Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
297

Frode Gjerstad: A Sound Sight

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Frode Gjerstad: A Sound Sight Even for a musician of Frode Gjerstad's stature—he has been active internationally since the early 1980s with a panoply of improvising brethren—New York can still be a tough town. Coming in as part of a short Christmas, 2007 tour, his gig at Jimmy's was unceremoniously cancelled. So he was to be found Dec. 11th packed into the back of Downtown Music Gallery with bassist Øyvind Storesund, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and guest Steve Swell, playing to a sizeable and appreciative crowd of regulars. The group soldiered on amicably, Nilssen-Love's pyrotechnics limited to a snare, hi-hat and one cymbal and Gjerstad's alto and clarinet as biting and probing as it has been for decades.

A portion of Gjerstad's discography—for his own label, Circulasione Totale, and others—has been given over to the saxophone trio. Even with Swell in tow at Downtown, the threesome of Gjerstad, Storesund and Nilssen-Love generated most of the momentum. Ten years and a few months prior, Gjerstad had another gig in New York with another impressive rhythm section: late bassist Wilbur Morris and drummer Rashid Bakr. This Knitting Factory concert has now been released as part of Ayler Records' download-only series and demonstrates that Gjerstad is above all things a committed improviser.

With Morris and Bakr, perhaps Gjerstad's aesthetic is a little more "American" and the rhythms more stable, but lengthy exploration is still the catchall. The disc is composed of three involved improvisations: "Sound (at over 30 minutes), "Sound Sight," which at four minutes is a slow breather after "Sound"'s fire and "Sight," 27 minutes of rested and restive Gjerstad.

What one takes away from this disc, the concert or indeed his whole career, is that Gjerstad, as any improviser worth his salt should, embraces challenging playing situations with a range of individuals yet is steadfast in remaining himself.


Track Listing: Sound; Sound Sight; Sight.

Personnel: Frode Gjerstad: alto sax; Wilber Morris: bass; Rashid Bakr: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Ayler Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Steam In The Casa
Steam In The Casa
PNL
2016
buy
The Delaware River
The Delaware River
NoBusiness Records
2016
buy
The Delaware River
The Delaware River
NoBusiness Records
2015
buy
[no cover]
Deichman
Circulasione Totale
2013
buy
[no cover]
Live Tipple
Circulasione Totale
2013
buy
[no cover]
Mirrors Edges
Circulasione Totale
2013
buy
Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
saxophone
Pharoah Sanders Pharoah Sanders
saxophone
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Tadd Dameron Tadd Dameron
arranger
David S. Ware David S. Ware
sax, tenor
Charles Gayle Charles Gayle
saxophone
Tony Malaby Tony Malaby
sax, tenor
Fred Hess Fred Hess
sax, tenor
Mark Whitecage Mark Whitecage
sax, alto
Paul Dunmall Paul Dunmall
saxophone
Ivo Perelman Ivo Perelman
saxophone
Marshall Allen Marshall Allen
sax, alto

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.