Frode Gjerstad Quartet: Ikosa Mura
The history the two men share is highly apparent in their music and this outing marks only one of several recent collaborations (see also Gjerstad's "Throught the Woods" on CIMP). All of the music for the date is collectively composed though the pieces also rely heavily on free improvisation. The title piece starts things out at full tilt with Bergman's turbulent clusters and akLaff's crashing drums charging forward before Gjerstad and Bradford arrive for a clipped theme statement and a series of densely compacted exchanges. Staccato interplay and migratory repetition are the focus on "Branu Vali," a piece which generates a similar level of dissonant intensity through akLaff's rolling stop and stutter pulse. A potent lyricism permeates "Ika Kulabo" and Bradford's opening solo on the piece is both concise ideologically and expansive sonically delivering the perfect balm for Bergman's restless obliquities on the keys. On the abbreviated "Flana Nua" Bergman and akLaff drop out leaving Gjerstad and Bradford sculpt a tone poem built on unison lines. Bergman's craggy chords return on "Ouli Zlenak" the longest piece on the disc, building tension alongside akLaff's constantly combusting rhythms. Gjerstad makes the most of the resulting ruckus to craft a marvelously unfettered solo that tests the register limits of his instrument. Bradford follows suit on the concluding "Abua Dukot" delivering his most inspired solo of the date through a maze of carefully slurred notes.
This is a group comprised of four atypical musicians, led by one whose chief designs involve a continuous reevaluation of musical preconceptions and boundaries. Those listeners who covet the joys of creative improvised music and are unfamiliar with Gjerstad owe it to themselves to become familiar with his work. His is definitely an improvisational voice to be reckoned with.
Track Listing: Ikosa Mura/ Branu Vali/ Ika Kulabo/ Flana Nua/ Kasi Vanla/ Ouli Zlenak/ Abua Dukot.
Recorded: September 14, 1997, Tom Tedesco Studios, New Jersey.
Side Note: Gjerstad's trio featuring bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake will be touring the United Stats in January 2000. Don't miss the opportunity witness their music first hand. Tour dates and locations are listed below.Friday, 14th Chicago, IL
Saturday, 15th Chicago, IL
Sunday, 16th Minneapolis, MN
Tuesday, 18th Bloomington, IN
Wednesday, 19th Chicago, IL
Friday, 21st Ann Arbor, MI
Saturday, 22nd Pittsburgh, PA
Tuesday, 25th San Diego, CA
Wednesday, 26th Portland, OR
Thursday, 27th Seattle, WA
Friday, 28th Vancouver, British Columbia
Saturday, 29th Edmonton, Alberta
Personnel: Frode Gjerstad- alto saxophone; Bobby Bradford- trumpet; Borah Bergman- piano; Pheeroan akLaff- drums.
Record Label: CJR
Style: Modern Jazz