The Thing with Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Haaker-Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love covering 54 Nude Honeys, The Ex, Duke Ellington and Albert Ayler, intense modern improv.
Label: Smalltown Superjazzz
Released in: Norway
"[...] the one problem with The Thing thus far has been that almost none of their albums effectively captured the live experience. 2005's Garage came close and 2006's Action Jazz even closer but not until Bag It! has the band's ferocity been depicted so well in a studio environment. Some of the credit must be given to engineer Steve Albini, of Big Black fame, who highlights the trio's punk aesthetic with spacious recording that does not sacrifice their 'gentler' moments. And Smalltown Superjazzz's stark design-primarily black and white pictures of the band performing at Ruby's-is fittingly bleak.
Besides the Gustafsson-penned title track and the collective "Hot Doug," the rest of the first disc of the double CD set continues the group's penchant for covering songs from outside the jazz canon and doing so with more sincerity than, say, The Bad Plus. But now brutal takes on The Ex ("Hidegen Fujnak A Szelek") and 54 Nude Honeys (a perky "Drop the Gun") are elbowing for attention alongside some fascinating interpretations of music by Swedish sound artist Åke Hodell, Duke Ellington's "Mystery Song" and Albert Ayler's "Angels." This album is also the first Thing release to feature Gustafsson indulging his recent taste for electronics. As a bonus, Bag It! comes with a second disc: a 31-minute improvisation, "Beef Brisket (For Ruby's)," perhaps the first and only free jazz paean to smoked meat.
After almost a decade of playing together, beginning as a Don Cherry cover band, working with guests Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Jim O'Rourke, Thurston Moore, Otomo Yoshihide and even contributing a track to last year's David Bowie tribute album Life Beyond Mars, The Thing have avoided becoming a static entity. See them live if you can, but if not, turn up Bag It! extra loud and make sure to have plenty of wet wipes handy."-Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz
At The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Shipping Weight: 6.00 units
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Label: Smalltown Superjazzz
Catalog ID: stsj155
Squidco Product Code: 11684
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded January 17-18, 2008 at Electrical Audio Studios, Chicago.
Mats Gustafsson-alto sax, baritone sax, slide sax, live electronics
Ingebrigt Haaker-Flaten-bass, live electronics
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1. Hidgen Fujnaka A Szelek 5:04
2. Drop The Gun 6:09
3. Bag It! 9:41
4. Snusvisan 4:55
5. Hot Doug 8:47
6. Mystery Song 4:58
7. Angels 7:04
1. Beef Brisket (For Ruby's) 30:42