Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hansson & Karlsson - 1968 - Rex

Hansson & Karlsson

01. Live (1:17)
02. I Love, You Love (13:52)
03. Carlous Rex (1:46)
04. Chateau plaisance-68 (21:55)

- Bo Hansson / organ
- Janne Carlsson/ drums

Many admirers of Bo Hansson know that there are previous recordings associated with him from a time before his classic 1970 fantasy album "music inspired by Lord of the Rings". In the late sixties Bo was one half of a rock duo with fellow Swede Janne Karlsson,an innovative jazz drummer. This odd combo [just organ & drums,no other instruments] played a club scene & appeared on stage as support act for a tour of Jimi Hendrix Experience, as well as supporting a Cream concert in Stockholm. During those early years they recorded their own albums which were noticed by many in the British rock scene & elsewhere in Europe. This selection titled "Hansson & Karlsson" is a pick of tracks from three albums - "Monument" 1967, "Rex" 1968, & "Man at the Moon" 1969.

It must be said from the beginning that this entirely instrumental music will not appeal to all. It has a considerable Jazz content, & even Bo Hansson fans may need time to get their heads around it. This is something very much in a class of it's own. But it can grow on you. Where else would you find such original material revealing the full spectrum of Hammond organ without other instruments?
For me it was quite surprising to find that two Swedes played a blend of jazz & rock as far back as 1967. Some of the tracks rock a little, one or two pieces sound like jazz from an old underground bar, & occasionly the organ goes a bit "Frankenstein". And yet the catchy track "Tax Free" which was later recorded by Hendrix, always sounds to me more like some Nordic fairy dance than anything suggested by that title. This was the height of the psychadelic era & so there are some dreamy interludes, & towards the end of the album the music ventures into something of a jazzy space odessey [Man at the Moon].
The sleeve notes for the CD contain a lenghty interview with H&K which details much about where they were at in those early times,& includes mention of their friendship with Jimi.
Most of this selection was recorded live in the studios with hardly any over-dubbing &, as the sleeve notes explain, much of H&K's music was spontaneous & improvised. It is tempting to imagine Hendrix cranking up his left-handed Stratocaster on a few of these tracks, & intriguing to think that he had interests in styles other than blues-rock [Jimi had some lenghty jams with this duo].

Hansson played the Hammond organ in a very original manner creating sounds & effects previously unheard, & this music would have been considered "underground" or "experimental" in it's day. At times Bo seems to test the humble instrument to it's limits, while at others he plays cool modern jazz - [Hansson always admitted to being inspired by American jazz organist Jack McDuff].
Historically this selection represents some little known rock-jazz relics. Musically it is some of the most unique & original late sixties era material you might ever hear, as well as being a statement about how two clever artists can produce a fullness of sound equivalent to a larger band. One could also query as to what extent this album represents some of the earliest jazz-fusion. But above all I find myself wanting to hear the entire album "Man at the Moon", or better still, all three represented albums in their entirety.
"Hansson and Karlsson" is unashamedly a jazz-rock relic which, although not for everyone, may surprise some.


  1. http://filefactory.com/file/7fl58c9aolf9/2192.rar

  2. This is crazy. Its really not missing anything. Only drums and organ make it all. I just dont understand why people give such a lame applause at the end.