Two sounds fought for the musical soul of Gunnar Siljabloo" Nilson: one, Artie Shaw's smoothly swinging clarinet; the other, Slim Gaillard's crazed, frenetic vocals. When the battle grew too intense and he could stand it no longer, Nilson took to drink. Born in 1925 in the desolate far north of Sweden, young Gunnar fell in love with Shaw's playing on an old 78 rpm record and taught himself clarinet. He never did manage to sound like Shaw. His playing was far more muscular and flamboyant... a style very much his own. In the 1940s ...read more
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