Not long ago, the great jazz photographer Herman Leonard passed away. He shot all the American greats of jazz, I mean all of them. Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, you name it.
Now, I don’t want to come across as the smug Swede criticizing the arguably best jazz photographer in history. But I’m missing the Swedes in Leonard’s body of work! No sight of the awesome singer Monica Zetterlund. Or baritone saxphone genius Lars Gullin, who fused jazz with Swedish folk music beautifully. Or even trumpeter Rolf Ericson, who lived in New York in the forties and fifties and played with all the greats.
Above is the only photo I found of a Swedish jazzman in Leonard’s enormous collection — clarinet virtuoso Åke “Stan” Hasselgård, who tragically died in a car accident in 1948 aged just 26. Not much focus on him in the picture though, he’s right behind Duke Ellington and you can’t see his entire face.
If Leonard has in fact caught one or two other Swedes on photo, give me a shout….
To read some more about Swedish jazz, click here.