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The Plunge Trio: Refreshingly Addictive

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The third release by the Malmo, Sweded-based improv trio Plunge present a departure from the debut self-titled (2004) and Plunge with Bobo Stenson (2005), for the label and musicians collective Kopasetic Productions. This release features the trio—Andreas Andersson on baritone sax, Mattias Hjorth on bass and Peter Nilsson on drums—improvising live in front of an audience at Gula Studion in Malmö during two dates in January, 2007



The opening "Refreshingly Addictive" demonstrates the spirit of the recording: slow and patient exploration of a spare theme. Andersson leads with a relaxed, simple melodic line that slowly gains more volume, but he does not opt for loudest, while Nilsson and Hjorth consolidate and color his blows. "Chant," "Kind Of Askew" and "Moveable" are even more restrained, spiritual and minimalist, with the trio drawing the skeletal, fragmented lines of these lyrical pieces.

Nilsson turns the shortest piece here, "Involvement," into a subtle and nuanced solo suite for percussion. The longest piece, the almost eighteen-minute "The Zürich Effect," alternates between long, spare and lyrical passages—where the pauses in the playing are equal to the playing itself, where each note and gesture counts—to shorter and more investigatory mode of collective improvisation—though still patient and even slow-motion—all in beautiful interplay. Nilsson demonstrates, again, how he can color and mutate the character of each piece with his sensitive and inventive touch. Andersson searches for the lower registers of his sax, adding a soft vocal quality while Hjorth skitters with his bow. Andersson's rare extroverted playing on the closing "None Of The Above," lightly references the playing of Swedish baritone hero Lars Gullin, but the trio use this piece as a dramatic conclusion for this impressive set.

In his To whom it may concern blog, Andersson relates to himself as a "hesitant follower of Jesus." On this release, more than on previous ones, it is clear that Andersson, Hjorth and Nilsson are trying to reach deeper and more mysterious terrains, perhaps just by following Andersson's spiritual and humble playing.


Personnel: Andreas Andersson: baritone saxophone; Mattias Hjorth: bass; Peter Nilsson: drums.

Title: Refreshingly Addictive | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Kopasetic Productions

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