Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 11/1/07 - 11/7/07

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THE THING: Action Jazz CD (Smalltown Superjazzz) - “Action Jazz” is the appropriately titled fourth full-length release from Scandinavian free jazz trio the Thing. Led by reedmaster, Mats Gustafsson (alto, baritone, and slide saxophones), the group rips through a nicely varied set of originals and surprising covers of compositions by artists ranging from Ornette Coleman to Lightning Bolt. So, there’s a couple of short, pummeling, jazz-punk tracks, like “Sounds Like A Sandwich”. Then, there are several, more standard, free jazz compositions (if that description isn’t oxymoronic?!?), like “Chisma” and “...Through BBQ”, in which Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (double bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) laid down an incredible sonic foundation for the aggressive growls and wailing cries of Gustafsson’s adventurous solos. There’s even one fairly straightforward and soulful track “Danny’s Dream”, a cover of a melody by one of Gustafsson's musical heroes, Swedish jazz pioneer and great baritone sax player, Lars Gullin. Finally, there are also a couple of minimal improv pieces that failed to satisfy. Overall, however, the Thing delivers a powerful dose of challenging 21st Century improvised sounds - “Action Jazz”, indeed!

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Running Count For The Year

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Did Not Add 18/15%

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