Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rune Gustafsson's "String Along with Basie"

Roaming Spotify, I only just learned that Rune Gustafsson passed away two years ago. I was looking for a guitar track of the great Basie tune "Splanky." I found one by Rune and was so pleasantly surprised that I looked for the entire album and found it. Man, this heavily arranged album but swinging album is so enjoyable and so well recorded ... It dates from 2009. You will be interrupted by annoying ads if you have a free Spotify account. But listen anyway! These lush guitar sounds are too great to miss! Highly recommended!

Wiki tells us this about Rune:

Rune Gustafsson was born in 1933 in Gothenburg. He moved to Stockholm in the 1950s to work with Putte Wickman (Swedisk Jazz Kings, EP, 1957) and Arne Domnérus Radio band and Radio Jazz Group. His first published works were Young Guitar (Metronome, MLP 15 072, 1961) with Arne Domnérus, Jan Johansson, Jimmy Woode, Bjarne Nerem, Börje Fredriksson and Jan Allan.[4]. Rune at the Top was published in 1969 and included the Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen. He played in the Arne Domnérus duo (Dialog, 1972) and his various orchestras, with Jan Johansson, Georg Riedel, Cornelis Vreeswijk. Rune Gustafsson Himself Plays Gilbert O'Sullivan (1973), Killing Me Softly (1973) and Move (1977), was recorded with Egil Johansen, who was one of Gustafsson's most popular jazz partners. On a Clear Day (Sonet, SLP 2581, 1976) includedRed Mitchell and Duke Ellington's drummer Ed Thigpen. He played with Zoot Sims on two recordings: The Sweetest Sounds and In a Sentimental Mood, the latter was Sims last album. Rune Gustafsson died in 2012 in Stockholm after short illness.[5]


  1. Really one of the guitar greats, somewhat underestimated. Did you know that Pat Metheny refers to him as one of his inspiration sources?

    Anyway I write this to share information about another great swedish guitarist and above all a great big band arranger, he is turning 80 this year: Bo Sylvén! During his active period he worked in The Danish Radio Big Band for many years both as a guitarist and arranger. You definitely know the bass player who played with DRBB back in those days: NHÖP- Niels Henning Örsted Pedersen, who also played with Bo Sylvén and Lisa Linn, a great danish jazz vocalist, married to Bo. They toured in Brazil during the 70´s for example

    He worked as a guitar teacher at the Malmö Conservatory of Music ( Musikhögskolan i Malmö) for over 20 years, and is considered as a mentor for many of the active jazz guitarist in Sweden today, including myself.

    He also formed a guitar big band with guitar students from the Conservatory: Bo Sylvén Guitar Big Band, and you can find them here:

    Many thanks for a truly inspirational jazz guitar blog!


    Bo Göran (BG) Sahlin

    1. Correction: Bo Sylvén Major Seven Guitar Big Band...