One of the top baritone saxophonists of all time and a giant of European jazz, Lars Gullin would be better known today if he had visited the U.S.
often and if excessive drug use had not cut short his career. Early on he learned to play bugle, clarinet, and piano, and was actually a professional altoist until switching to baritone when he was 21. Sounding somewhere between Gerry Mulligan and Serge Chaloff, Gullin played in local big bands in the late '40s and was in Arne Domnerus' sextet (1951-1953), but is best known for his own small-group recordings. He played with such touring Americans as Lee Konitz (a major influence), James Moody, Clifford Brown, Zoot Sims, and Chet Baker, and recorded frequently during 1951-1960, with "Danny's Dream" being his most famous composition. Gullin also recorded a bit during 1964-1965, but made only one later session (1973). Despite a lot of accomplishments in the 1950s, he did not live up to his enormous potential. Gullin can be heard at his best on five Dragon CDs released as The Great Lars Gullin, Vols. 1-5. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi