Swedish musician Bengt "Frippe" Nordström intersected with many of the American free jazz artists on their travels through his country. He was blown off the trad jazz course by Ornette Coleman's music, sitting front row for the concert that was released as "At the Golden Circle" on Blue Note. He played a white plastic saxophone like the one Ornette sported. A few years earlier, Nordström became a key footnote in jazz history when he, in a right-place, right-time bit of luck, recorded Albert Ayler's first LP on his portable recording equipment. It's a collection of rather staid standards with Ayler backed by a Swedish trio, unheard by many Ayler fans until it resurfaced on the Ayler box released on Revenant a few years back. Nordström went on to have a successful career and by all accounts had achieved a kind of emeritus status to the free jazz scene in Sweden before his death in 2000. His last public performance was a guest spot with Sunny Murray and Arthur Doyle.
Back in 1963 though, Nordström had the opportunity to record with Ornette Coleman's trumpeter Don Cherry, only one 12-minute duet of improvisation, that found it's way on to a record from Nordström's own label, Bird Notes. The piece was curiously bookended by a Bo Skoglund drum solo and an 18-minute Nordström saxophone solo. There are rumors that only five copies of this record were ever released, in a crude handwritten inner sleeve without a proper jacket. I kind of suspect that to be collector lore, but no matter. It is twelve minutes of two boundless spirits making music, and if you weren't one of the original lucky five, (or dozens more who grabbed this from the late, lamented Church Number Nine blog like I did), take a listen below.
Bengt Nordstrom/Don Cherry - Duet (from Bird Notes 03)