another leading Swedish player of the time. Both players were associated with the 'Cool Jazz' scene in their country, influenced by the American school around pianist Lennie Tristano, a Hallberg favourite with whom Konitz was associated.

Hallberg had a versatile style and in his later years he wrote music for film and television, as well as choral arrangements, and he also played the accordion. With Domnerus and Georg Riedel among others, he participated in the Jazz at the Pawnshop sessions in December 1976. According to Chris Mosey, while Hallberg was: "usually an extremely delicate and very measured player, [he] was obviously affected by the general ambience, and here and there cuts loose with awesome force".

Hallberg died from congestive heart failure.

Discography

As leader

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1950–51 New Sounds from Sweden, Vol. 2 Prestige Some tracks trio, with Gunnar Almstedt (bass), Anders Burman (drums); some tracks quartet, with Lars Gullin (baritone sax), Gunnar Almstedt (bass), Jack Noren (drums)
1952 Bengt Hallberg Quartet Metronome One track trio with Yngve Akerberg (bass), Jack Noren (drums); some tracks trio with Gunnar Johansson (bass), Kenneth Fagerlund (drums); some tracks quartet, with Arne Domnérus (clarinet) added to each of the trios; reissued by Prestige as New Sounds from Sweden, Vol. 6
1953 Bengt Hallberg Swedish All-Stars Prestige With Ake Persson, (trombone), Arne Domnérus (alto sax, clarinet), Lars Gullin (baritone sax), Simon Brehm (bass), William Schiopffe (drums)
1953 Piano Moderns Prestige Trio, with Gunnar Johnson (bass), Robert Edman (drums); album shared with Reinhold Svensson
1957? Dinah Universal
1957? Bengt Hallberg Epic
1959? Two Jazzy People
1959 Kiddin' on the Keys Trio, with Gunnar Johnson (bass), Anders Burman (drums)
1962 At Gyllene Cirkeln Trio, with Lars Pettersson (bass), Sture Kallin (drums); in concert
1965? Bengt Hallberg Piano Odeon
1968 P som i piano Columbia Trio, with Lasse Pettersson (bass) and Sture Kallin (drums)
1970? Bengt Hallberg's a la Carte CBS
1973? Live at Cervantes Odeon Duo, co-led with Red Mitchell (bass); in concert
1977 Hallberg's Happiness Phontastic Solo piano
1977 The Hallberg Treasure Chest: A Bouquet from '78 Phontastic Solo piano
1978? Downtown Meeting: Two Swedes in New York Phontastic
1979 The Hallberg Touch Phontastic Solo piano
1980–81 Hallberg's Hot Accordion Phontastic With Arne Domnérus (alto sax, clarinet), Rune Gustafsson (guitar), Georg Riedel (bass); Hallberg plays accordion
1982 Bengt Hallberg in New York Phontastic With Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jan Allan (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Arne Domnérus (clarinet), Jerry Dodgson and Gerry Niewood (alto sax), Rune Gustafsson (guitar), Georg Riedel (bass), Magnus Persson (drums)
1980–83 Kraftverk Phontastic Most tracks duo, with Arne Domnérus (alto sax); some tracks quartet, with Rune Gustafsson (guitar), Georg Riedel (bass) added
1984 Hallberg's Yellow Blues Phontastic Solo piano
1987 Spring on the Air Phono Suecia With big band
1987 Hallberg's Surprise Phontastic Solo piano
1991 Skansen in Our Hearts Aquila With Gustaf Sjokvist (piano), Gavleborg Symphony Orchestra
1992 The Tapdancing Butterfly Aquila Trio, with Ronnie Gardiner (bass), Sture Akerberg (drums)
1994 5 x 100 Improkomp With Ad Libitum Choir
1994–95 Time on My Hands Improkomp Solo piano
1996 In a Mellow Tone Improkomp Duo, with Hans Backenroth (bass)
1999 Stardust in My Heart Improkomp Solo piano
2011? Back 2 Back Volenza Duo, co-led with Jan Lundgren (piano)
2011? Cabin in the Sky Gazell Co-led with Karin Krog (vocals)
2012? Solo Gazell Solo piano; in concert

As sideman

With Stan Getz

  • Stan Getz in Stockholm (Verve, 1955)
  • Imported from Europe (Verve, 1958)

With Quincy Jones

  • Jazz Abroad (EmArcy, 1955)
  • Quincy's Home Again (Metronome, 1958) also released as Harry Arnold + Big Band + Quincy Jones = Jazz! (EmArcy)
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