Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

282

Sten Hostfalt: Eternity Check

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
A good deal of music that falls into the free jazz/improvised music category can sound like unstructured noise to the uninitiated listener, like the sounds made by a ensemble of adolescents without a year's worth of musical training between them noodling away on unfamiliar instruments.

"Turn it up loud and listen again," a mentor once told me in answer to my question: "What the hell is Ornette Coleman doing on Free Jazz ?" I did; eventually things began to congeal and make sense to my ear.

That was Ornette. Eternity Check is Swedish-born guitarist Sten Hostfalt, who has studied with Jimmy Giuffre and Joe Maneri. He offers up here a four tune set from sessions laid down a decade apart. The fifteen minute title tune was recorded in '92, the three other tracks in '01. The two sets showcase different sounds, distractingly so. Minimalist guitar/bass/accordion/drums for the latter three; trumpet/guitar/bass/drums and electronics on the title tune.

With the best of the free jazz, with the first encounter there's always a feeling of (to paraphrase Bob Dylan), "Something's happening here and I'm quite sure what it is." Repeated spins reveal fabrics and textures beneath subtle and ineffable themes; or those repeat spins feature huge in-your-face themes in front of subtle textures and colors. Something's happening and the listener comes to some sort of realization of what it is.

But with Eternity Check the feeling is "Not much is happening and I don't care what it is."

The first three songs—the '01 session—seem aimless, guitar and accordion drifting in an uninspired fashion. One gets the feeling that's the point, but the sound is uninteresting and doesn't entice further exploration. It just sort of "is," without spirit or any particular enticement. The song "Eternity Check" is more on edge, louder, with trumpet screeches and guitar wails, but it too doesn't seem to establish for itself any greater themes beyond that of immediate unstructured noise.

A disappointing set, but in fairness, I've listened to it more than a dozen times of my own free will, so my charge that "it doesn't entice" may be off mark a bit. Maybe it does, in some strange way that leaves me still disappointed.

Visit Sten Hostfalt on the web.


Track Listing: Five Days, Number Four, Krux, Eternity Check

Personnel: LiseLotte Norelius (percussion and drums); Mathew Garrison (bass); Takuya Nakamura (trumpet, electronics); Magnus Lind (accordion); Blake Lindberg (drums); Sten Hostfalt (compositions, guitar, hexaphonic sythesizer and electronics)

Title: Eternity Check | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: g-wOw


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!