CD

Bop Stop

Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell

2018

"Frode Gjerstad’s name can be legendary in Norway and all the European continent, due to the fact that he was practically the only one to contrast himself, from the beginning, to the saxophone style which defined the Scandinavian approach to jazz for 40 years, the one defined by Jan Garbarek, but his trio with Jon Rune Strom and Paal Nilssen-Love is relatively new on the scene. It started in 2011 and there’s only another recording with trombonist Steve Swell as special guest, “At Constellation”, from 2015. Of course, there were some previous cumplicities between these musicians: Nilssen-Love was a member of Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra since 1992 and the alto saxophonist and clarinetist played with Swell in several occasions, mostly when visiting the United States. Musically, the quartet proposes a very particular kind of free improvised music with strong connections to the free jazz tradition, reinforced by the participation of the American who collaborated with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon and Anthony Braxton. The energy level is very high, but the delivery isn’t always on the red: lots of dynamics and sudden contrasts keep the group interactions interesting and unpredictable. Frode Gjerstad’s approach to improvisation is distinctive in itself: he’s a melodic player, even if asymetrical, and he prefers the “old school” jazz phrasing to «reed-fueled bric-a-brac», as a music critic once wrote, managing to present it as if it’s a novelty."

Boss Of The Plains

Wheelhouse

2013

"Wheelhouse was formed in the summer of 2005, when bassist Nate McBride relocated to Chicago from Boston, and was looking for some similarly-minded musicians with whom to work. Having previously met Rempis during the saxophonist's visits home to Boston, he approached him with the idea of starting a band together. Rempis recommended up-and-coming vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, who has gone on to become one of the most noted voices in the Chicago improvised music scene. Originally, the band’s collaborative approach focused on playing each other’s compositions, but the trio moved away from that tack in 2008, pursuing a free-improvised approach instead. The slow simmer of their development over many years has allowed for an almost telepathic empathy between these players. All notable soloists and leaders on their own, in this context they pursue a more group-oriented sound where a leader emerges and retracts in unpredictable ways. Additionally, the lack of a drummer provides more sonic space and exposes many of the melodic and harmonic interactions that arise in the group, providing a setting that can move from passages that are remarkably austere, to ones that are highly energetic and dense. Boss of the Plains, their first studio recording, was recorded by the band itself in Adasiewicz's attic in October of 2010, with the same laid-back approach they've taken as a band for many years. This long overdue document showcases the slow-cooked development of an improvising chamber group that occupies a distinct niche within the Chicago music scene. credits "

Brace For Impact

Joe McPhee & Mats Gustafsson

2018

"Some recordings, the world is just not ready for them when they're made. In 2008, Swedish born, Austrian resident saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Poughkeepsie, New York multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee made a suite of studio recordings that they loved so much they immediately culled, mixed, and mastered them. A decade later, when the original label for which they were planned had not yet issued them, Gustafsson and McPhee offered them to Corbett vs. Dempsey, and when we heard them we couldn't believe the music. As searching and searing as anything either of them has made, the duets lived up to their explosive title. Gustafsson is known for his energy, and it's here in droves, but there are other nuances brought out by McPhee, a supple sense of melodicism (hey now, Gustafsson is a Swede, so by birthright he's melodic) and the love of experimental sound-making that McPhee displayed on his sound-on-sound recordings in the late '60s. Although the two wind-players have worked together very extensively – in Peter Brötzmann's large groups, with McPhee as a guest in Gustafsson's band the Thing, and in all manner of large and small group improvisations – but they have never issued a record of duets before. This duo debut, now a decade in the can, is insanely powerful. We recommend that you prepare yourself for the impact. Cover image by Charline von Heyl, interior photo of McPhee and Gustafsson bracing themselves back in 2002, by John Corbett. The package is completed by a haunting cover image by artist Cauleen Smith credits "