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Mats Gustafsson

Mats Gustafsson was born 1964 in Umeå, is a Swedish saxophone player and a stalwart on the Scandinavian free jazz scene. He first came to the attention of lovers of improvised music as part of a duo with Christian Munthe in 1986 and the band Gush. He has later played widely with musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy and Derek Bailey. Since the early 1990s, Mats Gustafsson has been a regular visitor to the U.S., forming a particular affinity with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang and Ken Vandermark and recording for the city’s OkkaDisk label.

In addition to projects with musicians, Mats Gustafsson has worked extensively with artists from the worlds of dance, theatre, poetry and painting.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mattias Risberg's Mining: Zauberberg

Read "Zauberberg" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The Swedish pianist Mattias Risberg has teamed up with a range of well-known northern European born or based improvisers, including saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist and vocalist Jennie Abrahamson. He remains largely unknown in the U.S. but garnered well-deserved attention for And Now the Queen--A Tribute to Carla Bley (Lilalo records, 2016), a duo recording with Ljungkvist. Risberg ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chris Pitsiokos: Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation

Read "Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, it might be said, was standing on the shoulders of giants when he recorded this solo alto saxophone concert in January of 2019. Indeed, these six tributes take into account the accomplishments of the esteemed masters and, from their shoulders, Pitsiokos enters some rarefied air. His Speak In Tongues And Hope For The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mats Aleklint/Per-Ake Holmlander/Paal Nilssen-Love: Fish & Steel

Read "Fish & Steel" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

PNL Records was started in 2007 by Norwegian jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love to release his recordings as a solo artist, with his big band Large Unit, and in collaborations with other artists. Fish & Steel is the self-titled debut from the trio of trombonist Mats Åleklint, tuba player Per-Äke Holmlander, and Nilssen-Love. All three are part ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires

Read "New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The answer to the musical question: where does improvised music thrive? Everywhere. Have you heard Lebanese trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj's recordings on Al Maslakh Records or free jazz from the Istanbul based unit Konstrukt? All that is required for improvised music to thrive are seeds planted by visiting musicians, or access to a radio. Actually, it is ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Jazz Festival Ljubljana 2019

Read "Jazz Festival Ljubljana 2019" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Cankarjev Dom Jazz Festival Ljubljana Ljubljana June 18-22, 2019 Ljubljana—capital of the Republic of Slovenia, member of the EU, neighbored by Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy—hosts a now six decades old jazz festival. The event is organized by Cankarjev House/Cankarjev Dom, a prestigious, state-run cultural center in midtown Ljubljana opposite the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rob Mazurek: Desert Encrypts Vol. 1

Read "Desert Encrypts Vol. 1" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

It was twenty-five years ago, in 1994, that Rob Mazurek first emerged with Man Facing East (Hep Jazz), a quartet recording solidly positioned in the post/hard bop style. Even in the interpretations of standards, there were clues that the cornetist/composer was a restless soul. In the intervening years, Mazurek has rapidly charted his own dissident destiny ...

John Dikeman And The Origin Of The Species

Read "John Dikeman And The Origin Of The Species" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If we were to go searching for saxophonist John Dikeman's spirit animal, we might have to bypass beast for sapien. Let's just say his spirit animal is the father of punk, Iggy Pop. Like early music by The Stooges, Dikeman's sound makes reference to the music of both Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders. It's a shame ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Fire! Orchestra: Arrival

Read "Arrival" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

The ancient Zen art of decluttering has found modern favour as a mindful practice. Letting go of things is, perhaps, a way of breaking with the past. In the years since its inception, the Nordic big band Fire! Orchestra has jettisoned about half its original cast. Now down to a mere fourteen members, the outfit has ...

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 ...


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