233

Mats Gustafsson/The Thing: She Knows...

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The adventuresome listener has surely picked up on Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. His work with the band Gush (Sten Sandell and Raymond Strid) is pure collaborative improvisation while his AALY Trio (with frequent contributor Ken Vandermark) is all about pure power jazz. Gustafsson’s total command of the saxophone allows him to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Peter Brotzmann (check out the Brotzmann Octet/Tentet recordings on Okka Disc) or perform intimate duos with bassist Barry Guy on the 1997 Maya Records Froggin.

His latest work is with the all-scandinavian trio, The Thing, a band born of the music of Don Cherry. Gustafsson is joined by drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, both can be heard on the band School Days Crossing Division with Vandermark and Jeb Bishop. The Thing’s first self-titled recording on Gustafsson’s Crazy Wisdom label featured either Don Cherry’s music or dedications to the multi-cultured pocket trumpeter. This trio’s second outing extends the logic and music of Don Cherry and adds Joe McPhee playing pocket trumpet and tenor saxophone. She Knows... covers only one Cherry tune, “The Thing,” but follows the same path with covers of Ornette Coleman, Blood Ulmer, Frank Lowe, and Joe McPhee.

The album opens, interestingly enough, with the rocker PJ Harvey’s “To Bring You My Love.” I guess if American pianist Ethan Iverson’s trio can reconstruct the Swedish band ABBA’s "Knowing Me, Knowing You," the Swede’s surely can make alternative rock their territory. Gustafsson and McPhee recast the Harvey tune in the same mode as this entire Cherry-inspired outing. McPhee, as he has shown throughout his career, is an excellent stand-in on pocket trumpet. Together the pair hover over the territory established by the band Old and New Dreams. That is, they start at Cherry and Ornette, fast-forward to Cherry and Dewey Redman, then take the music into this 21st century open horizon. The sound of Albert Ayler propels the traditional “Going Home” and the Ulmer track “Baby Talk” with a wah-wah bass-line. We are also treated to a joyous saxophone-duet opening to the Frank Lowe tune “For Real,” where the possibilities of each musician’s horn is realized in passivity before they open up into a shouting match refereed by the energized drumming of Nilssen-Love. This is a solid hour of music making, and highly recommended.

Track Listing: To Bring You My Love; The Thing; Baby Talk; Kathelin Gray; Going Home; For Real; Old Eyes.

Personnel: Mats Gustafsson – Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone; Ingebrigt Haker Flaten – Bass; Paal Nilssen-Love – Drums; Joe McPhee – Pocket Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Crazy Wisdom | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "The Organ Grinder" CD/LP/Track Review The Organ Grinder
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "The River" CD/LP/Track Review The River
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!