Mats Gustafsson - tenor, alto saxophone, fluteophone
Barry Guy - double bass
Raymond Strid - drums, percussion
NoBusiness Records 2011
If you're interested in improvised music at all, you're quite familiar with and possibly fond of all three musicians named above. No surprise really as they're all about the most active and prolific masters of the improvised stage. And they prove so with this particular release that was recorded live in Belgium in 2009.
A special package of the double LP + EP holds music that is intense and incredibly powerfull, most of the time on the verge of madness yet held together with incredibly focus and attention. Meandering through insane screams of passion, moments of encrypted sound labirynths and surprising melodicism. As it happens in the middle of "Broken by Fire" when small clicks, ticks of percussion fill the air, while, gradually, crazy shrieks of the saxophone and sharp sound of heavily bowed strings combine together, mesh, build up the tension, create the momentum, so that the ecstatic saxophone solo could cut through the dense texture. Until the eerie, cerebral coda with airy saxophone, delicate arco bass and soft mallets on bells, gongs and plates.
4 sides of the LP stay for 4 extended pieces, each using up well the available space (all between 17:30 and 22:00). Four different journeys through dynamics, tempos, mood shifts. All free in spirit yet each controlled in a way, organically developed - there are always thousands of possible choices but the evolution happens only trough wise selection, even if it may seem random.
This trio features three masterfull musicians that know how to coexist within the group, how to push both partners forward, without ever trying to overshadow them. They can do it all. I know the vinyl format limits the purchase target of this release but it's easily recommended to any appreciator of what's free and spontaneous in music.