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INTERVIEWS

Moers Festival Interviews: Anguish

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Anguish" reviewed by Martin Longley

Anguish are born to be in Moers. This supergroup of the underbelly bleeds together from varying times, diverse sonic areas and different lands. Alternative New Jersey hip- hop roams into the realms of vintage Krautrock, causing distress during an inbreeding feast with the masters of free-Viking jazz. Two pairs of players apiece from Dälek and Fire! meet a founding Faust-father. Then they record for one of the finest jazz-adventuring labels, RareNoise, run by Italians in jny: London. Anguish ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Fire!: The Hands

Read "The Hands" reviewed by Sammy Stein

Rune Grammofon unleashed something special with the great music it has released over the past 20 years, and with The Hands it has surpassed itself. The Fire! trio, which consists of reedman Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werlin, makes music which defies labels and classification. Now, going into a resting phase after ten years of making great music together, Fire! remains a force in jazz. Anything with Mats Gustafsson at the helm is likely to contain music ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The End: Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen

Read "Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen" reviewed by Vitalijus Gailius

The End emerge as a massive collaboration among Norwegian baritone saxophonist Kjetil Møster, Swedish baritone sax hooligan Mats Gustafsson, Norwegian noise-jazz guitarist Anders Hana, the San Francisco-based avant-rock band Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier and miraculous singer Sofia Jernberg. The quintet's debut “Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen" manages to grasp several musical traditions. It sounds like a child that was born from extramarital affairs of New York no-wave, noise rock and free/avant-garde jazz. Such a collision between the aforementioned ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Fire!: The Hands

Read "The Hands" reviewed by John Eyles

There are reasons to consider the 2018 release of The Hands as an important one for Fire! It was in 2008 that saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werlin first came together as a trio with the idea of a fresh approach to improvised music. Given the groups that the three were in at the time--Gustafsson in The Thing and others, Werlin in Wildbirds and Peacedrums, and Berthling in Angles--it was all too easy for Fire! to ...

BOOK REVIEWS

All That's Jazz

Read "All That's Jazz" reviewed by Phil Barnes

All That's Jazz Sammy Stein 198 Pages ISBN: 13: 978-0-9557670-9-8 Tomahawk Press 2017 Sammy Stein is a brave woman. Take that title--not just a riff on “All That Jazz" to cover a personal memoir of time spent in the jazz trenches but ALL that IS jazz. This is a book that in the author's words attempts to ..."share this wonderful music with as many as possible, to allow people to understand that jazz ...

Mats Gustafsson

Read "Mats Gustafsson" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

If Mats Gustafsson's approach to music were to be described with a single adjective, it would have to be “intense." This applies to him both as a musician, as illustrated by over three decades of playing with stalwarts of the free and creative jazz scenes on both sides of the Ocean (Ken Vandermark, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Derek Bailey etc.), and as a voracious crate-digger and record-trader with a two and a half ton vinyl cave in rural Austria. We ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mats Gustafsson: MG50 Peace & Fire

Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" reviewed by Mark Corroto

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mats Gustafsson: Piano Mating

Read "Piano Mating" reviewed by Mark Corroto

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 ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2015

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2015" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mats Gustafsson & Nu Ensemble: Hidros 6: Knockin'

Read "Hidros 6: Knockin'" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Soundtrack" reviewed by Mark Corroto

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mats Gustafsson: Shift

Read "Shift" reviewed by John Sharpe

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 ...