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One of Sweden's Leading Bassmenby Stefan Wijkstr
Copyright © 2001 Stefan Wijkstr
Sture Nordin grew up in north Sweden, in the little town of Ostersund, where he had a good deal of attention paid to him by touring jazz musicians as a young double bass player. In the early 1950's he moved to Stockholm, to join an orchestra at an amusement park.
Soon Nordin found himself playing with Lars Gullin's orchestra, and in 1955 he joined clarinetist Putte Wickman's sextet. Nordin became a regular member of the trio at the famous jazz temple, Nalen, with pianist Rune Ofverman and drummer Egil Johansen which for many years accompanied most of the foreign guest musicians there during late-night jam sessions.
At the same time, Nordin was admitted as a student to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, together with his well known bass colleagues Lasse Petterson and Georg Riedel. But Nordin was forced to leave the academy when one of Nordin's academic teachers heard a rumour that Nordin was playing something called jazz, then regarded as a disreputable music, at least by the Royal Academy. Pettersson and Riedel also played many evenings at Nalen, but they escaped Nordin's fate.
Nordin now had to continue his bass studies for a private teacher, but despite this incident he soon established himself as the leading jazz bassist in Sweden. His style blends elements from those of Ray Brown and Oscar Pettiford. During the 1960's he mostly worked in recording studios, but for a number of summers he was Josh White's bassist at the famous amusement park Grona Lund in Stockholm, and also accompanied many guest musicians at club "Gyllene Cirkeln" (The Golden Circle) in Stockholm, including Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Jan Allan, Benny Bailey, Jan Johansson, Rolf Ericson, Arne Domnérus among others.
During the 1970's Nordin was a member of Egil Johansen's Jazz Incorporated, and he was the prime mover of the group Summit Meeting with tenorists Nisse Sandstrom and Bernt Rosengren, among others. In 1978 Nordin made his first recording under his own name, African Igloo. The album title is characteristic of his sense of humour.
Nordin suffered a heart attack while playing his bass at the stage of the Park Hotel in Stockholm on the night of 10th October, and died shortly after midnight.