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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell: Bop Stop

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The bones of Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad's Trio go back a long way. He first co-opted drummer Paal Nilssen-Love into his Circulasione Totale Orchestra when he was still a teenager. Although bassist Jon Rune Strøm is a more recent recruit, he has still been on board since 2011. As such the consistently high quality interplay they generate should come as little surprise. The addition of trombonist Steve Swell to supplement the trio is a bonus, providing a foil for Gjerstad ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Borah Bergman/Peter Brötzmann/Frode Gjerstad: Left

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Left brings together a particularly uncompromising triumvirate of veterans in pianist Borah Bergman (who died in 2012), German saxophone icon Peter Brötzmann and Norwegian reedman Frode Gjerstad. Although all three recorded after this date in various combinations, this performance from the 1996 Molde International Jazz Festival was the threesome's first and only appearance together on disc. Gjerstad unearthed the tape while seeking an overview of old recordings and was struck by Bergman's contribution and especially his shining left hand, hence ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad Trio: Steam In The Casa

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Frode Gjerstad has been a key figure of Norway's free jazz scene since the 1970s. In 1981 he started a fruitful collaboration with John Stevens, who encouraged him to pursue his interests in free improvisation, eventually connecting him with a diverse range of important international musicians. A few years later he started working with a younger generation of promising Norwegian improvisers, meeting Paal Nilssen- Love when the drummer was only 15; since then they created a strong musical and personal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad Quartet: The Delaware River

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This live date from Philadelphia in 2014 forms the seventh in a string of releases by the Bobby Bradford and Frode Gjerstad quartet. Their association dates back to 1986 when cornetist Bradford first encountered Norwegian reedman Gjerstad as part of co-operative group Detail, convened by drummer John Stevens. All of that experience shows in the relaxed but practiced concision as they navigate through four seat of the pants negotiations on this limited edition LP. It's one of their best showings ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten / Paal Nilssen-Love: Kampen

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If Kampen sounds like old friends settling down to chew the fat, then that's because that's exactly what's happening. Norwegian reedman Frode Gjerstad has waxed ten discs in the company of veteran American cornetist Bobby Bradford since they first met on tour with drummer John Stevens in England in 1986. However, this 46-minute live LP stands as one of their best since Through The Woods (CIMP, 1997). All four cuts are spontaneous compositions, the product of collective listening and playing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad & Paal Nilssen-Love: Side by Side

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Prominent Norwegian improvisers Frode Gjerstad (alto saxophone, clarinets) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) toured North America in 2008 sans a bassist, and recorded this album at a studio in upstate New York, accentuating their synergy via a largely rough and tumble implementation. Gjerstad shows a fondness for the upper-register and produces a myriad of microtonal and edgy sound-sculpting statements atop Nilssen-Love's bustling polyrhythms, infused with perpetual motion and resonating counter-maneuvers. Gjerstad's scathing tonal swashes and darting lines embody a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad / Paal Nilssen-Love: Gromka

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It is hard to choose which duo partner of drummer Paal Nilssen-Love to favor over another, as there are simply so many to pick from. There are his collaborations with Ken Vandermark, heard on their Chicago Volume and Milwaukee Volume (Smalltown Superjazz, 2009); the fine Peter Brotzmann session, Woodcuts ((Smalltown Superjazz, 2010); Mats Gustafsson's Splatter (Smalltown Superjazz, 2007); or, a personal favorite, Joe McPhee's Tomorrow Came Today (Smalltown Superjazz, 2008). Nilssen-Love can also be heard with Magnus Broo, ...

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Frode Gjerstad: A Feral Storm from Norway

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In February 2010, Norwegian alto saxophonist and clarinetist Frode Gjerstad took the collective Circulasione Totale Orchestra to the United States for a few select performances, the first time the multinational group had been convened on American soil and a massive undertaking and feat of organization for the 62-year-old improviser. The orchestra consists of musicians from Norway, England, South Africa and the United States and grew out of a desire on Gjerstad's part, in the 1980s, to bring some of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Circulasione Totale Orchestra: Open Port

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This largely high-impact orchestra launched in 1984 by Norwegian multi-reedman Frode Gjerstad is more of a collective, where young and veteran jazz-based improvisers pass through to abet the unit's continual evolution. It's an acoustic-electric format that might be analogous to a histogram amidst the abundance of pointy spikes and steady-state flows.

It's an international gala indeed, featuring vibraphonist Kevin Norton, cornetist Bobby Bradford and drummers Paal Nilssen-Love and Louis Moholo, who augment the thirteen-piece gathering of like-minded improvisers. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Frode Gjerstad: A Sound Sight

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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 ...