Sunday, March 15, 2009

The NRK Sessions - Soul, Afro-Jazz and Latin from the Club 7 Scene

Only recently tipped to this release from a few years ago:

The NRK Sessions
- Soul, Afro-Jazz and Latin from the Club 7 Scene

In 1970, Norway had a population of just over 3.8 million people, with a record market in accordance to that number. Genres such as soul, afro-jazz and latin were rarely recorded and therefore The Norwegian National Broadcasting Bureau (NRK) played a pivotal role for the music milieu. Since the bands didn’t have any records for NRK to play, NRK gave them studio time to record music they could broadcast. Hence, it exists recordings of artists that you never knew even existed.

The artists represented on this release were all connected to Club 7 that existed from 1963 to ’85 on different locations in Oslo. The name suggested that the intentions of the club were more than just sex and it soon became the stage for all experimental art forms in Norway. In the early days the scene was all about jazz, but soon opened up to R´n´B, psychedelica, blues, reggae and folk music. An important factor in this development was Earl Wilson, an actor from New York who in 66´ formed the first Norwegian R´n´B band, Little Earl and The Sapphires. After breaking up the group, Earl put together The Club 7 Explosion, which became an institution at the club under different names such as Little Earl & The Road Band and The Band No Name. After seeing the huge cues the band made, the management realized that R´n´B music was the new money. Karin Krog was a part of the early jazz scene but started experimenting with R´n´B after meeting the singer and pianist Arild Wikstrøm and later the R´n´B band Public Enemies at the club. Here she also met Fred Nøddelund, almost just a kid at the time, who convinced Karin to record and perform some of his arrangements, inspired by West Coast pop and soul. The cousins Magni and Geir Wentzel were both Club 7 regulars. Magni was educated as a classical guitarist in Spain and focused both on the jazz and folk scene while the pianist Geir was a pioneer on the R´n´B scene with his own orchestra and band Wentzel. He was set to record Norway’s first R´n´B LP when his collaborator suddenly died in a car crash. Theband Kjellerrockjazzbandet consisted of some of Norway’s most talented jazz and pop musicians from the groups Sapphires and Dream, and like all Club 7 musicians they played in a dozen different constellations a month. They got their name from Club 7’s director Attila Horvath, who one day needed to name the group for an ad in the paper, and the name stuck. But it wasn’t only Norwegian groups that played Club 7. The booking list is filled with big international names like Nina Simone or Keith Jarrett, and it wasn’t unusual that the guy sitting in the corner sofa next to you was Zappa or Sean Connery. One of the bands that used to visit was The Modern Sound Quintet, an afro-jazz group with musicians from the Caribbean, living in Copenhagen. They worked as session musicians and played clubs in Scandinavia and one of the regular stops was Club 7. Two mainstays on the club’s afro-jazz scene were the bands E´Olen! and Tamma, both with Gambian percussionist Miki N´Doye as backbone.Tammarefers to a talking drum from West Africa and the band was influenced by African folk music, Fela Kuti and Scandinavian jazz. The band eventually got so good at their craft that they went to tour Gambia.

Both the NRK studio productions and Club 7 fell apart during the mid eighties. Club 7 went bankrupt and the new standardized musician wages made NRK refrain from using self produced music in the broadcasts. Since Club 7 never managed to get their own recording equipment or label running, we are lucky they took the trip to NRK to record the only documents existing of one of Scandinavia’s most vibrant music scenes in the 70s.

Compiled by Lars Mørch Finborud & Tommy Søvik
Design: Bjørn Kowalski
Linernotes: Lars Mørch Finborud
Mastering: Erling Lydersen Hoff



1. The Band No Name “Whole lotta love” (J. Page/R. Plant/J. P. Jones) 2.16
2. The Band No Name “Hot pants” (J. Brown) 5.05
3. The Band No Name “Come on children” (M. White, W. Flemmons, D. Whitehead) 3.11
4. The Band No Name with Magni Wentzel “Love the one your with” (S.Stills) 4.07
5. The Band No Name “Tell it like it is” (M. Santamaria) 6.59
6. The Band No Name “Moment of truth” (M. White, W. Flemmons, D. Whitehead) 3.16
7. The Band No Name “Them changes” (B. Miles) 4.18
8 . Karin Krog & Fred Nøddelund “Groovin´” (Cavaliere/Brigati/Nøddelund) 4.37
9 . Geir Wentzel´s Orkester with Magni Wentzel “Don’t let me loose this dream” (A. Franklin) 2.58
10. Geir Wentzel´s Orkester with Magni wentzel “California soul” (Ashford/Simpson) 2.48
11. Kjellerrockjazzbandet ”A night in Barcelona” (H. De Vance Land) 4.33
12. Kjellerrockjazzbandet ”Unknown” (W. Bobo) 3.35
13. Kjellerrockjazzbandet “Oslo, late July” (K. Riisnæs) 2.59
14. The Modern Sound Quintet ”Otinku” (J. Roachford/K. Ayvor) 6.32
15. Tamma “Lite, lite” (Tamma) 4.28
16. Tamma “Tamma song” (Tamma) 6.33


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