Persson, known as "the Comet", moved from southern Sweden to Stockholm in 1951, where he played in Simon Brehm's quintet (1951–54). Following this Persson worked with Arne Domnérus, Hacke Björksten, Harry Arnold's Radio Band (1956–61), Quincy Jones, Lars Gullin, the RIAS Berlin band (1961–75), and the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band (1963–71). Persson played with many noted American musicians, including George Wallington, Roy Haynes, Benny Bailey, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Dizzy Gillespie. He led several sessions for labels such as Metronome, Philips, and EmArcy in the 1950s.
Persson was found dead in his car in the Djurgårdsbrunn channel in February 1975.
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With Benny Golson
- Stockholm Sojourn (Prestige, 1974)
With Jimmy Witherspoon
- Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues (Prestige, 1964)