The Thing: Boot! (2013)

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The Thing: Boot!
Somebody should inform the members of the Scandinavian free jazz trio The Thing they are not rock stars. I repeat, somebody tell saxophonist Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson
b.1964
reeds
, bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love
b.1974
drums
, you are not lizard kings.

The release of Boot!, their sixth studio album since forming in 1999, is a follow-up to the widely celebrated session The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound, 2012) with Neneh Cherry. The band has also collaborated with the likes of Thurston Moore, Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
b.1939
reeds
, Cato Salsa Experience, Otomo Yoshihide, Ken Vandermark, and Jim O'Rourke. Their garage band genesis was a tribute to the music of Don Cherry
Don Cherry
Don Cherry
1936 - 1995
trumpet
, but they quickly expanded into the a free jazz punk esthetic, covering music by The Stooges, Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
, PJ Harvey, Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
, Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, and James Blood Ulmer
James Blood Ulmer
James Blood Ulmer
b.1942
guitar
.

Boot! opens with an allegedly sacrilegious version of John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's "India" that becomes sacred. With Gustafsson blasting overblown notes from his baritone saxophone, the Indian Vedic chants and religious music Coltrane modeled his Indian drone sound from is infused with the electric of Håker Flaten's plugged-in bass and Nilssen-Love's drumming that is more Keith Moon than Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
1927 - 2004
drums
. Trane's rapture is duplicated in a punk-garage euphoria.

Coltrane's music is also hinted at with the title track. The slow burn of "Boot!" finds tenor saxophone tracking the Håker Flaten's bass guitar, which is applied as more guitar than bass, to resemble "Psalm" from A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965). Elsewhere, they remake Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
's "Heaven" into a slow-burning ballad with a churning undertone of pounding drums and thunderous bass. "Red River" draws from the heavy blues rock of Black Sabbath, fusing rock and free jazz into a liberating energy of sound.

These three musicians are, to be sure, rock stars. Ones that can also make Duke and Coltrane smile.

Track Listing: India; Reboot; Heaven; Red River; Boot!; Epilog.

Personnel: Mats Gustafsson: bass saxophone, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: electric bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums.

Record Label: The Thing Records


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