Helge Albin

Helge Albin

Instrument: Saxophone, alto | Location: Malmo

A Walk in the Centerpoint reinforces the Tolvan Big Band's reputation as a world-class outfit.
—All About Jazz

Updated: April 5, 2022

Born: March 31, 1941

For over thirty years, Helge Albin has been working hard to turn the the small Swedish city of Malmo into an international destination for the best in forward-thinking jazz music. And he has a lot to show for it—The Tolvan Big Band, an 18-member ensemble dedicated to performing new music by Albin and others has toured in Europe, Australia and South America, and worked with jazz masters Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Liebman, and Michael Brecker, among many others.

The ensemble has released twelve recordings, four of them featuring Albin’s music. All About Jazz said the most recent album of Albin’s music, Effortlessly, released in 2013 by the Swedish label Kopasetic, tells a “nuanced story full of twists and suspense” through the intricate details of the compositions. “I’ve always wanted the big band to play with the flexibility of a quartet,” Albin says about how he leads the band, “So, I chose players who play creatively even as they are reading sophisticated parts.” And it has paid off. The Tolvan Big Band performs polished ensemble music with the personality of a small group—they are light on their feet even when the band’s 18 members are playing at full power.

Helge Albin has also built bridges to the classical music community. His four-movement suite “Thetris,” written in 2008 and featuring the Malmo Symphony Orchestra along with the Tolvan Big Band, is a collaboration on a grand scale

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All About Jazz Articles

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“The Best Big Band I’ve played since 1947

- - D I z z y G I l le s p I e

“ You can’t find such a band even in New York”

- - M I k e B r e c k e r

- - “ this latest CD reinforces its reputation as a world - class outfit”

- - A l l A b o u t J a z z

,,,, “must be among the best in jazz at the moment”

— Irish Times


Helge Albin Albums