Part Three - Hilde Hefte - Norwegian Jazz and Randi Hultin.
Jan.s: Norway has produced a number of unique Jazz artists. I first became aware of a number of them during the early 80's. Terje Rypdal, Jan Garbarek and Karin Krog to name a few but there were no doubt countless others. Would you share with us what you feel allowed the Norwegain Jazz scene to develop in such a rich and unique way?
Hilde: Your last question is simple and easy, good “jazz-workers”. There lived a person in Norway named Randi Hultin. If it hadn’t been for her the story would have been different I think.
She was close friends with all the greatest American jazz musicians and she managed to get them to visit Norway, doing concerts, playing with the Norwegian musicians – and she arranged jam sessions in her own house almost every night.
She planted the seed for a lawn for all jazz musicians in Norway to walk on. That’s one of the main reasons.
The other one is that every jazz musician in Norway worked with each other no matter age, generation, color or genre within jazz.
The old ones got the playfulness from the young ones and the young ones got the depth from the old ones.
Everybody was lifting each other up and helped each other, no jealousy, no “no you can’t do this, you can’t play, you can’t sing” etc. etc.
Randi Hultin gave every Norwegian jazz musician the opportunity to play, record with there idols from the US. This was in the 50’s, 60’s mostly, but then the ground was made for all the things that happened later.
When I recorded my first solo jazz album 1999 Randi Hultin used all her contacts, even the head of the magazine Down Beat. She called him and told him about the record, sent it to him and he wrote about the CD in Down Beat. She did things like this for everybody and of her own free will, never getting paid, but in the love for the music. This is only one of the reasons, but it’s too long to write about it all here.
Jan.s: Hilde, thank you so much for enriching us with your story of Randi Hultin and of the camaraderie shared amongst jazz musicians in Norway. So many have no doubt benefited by Randi's incredible passion & commitment to jazz. May her memory live on and may you continue to create and record such wonderful music.