Bassist, arranger, born in Oslo 01.02.1937.
Erik is the brother of the pianist Arvid Amundsen and came to jazz at the early age of 14 as a member of Kjell Johansen's Bop Band (1951), had his first professional summer job at Larkollen in 1953 and his record debut at 17 (1954) with the Arvid Amundsen Trio and the Atle Hammer Sextet.
He soon came to be regarded as Norway's foremost bass player, played in the Karl Otto Hoff Trio and the Eilif Holm Quartet in the mid 50s, the Lars Sandsgaard Orchestra 1958-1959, John Svendsen's Radio group 1959 and periodically with the Kjell Karlsen Orchestra from 1959 (recording 1963). At the Metropol Jazz Center (1960-1965) he was an obvious choice for a backing musician, he was a festival backing musician at Molde 1962-1964, and played with many well-known international musicians. He made his name internationally and was picked for the European All Star gathering in 1961, the same year he won the Buddy award.
At home he played with all the leading Norwegian musicians, such as Mikkel Flagstad, Einar Iversen and Frode Thingn?s, recorded with Magni Wentzel and made film music for "Line" in 1960, recorded with Karin Krog, Laila Dalseth, Bjorn Johansen and Jan Berger 1963. The following years he often played in duo or trio with the guitarist Berger, but became less musically active during the years when jazz was at a low ebb, from the mid-60s. But he did his part in trying to improve things as chairman of the Norwegian Jazz Forum 1966-1967.
When jazz again began to come alive, this eminent bassist joined the Steen / Bergersen Quintet 1969-1971. He played with Bjarne Nerem at the opening of the Amalienborg Jazz House 1973, with Al Cohn and Bud Freeman at Molde 1975, the group "Ool-Ya-Koo" 1979-1983, then increasingly active in the groups VSOBOP 1987-1989, Street Swingers from 1988 (CD "About time" 2001), the Per Borthen Swing Dept. Ltd from 1989, and the Swingfot Jazzband ("Swing Foot Jazz Band"), Storeslem ("Grand Slam") and Fine Together Jazz Octet, all from 1992, the last one renamed in 1994 to Jazz A Pell Oktett. In 2000 he set up a sextet in his own name, also demonstrating his gift for arrangement.
There have been few recordings, but luckily he can be heard on Monica Borgen's "Tenderly" from 1993, Totti Bergh's "Remember" from 1995 and on recordings from the Oslo Jazz Circle jubilee concert in the fall of 1998. Unfortunately, he got a stroke in the early 2002 and he is not active at the time.
Norwegian Jazz Archives / December 2002