Norwegian/Swedish improv trio The Thing head out on a US tour next week with multi-instrumentalist legend Joe McPhee.
This joint Norwegian/Swedish trio features one of Europe’s leading sax players Mats Gustavsson and arguably one of the best rhythm sections around; drummer Paal Nilssen Love and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. In the year of the Centenary Anniversary of Norwegian independence (and the dissolution of the union with Sweden), this trio represents the best of cross-border collaboration. This is pure energy – free flowing improvisation and outbursts of anger contrasted by tight interplay and rhythmic savvy. The trio’s unusual choice of tunes (own compositions coupled with renditions of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Art Star and White Stripes’ Aluminium) sets the trio apart from other acts on the improv scene. The Thing’s free punk-jazz is challenging but utterly rewarding for the listener in search of something wildly different. A review quote of the trio’s Smalltown Supersound album ‘Garage’ sums it all up: “Absurdly cool!”
Next week sees The Thing embarking on a US tour with Joe McPhee - a legend within modern jazz music. With many recordings on different labels with musicians from the world, he has established himself as a contemporary, improvising musician above all. Today he is active in several groups including Trio X and the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, where he first met Mats Gustafsson.
Mats Gustafsson is currently Sweden's and perhaps Europe's most well-known artist within free improvised music. He has established himself as a saxophonist with a broad repertoire of extended techniques on level with Evan Parker and John Butcher. He has also been inspired by the “Brötzmann-school” which demands volume above all else. Mats is also known through AALY trio and collaborations with Jim O´Rourke, Thurston More, Jaap Blonk, Paul Lovens and Barry Guy among others.
Since their first collaboration in 1992, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love have established themselves as Norway’s heaviest rhythm-section through their work with the group Element. Today they are active in School Days with Ken Vandermark, the Scorch trio with Raoul Björkenheim, and Atomic to mention a few of the many ensembles the prolific rhythm section contribute to.
The Thing and Joe McPhee’s ‘She Knows’ album is to be reissued on Smalltown Superjazzz in 2006.