This single album spans clarinetist Stan Hasselgård's entire recording career, starting with what was probably his first session in 1940 (when he was 18) up until a V-disc date in 1948 (with pianist Barbara Carroll and guitarist Chuck Wayne) that was made just five days before his tragic death in a car accident. But, other than two numbers from the November 1948 set, the music on this LP focuses on Hasselgård's beginning years, when he was a swing-oriented clarinetist most influenced by Benny Goodman. He is heard in a variety of obscure studio performances with fellow Swedes, none of whom became famous outside of Europe. Whether it be in a duet or a septet, Hasselgård comes across (in hindsight) as the most sophisticated soloist. A historically important and enjoyable swing set.
Young Clarinet Review
by Scott Yanow