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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Gustafsson: MG50 Peace & Fire

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Mats Gustafsson at fifty. Name another artist who has had this significant and widespread effect on jazz, noise, free improvisation, alternative rock, electronica, and free jazz. Besides John Zorn, that pool is quite shallow. Gustafsson's music seems to attract innovative players into imaginative situations. If you are a fan, this 50th birthday celebration recorded in October, 2014 at Porgy and Bess, Vienna is your personal slice of cake. If you know nothing about Gustafsson's music, this is a great introduction ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Gustafsson: Piano Mating

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Sure, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson is a rock star. A star in the same sense that Thurston Moore is a jazz artist or Merzbow generates ambient sounds. It's not so much that we would expect to see those three gentlemen receiving a Grammy Award, but that imitators of their styles will. Someday. In other words, innovators pioneer sounds, take Charlie Parker of instance, that others capitalizes on. If you follow Gustafsson's career, you must always expect the unexpected. Early ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2015

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Here in no special order are ten new releases, reviewed in All About Jazz, which stood out among those I heard this year. Mats Gustafsson Hidros 6 Knockin' (Not Two Records) An avant-garde jazz composition based on the songs of '50s rocker Little Richard. Really? Yep, that's the premise behind Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson's large scale work recorded at the Krakow Jazz Autumn in 2013. A significant part of the achievement is down ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Gustafsson & Nu Ensemble: Hidros 6: Knockin'

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An avant-garde jazz composition based on the songs of '50s rocker Little Richard. Really? Yep, that's the premise behind Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson's large scale work recorded at the Krakow Jazz Autumn in 2013. Although best known for his small group output with The Thing and Fire!, Gustafsson has regularly assembled bigger groupings during his career, most recently his Fire! Orchestra. Through a festival commission, Gustafsson was granted the opportunity to convene the 12-strong all star Nu Ensemble which rehearsed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Balázs Pándi: Live In Tabačka 13/04/12

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Let's bring back the maxim; “If it's too loud--you're too old." Certainly, when you listen to noise-music (is that an oxymoron? Absolutely not.) loudness is to a composition, what rhythm is to George Gershwin. That said, Live In Tabačka 13/04/12 is fascinating noise. This recording, released as a limited (400 copies) LP and digital download was recorded the night before the trio of Japanoise god Masami Akita aka Merzbow, Swedish free jazz saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, and Hungarian drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Balázs Pándi/Thurston Moore: Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper

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The Cuts Quartet is a sort of assembled supergroup. But we are not talking Traveling Wilburys or Audioslave here. Groups where the sum is certainly less than the parts. No, the amalgam of Japanese noise artist Merzbow (aka Masami Akita), Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson (Fire! Orchestra, The Thing), American guitarist Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), and Hungarian drummer Balázs Pándi (Metallic Taste of Blood) comes at the ears more like John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965) or Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Gustafsson/dieb13/Martin Siewert: Fake The Facts: Soundtrack

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Stripped to its core, music is communication. It is the accompaniment to life's movie. The first fabulists, our cavemen ancestors probably invented music by imitating the sounds of nature, such as bird calls, wolf howls, and the patter of rain on the cave's entrance. The pleasure delivered by that experience caused several members of the cavemen's tribe to give up hunting-and-gathering for a steady gig as musicians. Fast forward twenty thousand years and with noted music in place, our Bird, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mats Gustafsson: Shift

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Having co-opted reed iconoclast Mats Gustafsson to pen the enthusiastic liners for their prosaically-named Two Nights in April (Ayler Records, 2010), young Swedish trio Correction goes one better on Shift by persuading their countryman to actually participate in the session. Over its five year existence, the threesome of pianist Sebastian Bergström, bassist Joacim Nyberg and drummer Emil Astrand-Melin has forged a cohesive group identity, built on freedom within a recognizably modern jazz idiom. Gustafsson convinces as the perfect guest, adding ...


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