In the end of 2012 the Dutch power jazz trio Cactus Trio did a 37 gigs tour in the USA. The trio played in record stores, independent labels offices and small clubs, encountered cancellations due to hurricane Sandy, found last minute alternative spaces and hosted like- minded forward thinking improvisers. The limited edition recording chronicles this tour, highlighting three complete performances, from the beginning of the tour with trombonist Jeb Bishop
, close to the end of the tour of the trio alone and the last one with trumpeter Roy Campbell
The performance with Bishop, that took place at Squidco Records in Wilmington, NC. Bishop, on two extended pieces, "Prairie Oyster" and "Seans Gone," fits naturally with the energetic and intense dynamics of this trio. His varied experience in such outfits as Peter Brötzmann
's Chicago Tentet or Ken Vandermark
5 and as a leader in his right brings depth and a creative vocabulary, including a subtle usage of electronics, to the powerful interplay of Cactus Truck. The quartet sound is following and expanding the legacy of the sixties fiery free jazz, combining elements from both sides of the Atlantic, the obvious Ayler-ian ones with the uncompromising approach of Brötzmann's bands.
The four short pieces of the trio alone were recorded at Astro Black Records in Louisville, KY and feature Cactus Truck trade mark aggressive mode. Saxophonist John Dikeman
, bass and guitarist Jasper Stadhouders
and drummer Onno Govaert
have developed a highly tight, brutal and high-velocity grindcore eruption "Wedding Present" clocks in less than 30 seconds that never loses its momentum. On their own Cactus Truck sound thunderous, rough and dirty, blending reckless punk aesthetics with the free jazz references.
The last performance in the tour was at JACK in New York. The addition of Campbell for the extended, aptly named "Ninja," turns this ad-hoc quartet to an ideological heir of one of the last incarnations of Brötzmann's Die Like a Dog Quartet
quartet, in which Campbell played. Campbell, as Bishop, affirms the trio connection with the free jazz legacy and opens the trio dynamic to a richer one nuanced and inventive, even gentle at times, and more structured. Live in USA
offers a unique celebration of powerful, exciting and uncompromising music.
Prairie Oyster; Seans Gone; Hot Brown; The Twerk; Magnum Eyebrow;
Wedding Present (sorry Erin); Ninja.
Jasper Stadhouders: bass guitar, guitar; Onno Govaert: drums; John
Dikeman: alto and tenor saxophones ; Jeb Bishop: trombone, electronics
(1.2)' Roy Campbell: trumpet (7).