Best known as the most obscure bassist in jazz history, Eiliv Bolstad died in Oslo yesterday. Or perhaps the day before yesterday; possibly even the day before that.
Best known for his presence on Anthony Braxton’s seminal 1970 solo saxophone recording “For Alto,” Bolstad was mourned by Brooklyn New York natives and jazz aficionados Benjamin Levine, and Mark Goldberg. Mr. Levine and Mr. Goldberg who have lived next door to each other since early childhood, and continue to do so in respective basements, plan to commemorate Mr. Bolstad’s life by playing all the recordings Mr. Bolstad played on, or rumored to have play on.
Mr. Bolstad is documented in studio logs as recording in the adjoining studio at the time of Braxton’s “Alto” sessions. “I believe Eiliv sat in on some of Braxton’s “Alto” sessions,” recalled Mr. Levine. Pressed to authenticate, Mr. Goldberg added, “ Well, no, he didn’t play, but he did sit in. That he influenced these recordings there is no doubt.”
Asked to comment, Mr. Braxton stated he had never heard of Mr. Bolstad.
Collectors Levine and Goldberg argue over who first introduced Mr. Bolstad to whom. Also being contested in New York State Appellate Court is ownership of Mr. Bolstad’s only solo album, which at press time was not able to be located by either party. Mr. Levine claims it was traded for a recording by stride legend Willie “The Lion”Smith. While Mr. Goldberg insists he would not have traded it under any circumstances
Research has not proved the existence of any recording by Mr. Bolstad.
Meanwhile the litigation continues.