Stripped to its core, music is communication. It is the accompaniment to life's movie. The first fabulists, our cavemen ancestors probably invented music by imitating the sounds of nature, such as bird calls, wolf howls, and the patter of rain on the cave's entrance. The pleasure delivered by that experience caused several members of the cavemen's tribe to give up hunting-and-gathering for a steady gig as musicians. Fast forward twenty thousand years and with noted music in place, our Bird, Charlie Parker, a bluesman, Howlin' Wolf, and the rainmaker, Buddy Rich became the 20th storytellers Music without notation, ...read more
Having co-opted reed iconoclast Mats Gustafsson to pen the enthusiastic liners for their prosaically-named Two Nights in April (Ayler Records, 2010), young Swedish trio Correction goes one better on Shift by persuading their countryman to actually participate in the session. Over its five year existence, the threesome of pianist Sebastian Bergström, bassist Joacim Nyberg and drummer Emil Astrand-Melin has forged a cohesive group identity, built on freedom within a recognizably modern jazz idiom. Gustafsson convinces as the perfect guest, adding energetic saxophone stylings to their driving structures. In terms of references, Portugal's acclaimed RED Trio comes to mind, ...read more
Stones is a recording of the very first meeting of two remarkable saxophonists--legendary Swedish baritone and tenor player Mats Gustafsson and Montreal-based American Colin Stetson, a member of Arcade Fire's touring band as well as bass saxophonist of choice for an impressive list of musicians including Laurie Anderson, David Byrne and Tom Waits. The album's four tracks--some thirty-five minutes of music--were recorded live onstage at the Vancouver Jazz Festival in 2011 and feature the two saxophonists alone together. Saxophone duos are comparatively rare, with many of them involving Anthony Braxton or Evan Parker with others or together. Despite ...read more
Reedman Mats Gustafsson resides at the center of a hurricane of activity: relentlessly touring, curating festivals and begetting record labels. He boasts one of most distinctive sounds in free jazz, combining the extremes of scalp prickling howls with adventurous exploration of minimalist tone and timbre. Although he's come a long way since his early days in a punk rock band in Sweden's Lapland, that anarchic energy is never far away, revealed in collaborations with luminaries from both the Old and New Worlds, such as reedmen Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee, and guitarists Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke and Yoshihide ...read more
Young Norwegian power trio Ich bin N!ntendo is a sonic heir to European power outfits such as the Swedish-Norwegian trio The Thing, Italian punk-jazz trio Zu, and Dutch quartet The Ex. Its affinity with Swedish sax titan Mats Gustafsson of The Thing, who guests on this live recording, is obvious. Both enjoy exploring and pushing the physical aspects of their instruments into utter intensity. This debut album was recorded live in Oslo, later mixed, mastered and destroyed" by noise artist Lasse Marhaug. More accurately, Marhaug managed to inject some sonic coherence into the dirty, reckless noisy soundscapes ...read more
Recorded live at the 2011 Hagen Festen in Sweden, this meeting of experienced free improvisers--Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and drummer Raymond Strid, and British guitarist John Russell-- is quite surprising. No muscular, fiery playing of reckless abandon, as is normally expected from the powerful Gustafsson in regular outfits such as The Thing, Fire! or Swedish Radio Jazz Group; instead, Birds is spare, thoughtful, and under commanding control. Maybe it was the naturally relaxed village environment of the festival, or the inspiration by author Tomas Bannerhed's novel Korparna (The Ravens) (Weyler förlag, 2011), from which the titles to ...read more
If abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock could be asked how his instant drip paintings reflect the entire history of modern art, he might have replied that his body movements, splatters, flinging, flipping and pouring of paint act as a channel for all this painterly knowledge--and that of his forefathers and contemporaries. Likewise, this two-disc set of music by electronic artist Kieran Hebden, drummer Steve Reid and Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson transmits music from the free jazz experiments of the 1960s through the experimental electronica movements of today. Recorded in 2009, Live At The South Bank is sadly the ...read more
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