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Record Label Profiles

Smalltown Superjazzz

By Published: April 30, 2008
Listening to the music of Smalltown Superjazzz and observing its forceful design—the product of Rune Mortensen or Kim Hiorthoy—may be a shock for those whose knowledge of Scandinavian jazz comes either from the American ex-pat scene in Denmark or the modern releases of ECM artists like Jan Garbarek. And though Haugland acknowledges the influence of players like Garbarek, himself once a violent free jazzer, "the fact that Albert Ayler and Don Cherry lived in Scandinavia has been of bigger importance."

Usually these profiles end with talk of what's to come for a label. Haugland has managed to maintain his enthusiasm. "The most important thing is to get all this good music out," he says. "Every time there is a new record coming in at the warehouse, it's like Christmas Eve for me. That wonderful feeling gets me going." Upcoming releases include an ambitious box set by The Thing; duet albums with McPhee and Paal Nilssen-Love, McPhee and Gustafsson and Brotzmann and Nilssen-Love; a second album from Original Silence (Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Massimo Zu and Terrie Ex) and solo albums from Gustafsson and Nilssen-Love.

"To be honest, I am never satisfied with the Smalltown Supersound label, there is always something that could be different," Haugland says. "But with the Superjazzz label I am very satisfied. It is exactly how I wanted it to be. This is strange because I never have it like this. Superjazzz has become the jazz label that I felt was needed and the one that I needed to create."

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