All About Jazz, one of the most influential jazz magazines around, has profiled the Norwegian label Smalltown Superjazzz and interviewed its founder Joakim Haugland about this very personal enterprise.
Haugland is perhaps best known for his other and original label Smalltown Supersound, which is something of a Bentley brand in the Indie sphere of pop music. But Supersound specialises in electronica, and Haugland met resistance among the hard core followers of the label when he wanted to release jazz. For such is the standing of Smalltown Supersound and a few other Indie labels like it, that people now proclaim to be fans of the label, and not some genre or particular artists.
Anyway, in order to release the jazz that he wanted to put out on the market Haugland created the Smalltown Superjazzz label, dedicated to free jazz and mostly built around musicians Paal Nilssen-Love and Mats Gustafsson. They were Haugland’s introduction to free jazz back in 2000, and still form the backbone of the label’s catalogue.
All About Jazz calls Haugland a zealot of the kind that free jazz depends upon, and the “irresistible force behind Smalltown Superjazzz.”
In the interview he relates that his motif for starting the label was to try and recreate the free spirit of 60’s labels such as ESP and BYG. And the label aesthetic is completely based on his own personal taste. “What feels right I do,” says Haugland.
Upcoming releases from Smalltown Superjazzz include an ambitious box set by The Thing; duet albums with McPhee and Paal Nilssen-Love, McPhee and Gustafsson and Brotzmann and Nilssen-Love; a second album from Original Silence (Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Massimo Zu and Terrie Ex) and solo albums from Gustafsson and Nilssen-Love.