DAD AND MOM were happy hobby musicians. He played the
cello, violin and guitar and she piano. What was missing was a blower
and he appeared out of nowhere when I got a tonett on my 10th birthday.
A tonett was a kind of plastic flute, which was easy to get the tone in
and play on, the adults said.
Through it I had my first contact with the improvised music, I could
sit long and with recalcitrant fingers trying to play the songs that
were current at the time. "What do you take for your puppy in the
window", "High in the mountain is no police" and other great popular
songs. And that way I also discovered that it was not that difficult to
make your own melodies, basically, it was after all a new song every
time I played wrong on any already existing.
Dad, mom and grandpa jamming Mozart in the 40th century.
But really, I was more interested in playing
football, long jump and running race around the block, so my
inclination for music was not so high, not until some years later when
I went on
It happened when I heard "Melancholy Blues" with Louis Armstrong 's Hot
Seven. I had borrowed the record from a neighbor and I ran it again and
again on the family radiogram, while I tried to imitate Armstrong on my
grandfather's old signal trumpet from the
army, which my dad had
hanging on the wall.
Grandfather who had been music sergeant and
composed "The Skånska Dragoon's Parade March", smiled encouragement
his heaven, while dad stood more hesitant. Perhaps it was this
uncertainty that made me think about a slightly less loud wind
instruments when playing jazz began to insist on more seriously. It was
began to go on the school dances, and there was already Wildcats,
Syncopation, Landala Red Hot Stompers, Dixie Six and whatever the bands
called, in full swing with the jazz playing.
Grandfather Alfred Collin, music sergeant.
IT BECAME CLARINET. My first I nagged me at
confirmation when I was
fifteen. I got some lessons from an Italian who had played clarinet in
Mussolini's parade orchestra, and then it was soon off on my career.
After three weeks, I played in my first jazz band, we were Jan Steneby,
trumpet, Leif Ossner, banjo, and myself on clarinet. And a few months
later, we made our first record in Waidele's, a music shop, little
studio. Hepp! "All of me" on one side and "Down by the riverside" on
the other. But then, we were already on our second trumpeter, Pär
Törnblom had replaced Jan Steneby.
I still have the disc that can be played if you have a gramophone for
78s. Today you do not think it sounds particular good, but at the time
we were thrilled that roosters.
On "All of me" we could only the last half of the tune and we played
and again and again. On "Down by the riverside" is the banjo so out of
tune that it is difficult to discern any chords at all. Clarinet solos,
we should not talk about.
Much was understood that we still did not know anything about chords
and number of bars. Therefore we blowers
improvised a little as we wanted and the banjoist tried to follow
as best as he could with them 4-5 chords he had learned. After all we
had the instruments in a few months. We learned of course then
gradually playing for harmonies, but this was long before all Municipal
music schools and more, so you had to teach yourself. I then read a
correspondence course in elementary theory of harmony in ten letters,
still have on the shelf. A slight advantage, we also had Sture
Westlund, the able and a few years older trombonist in Dixie Six, which
on some occasions took pity on us juniors and revealed some of his
Square Five Plus One 1957: Pär Törnblom, trumpet, Lasse Collin,
clarinet, Anders Svensson, banjo,
Hans "Kinkas" Kindgren, piano, Gunnar Ahlqvist, drums, Håkan
Jakobsson, trombone. *
ONE YEAR LATER, we started
Poseidon Square Five Plus One, name lightly
inspired by Firehouse Five Plus Two, Disney studios jazz band. Pär
Törnblom played the trumpet and was the band leader, then I have
unfortunately forgotten the names of the others in the band. "Kinkas" I
think was the nickname of the pianist, and Gunnar, I think the drummer
was called. Do you recognize any of the others in the photo above,
please tell me. *
Sometimes wiggled Kent Wallin at the drums and could not he
so sat the now even more famous Karl-Axel
He later played for many years with Charlie Norman. Regular banjo was
long Leif Ossner, who like me and Kent Wallin lived in Sävedalen
After a few repetitions in one of the boys' basement, we were ready to
start a jazz club, inspired by for example Hippo who was running in the
Great Katrinelund on Thursdays, if I remember correctly, and the
Society who kept to the attic in Majornas youth centre.
The jazz boys in the glory of
popularity: Leif Ossner, banjo, Håkan stands behind
him, Pär and Gunnar, and to the right Kinkas hanging on my shoulders. *
We went up and knocked on the door of the Villa Odinslund, the big
white mansion which today lies on the "other side of the highway" into
the hillside behind Gårda up against Örgryte pretty close Örgryte old
church. Out looked a friendly man who said we sure could rent the
mansion once a week, if we arranged so that guests had membership cards
and not smashed anything.
THEN STARTED POSEIDON Jazz Club. I think we were running on Sunday
evenings. It was at that time when hundreds of teenagers with duffle
coats, long scarf and thick rough rubber shoes gathered on
Gotaplatsen every night and everyone loved jazz, and when it was Sunday
they all pulled off to Poseidon Jazz Club in Odinslund and listened to
Poseidon Square Five Plus One. And danced and lived such a high life,
so that we
to keep the promise to the friendly landlord, had to employ powerful
guards (with brass knuckles), who kept track of it all. A top night we
had 350 people, and given the fact that we as most was allowed to take
in 125 so can one understand the mood was high.
