born on 19/3/1970
died on 24/7/2011
Harald Gill Johnsen (born 19 March 1970 deceased 24 July 2011) was a Norwegian Jazz musician (double bass), known for his contributions in bands like Køhn/Johansen Sextet and Tord Gustavsen Trio, and a series of recordings with such as Sonny Simmons, Sigurd Køhn, Nils Olav Johansen, Jan Erik Kongshaug, Frode Barth, Per Oddvar Johansen and Ditlef Eckhoff.
Johnsen was a graduate of the Jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium (NTNU, 198992). He participated in the "two basses event" with the Trygve Seim led Trondheim Art Orchestra later called Trygve Seim Ensemble. He played a key role in a variety of jazz bands, including Nils-Olav Johansen Trio, Christian Belt Trio, Svein Olav Herstad Trio, Jan Erik Kongshaug Quartet and Køhn/Johansen Sextet. He was a member of several bands, including Erlend Skomsvoll's «Hvorfor Ikke?» in 1994, Erik Wesseltoft Quartet from 1995, «Appaloosa Nova» from 1996, and collaborated on the album Youll always need friends (1997) within The Alf Kjellman Project, and Choice (1998) with Monica Borgen. He has also played a while with Ditlef Eckhoff, releasing an album Impressions Of Antibes (1997). In the last years of his life he had great success in the Tord Gustavsen Trio.
Johnson has participated on several recordings, such as with Ditlef Eckhoff and Eric Reed on the album Impressions of Antibes (1997), and on the Einar Iversen led album Merry Christmas (1999) by Ditlef Eckhoff. Around the turn of the millennium, he joined Silje Nergaard Band and Tord Gustavsen Trio, which led to international releases. In addition he has played on recordings with, among others Karl Sundby (2004).
Johnsen also played with guitarist and composer Frode Barth regularely since 1984. Their trio TAPE (guitar, bass and drums) along with drummer Tom Erling Lie, won the Youth Festival, Norwegian final, in 1988. Many years of collaboration, improvisation and compositional exchange between the two musicians formed the basis for their debut album, Frode Barth & Harald Johnsen Blue Spheres (MTG Music), 2007. The release received excellent reviews. Blue Spheres can be described as modern jazz, where a melodic idiom is set up against the elements of contemporary music and electronica. Frode Barth, Harald Johnsen and drummer Andreas Bye accounted Barth & Johnson Trio.
Johnsen got an illness that prevented him gradually from playing actively, and he died much too early on July 24, 2011, after a heart attack at the age of 41.
Discography (in selection)
- With Trond Bjertnes & Frode Barth
- 1993: Egentlig (Ponca Jazz Records)
- 1997: JEG (MTG)
- Within Svein Olav Herstad Trio
- 1993: Dig (Ponca Jazz Recordings), trio including Torbjørn Engan
- 1997: Sommerregn (Ponca Jazz Recordings), trio including Per Oddvar Johansen
- 2006: Suite for Simmons (Jazzaway), trio including Johnsen/Johansen feat. Sonny Simmons live from Festiviteten Hall, Sildajazz in Haugesund (2005), performing a commission in six parts
- With Ditlef Eckhoff
- 1997: Impressions Of Antibes (Gemini Records)
- Within The Alf Kjellman Project
- 1997: Youll Always Need Friends (Gemini Records)
- With Monica Borgen
- 1998: Choice (Midnight Blue Music)
- With Jan Erik Kongshaug
- 1998: The Other World (ACT)
- 2003: All These Years (Hot Club Records)
- Within «Køhn/Johansen Sextet»
- 1999: Woman´s Got to Have It
- 2003: Angels
- With Einar Iversen & Ditlef Eckhoff
- 1999: Merry Christmas (Hi-Di Music)
- With Silje Nergaard Band
- 2000: Port of call (EmArcy)
- 2001: At first light (EmArcy)
- 2003: Nightwatch (EmArcy)
- With Tord Gustavsen Trio
- 2002: Changing Places (ECM)
- 2004: The Ground (ECM)
- 2006: Being There (ECM)
- Duo with Frode Barth
- 2007: Blue spheres (MTG)
- With other projects
- 1988: Hummer og kanari, Frode A. Danielsen
- 1996: Østkantblues, Karl Sundby / Erik Wesseltoft
- 1999: Together, Inge Stangvik / Eivind Sannes
- Hammerø, Tor. "Harald Johnsen Biography". Store Norske Leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved on 2012-11-25.
- 2.0 2.1 Johnsen, Harald Biography (Norwegian). Ballade.no (2011-11-03). Retrieved on 2012-11-25.
- Biografphy from Store Norske Leksikon. (in Norwegian)
- Jazzlinja. NTNU.no. Retrieved on 2012-11-25.
- 5.0 5.1 Hammerø, Tor (2001-06-26). Monica Borgen: Midnight Blue Review (Norwegian). Puls.no. Retrieved on 2012-11-25.
- Biography from The Official Tord Gustavsen Trio Webcite.
- Barth & Johnsen Official Webcite.
- jazzwisemagazine.com - Jazz breaking news: Internationally Known Norwegian Bassist Harald Johnsen Dies.
- Biography: Johnsen, Harald - Norsk musikkinformasjon Ballade.no
- Biografi Harald Johnsen in Store norske leksikon
- Frode Barth og Harald Johnsens hjemmeside