»Live at Bla«

I can’t help, it’s so obvious that until I’ve done it for good I’ll have it in mind turning so here is that stupid joke: the thing with THE THING is: bla-bla-bla (finish yourself). The Thing is a trio joining saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, contrabassist Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. What they do is a half-way between classic free jazz (the original creators and masters, something like 1967-1971, sometime 64 to 74, but probably more often 1969 only) and the idea, core, concept and practice of a band. Here, live in Bla, has only two tracks with sub-compositions or covers of a special kind. An Example: Index # 2 are in the following order – Aluminium by the White Stripes, Awake Nu by Don Cherry and Dewey’s circle by David Murray (though I’m pretty sure it exists another »Dewey’s Circle« by someone else). Somehow it really sounds like The White Stripes, it does rock, it sounds big, full, more like The Who than a standard free jazz trio in a standard free jazz festival last year, meaning about 40 years after it originally started. It’s even to some extend better than most of the original free players own albums in the last years. But it’s not as astonishing as early Julius Hemphill groups, or Sam Rivers or the whole career of Peter Brotzmann or Joe Mc Phee. What do we really want? It’s close to perfection, it’s a music I can pass to younger musicians who never heard any free jazz live they’ve enjoyed in the last 5 years. I take it for now, we’ll see later.


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