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Norwegian Jazz Base Launches

People puff out their chests and refer to jazz as “America’s classical music,” when at this point in history jazz is no more an exclusively American pursuit than classical music is an exclusively European one. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to see how jazz has become a true world music. One is The Norwegian Jazz Base (http://jazzbasen.no), a new Web site sponsored by the National Library of Norway and the Norwegian Jazz Archives, which provides a thorough, easy-to-navigate introduction to Norwegian jazz.

The Norwegian Jazz Base may bewilder you at first, but just click on the “English” button in the upper navigation bar and you’ll soon be on your merry way to exploring. The informational backbone of the site is Johs Bergh’s “Norwegian Jazz Discography 1905-1998” (no jokes about its length, please), which has been made entirely searchable. But the site also features numerous biographies of Norwegian jazz notables (in utilitarian translations) and links to Norwegian Jazz Archives publications on Norwegian jazz history.

Multimedia lovers will no doubt want to peruse the extensive photographs and sample the numerous sound files available for complimentary listening. These latter items will convince you that even if jazz remains a uniquely American music, our friends in the frozen Laplands certainly have something to say about it.

Pictured: Finn Westbye and Svein Overgaard of the Funny Boys. Photograph © National Library of Norway and The Norwegian Jazz Archives.

Originally Published