Jazz At The Pawnshop 2

Arne Domnerus

Original Recording Format: Analog

When recording engineer Gert Palmcrantz was loading his car with equipment outside Europa Film Studios on December 6th, 1976, it was only to make one of many recordings. No-one knew then that it was to become a cult recording among audiophiles and one of the most appreciated jazz-recordings ever made. Palmcrantz put the equipment in the car and drove off to Stampen, the jazz club in Gamla Stan in Stockholm. It was far from the first time for him to record jazz at Stampen. The club, named after a pawnbrokers’ shop which used to be in that block, opened in 1968. That same year, Gert was there to make a recording of, amongst others, the clarinettist Ove Lind, the vibraphonist Lars Erstrand and the drummer Egil Johansen. He was subsequently to meet the latter two again at Stampen’s small stage, together with saxophonist Arne Domnérus, pianist Bengt Hallberg and bass-player Georg Riedel. Palmcrantz knew them well from before.

Jazz At The Pawnshop 2 is the second volume of the great Jazz at the Pawnshop sessions that were recorded in December 1976 over two nights at the intimate Pawnshop jazz club in Stockholm. So named because a Pawnshop was previously housed at the site. The album is considered one of the best recorded and most famous audiophile recordings in Jazz music history. Both the musicianship and the engineering came together in a magical symbiosis captured on this enduring classic. 

Recording engineer Gert Palmcrantz used one pair of microphones spaced eight inches apart for the main pick-up, with a couple of microphones placed to register the “live” atmosphere and a few discrete support mikes, all recorded on a pair of two-track Nagra tape recorders in the restaurant kitchen! 


Over The Rainbow
Gubben och Kallingen
In A Mellow Tone
Nancy With The Laughing Face
High Life (Take 2)
The Big Show -Poor Butterfly
Exactly Like You
Things Ain't What They Used To Be
It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)

Total time: 00:59:47

Additional information





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Digital Converters

Horus, HAPI

Editing Software


Mastering Engineer

For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4”, 15 ips CCIR master tape was played on a Nagra-T modified with highend tube playback electronics, wired with OCC silver cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 tube.

René Laflamme

Original Recording Format


Jacob Boethius

Production Notes

For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4”, 15 ips CCIR master tape was played on a Nagra-T modified with highend tube playback electronics, wired with OCC silver cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 tube.

René Laflamme

Recording Engineer

Gert Palmcrantz

Recording location

Jazzpuben Stempen (Pawnshop), Stockholm, Sweden

Recording Software

Merging (for transfer)

Recording Type & Bit Rate

Analog to DSD128

Release Date August 6, 2016

Press reviews

All About Jazz

“On December 6 and 7, 1976, in a small Jazz club called Stampen (The Pawn Shop) in Stockholm’s Old Town, Swedish sound engineer Gert Palmcrantz recorded a group of leading Scandinavian jazzmen live, trying to get “the tight, harmonious sound of the records of my childhood.” Conditions were less than ideal. A full house, a great deal of background noise. No rehearsals. No sound checks. The musicians just started playing with no one knowing what would be next on the agenda until reedman Arne Domnerus called it.

The result has often been hailed as the best live Jazz recording ever. Amazingly, for a small country such as Sweden, the record sold more than half a million copies and still sells, at a rate of around 4,000 copies annually.

Sound aside, the music is an absolutely glorious mix that seamlessly knits Ellington with Armstrong, melancholic Swedish folk songs with bop, and two takes of African High Life thrown in for good measure. Domnerus is at the very height of his considerable powers on alto saxophone and clarinet.

Pianist Bengt Hallberg, usually an extremely delicate and very measured player, was obviously affected by the general ambience, and here and there cuts loose with awesome force. “Bengt went almost crazy on occasions,” bassist Riedel recalls. Erstrand, one of Europe’s best on vibes, played just one night but added a light, airy feel. He rides high on up-tempo numbers like “Limehouse Blues,” but also provides subtle underpinning on ballads including “I’m Confessin'” and “Lady Be Good.”

You hear the chink of glasses, the chime of the bell to acknowledge a tip, the burr of conversation. It all fits. That intimate club atmosphere that sparks Jazz at its best. You feel as though you’re there. Which is Palmcrantz’s triumph, and why Jazz at the Pawnshop is likely to continue to fascinate both Jazz and audio fans for a good many years to come.”


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