Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Hammond Organ: Triplets

Hansson & Karlsson: Triplets


In 1966 twenty-three year old Bo Hansson played guitar with Stockholm blues rockers The Merrymen. He quit when the band was on the verge of a big break, and after seeing organist "Brother" Jack McDuff play the legendary jazz club Gyllene Cirkeln, he decided the Hammond was the only way to go. He got himself an organ and started playing solo gigs before he'd even learned how to play it. He soon teamed up with jazz drummer Jan Carlsson (yes, it's spelled with a C; the K in the bandname was a misprint) and the duo started playing wild, largely improvised gigs regularly at Gyllene Cirkeln, as well as other clubs around Scandinavia.

Their first and best album, Monument, came out in 1967 and made quite an impression. Jimi Hendrix jammed with the duo when he visited in Stockholm in the late 60's, a jam that was recorded but has never been released. There were plans for Hansson & Karlsson to join Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, making it a two drummer band, but Hendrix died before anything came of it. But Hendrix did record a Hansson & Karlsson song, Tax Free, which he also played live occasionally. He wanted to record Triplets as well, but again that death thing got in the way.

After two more albums H&K went their seperate ways. Hansson made a few solo records (including his famed Lord of the Rings album) before leaving the music business entirely. Carlsson meanwhile, moved on to acting. In Sweden everyone knows him as "Loffe", which was the name of the womanizing character he played in the hugely popular mini-series Någonstans i Sverige. Following a one-off reunion tour in 1998 Hansson would occasionally do gigs with his protégé and fellow organist Eric Malmberg.

Bo Hansson died in 2010 at the age 67.

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