Blowing in the wind.

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 to trumpet.

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 from 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 now one began to go on the school dances, and there was already Wildcats, Syncopation, Landala Red Hot Stompers, Dixie Six and whatever the bands were 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 cramped recording 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 that stubbornly again 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 only 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, which I 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 secrets.

Poseidon 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 Källner in. He later played for many years with Charlie Norman. Regular banjo was long Leif Ossner, who like me and Kent Wallin lived in Sävedalen outside Gothenburg.

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 the jazz club 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 at 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 love 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. Sophisticated sipping on some of our first ever cuba libre drinks, smoked thick black Guillois-cigarettes and absorbed the latest new.

A FEW NIGHTS LATER, it was time for Mezz Mezzrow, whose 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 complete with traction table, strangulation chair and other fun stuff.

My clarinet idol at the time was really Albert Nicholas, who 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 days was 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 disorder in 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 now.

Mammie 's Buddies in rehearsal 1958: Klas Markensten, cornet, Peter Markensten, piano,
Göran Rahm, guitar, Heinz Guth, clarinet, LC, alto sax and clarinet, ?, trombone.
Probably the bass player Aga Karlsson
took the image.

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 home 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 Burgården.

What I do remember is that our performance was greatly delayed by those who 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 Artdur 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)

Want to check which bands I've been in the ages and maybe listen to some old recordings
click here!
Continued possibly about Sture Westlund as wandering 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 Carnegie sugar factory...

* Yes, the name of the drummer in Poseidon Square Five Plus One was really 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 names of all the other guys in the band. Not bad after 52 years. These inalienable jazz historical facts are now recorded under the band pictures above. Gunnar lives since long in Beddingestrand in Skåne, is 66 years young and playing drums in various bands. At the time we played in Poseidon Square, he was 14 years old, I was 16...

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