282

Sten Hostfalt: Eternity Check

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Sten Hostfalt: Eternity Check 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)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: g-wOw | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by John Sharpe
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Magic Peterson Sunshine" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Peterson Sunshine
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!