Poseidon Square Five Plus One in its heydays:
Håkan, Pär, Lasse, Gunnar, Anders and Kinkas. *
With the strengthening of the economy that the gigs at
gave, I ventured to buy a saxophone on mortgage payments on Waidele. A
tenor, who after a few months I switched to an alto, because I got a
sore back from the heavy tenor. The alto is the same as I still honk on
times, a Kohlert as well not among the better brands at the time, but
which now has the correct amount of metal to have a real vintage sound.
The economic boom also helped to give off the ground otherwise. In the
young budding love signs booked my girl and I set us on a trip to Paris
with Youth Travel Agency. The propeller-driven flight to France at that
time was quite different from today's swimming adventures to the other
side of the earth. How our parents could dropped us off, two newly in
teenagers, one can consider, but probably they understood no better.
But to stick to jazz. In Paris in the 50's were most of the American
jazz elite. The first evening we were looking our way to the legendary
Blue Note and listened to the new young trumpet phenomenon Chet Baker
with the famous Kenny Clarke on drums.
sipping on some of our first ever cuba libre drinks, smoked thick
black Guillois-cigarettes and absorbed the latest new.
NIGHTS LATER, it was time for Mezz Mezzrow,
reefer smoking memoirs "Really the blues" I had recently read. He
played at a small club, two floors down in a basement in the so-called
Latin Quarter, which I most remember for that to come down to where the
music was played one first had to pass a medieval torture chamber
traction table, strangulation chair and other fun stuff.
clarinet idol at the time was really Albert
was also in Paris, but we failed to trace. (Heard him live at Don Pedro
in Gothenburg a few years later.) My interest in Mezz Mezzrow in those
mostly literary as the initiated said his clarinet playing was quite
limited. Probably it was because they had not heard him in real life,
for that time in Paris, he was certainly not limited. What he and
trumpeter Bill Coleman swinged down there in the underground club gave
me inspiration that lasts to this day. On request, they played
"Royal Garden Blues" for us, and kindly jotted down their autographs on
the back of the admission ticket during the break when they stood and
smoked something sweetly in the torture chamber.
Cool Collin at the Seine.
Poseidon Jazz Club was well underway in a few years. We played better
and better and became quite popular, but then it gradually became
the band. Somewhere I made a drawing that describes the anarchic
situation. The band dissolved and the jazz club closed. For a while
afterwards it was rumored that band leader would have bought a
motor bike for the money that the band had been deposited in the jazz
club and that he had handled. Since then I've never really trusted
bandleaders, although any offense after all, it's a thing of the past
Mammie 's Buddies in rehearsal 1958: Klas Markensten, cornet, Peter
Göran Rahm, guitar, Heinz Guth, clarinet, LC, alto sax and clarinet, ?, trombone.
Probably the bass player Aga
I HAD THEN started playing with brothers Markensten, who had left the
Society Jazz Band where they played with such as Pider Åvall on
trombone and Clas Vogel on clarinet. Klas Markensten played cornet and
Peter Markensten played forcefully "stride" piano, that his
long-fingered left hand flew in an impressive way up and down in the
bass key register. On one of the city's first electric guitars in this
music genre, we had Göran Rahm whose friend Ingvar "Aga"
Karlsson (nowadays with Betz as his last name) played bass, Heinz
"Plippaplippa" Guth played clarinet, myself played mostly alto sax,
then we also had a guy on trombone, whose name has been forgotten, and
who played the drums? We rehearsaled in Högsbo Youth Centre and in the
of the brothers in Änggården and lined up in the jazz competition at
Burgårdens Samskola as Mammie's Buddies. Ingmar Glanzelius and Sonya
Hedenbratt was in the jury, and we got to play two songs, one was a
blues riff, and the other I do not remember.
Mammie's Buddies rehearsing for the jazz competition at
What I do remember is that our performance was greatly delayed by those
played before us, Bert "Yoga " Jonsson on soprano saxophone and and a
pianist (think it was the from tv well known ragtime virituoso Peter
Lundberg), who never quite
managed to get out of their "Sheik of Araby". They played intense as
hell, but when it began to be time to stop they looked at each other in
order to agree, but did not manage it and kept playing chorus after
chorus after chorus to the crowd's delight.
Afterwards there was a jam at a jazz club that would later become
down at Pustervik, and Ingmar Glanzelius, who just interrupted his
career as alto sax star, looked longingly at my alto, much like an
alcoholic with abstinence. But he refrained.
Lasse Collin (2002)
(Thanks Google translate)
which bands I've been in the ages and maybe listen to some old
recordings click here!
Continued possibly about Sture Westlund as
harmony teacher, Siggelin's quintet and show with
straw hats and bicycle pump, how we were enacted by a 75-year-old
harmonica lady when playing at the AA, how we joined the Musicians'
Union and was forbidden to play with Arne Domnerus and Sonya
Hedenbratt, playing on the world's highest crayfish party, jam with
Jörgen Zetterqvist and jumping in with Landala Red Hot
Stompers, playing guitar and singing my own songs, jamsession at
* Yes, the name of the drummer in Poseidon Square Five Plus One was
Gunnar. In September 2009, I received an email from Gunnar Ahlqvist,
where he told me that he was the drummer and he also remembered the
of all the other guys in the band. Not bad after 52 years. These
jazz historical facts are now recorded under the band pictures above.
Gunnar lives since long in Beddingestrand in Skåne, is 66 years young
playing drums in various bands. At the time we played in Poseidon
Square, he was 14 years old, I was 16...