His playing mellowed with age until, by the 1980s, it had attained a state of great expressive simplicity. While it was still possible to trace early influences in his style on both saxophone and clarinet, he could no longer be fitted into any conventional jazz category.
With pianist Bengt Hallberg, baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin, clarinetist Stan Hasselgard, trumpeter Rolf Ericson and a few other pioneers of modern jazz in Sweden, Domnerus became recognized as a peer of the best young American jazz musicians. His approach was cooler than that of the fieriest Parker acolytes, but he worked on an equally high level of creativity. When American musicians visited Sweden, they often recorded with Domnerus. He was prominent as a soloist when Clifford Brown and Art Farmer collaborated in 1953 with the Swedish All-Stars in four tracks included in this CD set.
Having worked with some great musicians through the years, there is
still nobody who had such an enormous emotional effect on me as Arne. The secret was in his sound and in his way of nuancing each tone. He was a jazz musician who reached a whole nation, including people who wouldn't normally listen to jazz. He was loved by the audiences.
Anyone with an interest in jazz should take a listen to The Midnight Sun Never Sets," recorded in the 50s with Quincy Jones leading the Swedish Radio Big Band -- a classic. Arne was one of the worlds finest interpreters of the Great American Song Book, but not only that, he was also one of the pioneers in playing music of Swedish origin, popular songs and folk music, in a jazz context. Arne Domnerus was one of the great ones and will be missed by thousands of fans.
In 1950 in a concert in Malm, Domnerus shared a rhythm section and trumpeter Rolf Ericson with Charlie Parker--although the two saxophonists performed in separate sets. The concert was recorded and recently released in this CD.