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Bengt Hallberg

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Bengt Hallberg
Bengt hallberg in October 2011
Background information
Born(1932-09-13)13 September 1932
Göteborg, Sweden
Died2 July 2013(2013-07-02) (aged 80)
Uppsala, Sweden
Occupation(s)composer, musician

Bengt Hallberg (13 September 1932 – 2 July 2013)[1][2] was a Swedish jazz pianist, composer and arranger.[3]

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[4] 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.[3][5] 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[6] 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".[7]

Hallberg died from congestive heart failure.[8]


As leader[edit]

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)[9]
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[9]
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)[9]
1953 Piano Moderns Prestige Trio, with Gunnar Johnson (bass), Robert Edman (drums); album shared with Reinhold Svensson[9]
1957? Dinah Universal
1957? Bengt Hallberg Epic
1959? Two Jazzy People
1959 Kiddin' on the Keys Trio, with Gunnar Johnson (bass), Anders Burman (drums)[10]
1962 At Gyllene Cirkeln Trio, with Lars Pettersson (bass), Sture Kallin (drums); in concert[10]
1965? Bengt Hallberg Piano Odeon
1968 P som i piano Columbia Trio, with Lasse Pettersson (bass) and Sture Kallin (drums)[11]
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[10]
1977 The Hallberg Treasure Chest: A Bouquet from '78 Phontastic Solo piano[12]
1978? Downtown Meeting: Two Swedes in New York Phontastic
1979 The Hallberg Touch Phontastic Solo piano[10]
1980–81 Hallberg's Hot Accordion Phontastic With Arne Domnérus (alto sax, clarinet), Rune Gustafsson (guitar), Georg Riedel (bass); Hallberg plays accordion[12]
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)[10]
1980–83 Kraftverk Phontastic Most tracks duo, with Arne Domnérus (alto sax); some tracks quartet, with Rune Gustafsson (guitar), Georg Riedel (bass) added[12]
1984 Hallberg's Yellow Blues Phontastic Solo piano[10]
1987 Spring on the Air Phono Suecia With big band[10]
1987 Hallberg's Surprise Phontastic Solo piano[10]
1991 Skansen in Our Hearts Aquila With Gustaf Sjokvist (piano), Gavleborg Symphony Orchestra[12]
1992 The Tapdancing Butterfly Aquila Trio, with Ronnie Gardiner (bass), Sture Akerberg (drums)[12]
1994 5 x 100 Improkomp With Ad Libitum Choir[12]
1994–95 Time on My Hands Improkomp Solo piano[12]
1996 In a Mellow Tone Improkomp Duo, with Hans Backenroth (bass)[13]
1999 Stardust in My Heart Improkomp Solo piano[13]
2011? Back 2 Back Volenza Duo, co-led with Jan Lundgren (piano)[14]
2011? Cabin in the Sky Gazell Co-led with Karin Krog (vocals)
2012? Solo Gazell Solo piano; in concert

As sideman[edit]

With Stan Getz

With Quincy Jones

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marcus Boldemann (2 July 2013). "Bengt Hallberg har avlidit". Dagens Nyheter. DN.SE. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
  2. ^ Doc Rock. "July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
  3. ^ a b John Fordham "Bengt Hallberg obituary", theguardian.com, 7 August 2013
  4. ^ "Bengt Hallberg", All About Jazz, 3 July 2013
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Bengt Hallberg Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  6. ^ Luca Cerchiari, Laurent Cugny, Franz Kerschbaumer (eds.) Eurojazzland: Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics, and Contexts, Northeastern University Press, 2012, p.220
  7. ^ Chris Mosey "Arne Domnerus: Jazz at the Pawnshop - 30th Anniversary Edition (2007)" All About Jazz, 30 October 2007
  8. ^ Doug Ramsey "Bengt Hallberg RIP", Rifftides/Arts Journal, 2 July 2013
  9. ^ a b c d "Prestige Records Catalog: 100, 200 series". jazzdisco.org. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP & Cassette (1st ed.). Penguin. pp. 461–463. ISBN 978-0-14-015364-4.
  11. ^ "Truddelutt. Bengt Hallberg". DR.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. pp. 560–561. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
  13. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 631. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  14. ^ Mosey, Chris (February 29, 2012). "Jan Lundgren / Bengt Hallberg: Back 2 Back". All About Jazz.

External links[edit]