In August 1947, clarinetist Stan Hasselgård left his native Sweden for the United States, where he would spend his final year before his premature death in a car accident. This very interesting Dragon LP takes its material from 1948, when a recording strike kept the clarinetist (and virtually all other union musicians) off of records. The mostly live performances feature Hasselgård with a quintet headed by drummer Jackie Mills, jamming with tenorman Wardell Gray and pianist Dodo Marmarosa and as part of the Arnold Ross Quartet (with guest Billy Eckstine on vocals and valve trombone), plus three selections made with Benny Goodman's short-lived 1948 septet. It was during his final year that Hasselgård evolved quickly from a swing clarinetist to a more boppish player (one of the few on his instrument) and began to really sound quite individual. This LP shows the great promise he had.
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