The Ex were in Ethopia in 2010 for their "Free the Jazz" saxophone project, here presenting Mats Gustafsson on baritone saxophone, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, and Mesele Asmamaw on krar, a stringed bowl-shaped lyre.
Gustafsson / Nilssen-Love / Asmamaw
Label: Terp Records
Released in: Netherlands
"The Ex has been going to Ethiopia for quite a while. The first tour, with Han Bennink, in the north, was in 2002. The next one, in the south, during 2004. Everywhere we went we experienced a big demand for "new" music. While most people from outside still seem to think that Ethiopia is only about problems and misery, young Ethiopian musicians are hungry for information.
Through all the new and improvised music festivals we play, The Ex has connection with many adventurous musicians. So we started a series of projects in Ethiopia. With breakcore pop duo Zea in May 2008, followed by Silent Block from France (tables full of self-made instruments, experimental electronica and much more), in May 2009. And then two projects with "Saxophone". Not only did we bring Friso Heidinga from the saxophone repairshop Amsterdam Winds, who fixed dozens of instruments, but also great players like Ken Vandermark, Ab Baars, Mats Gustafsson, who performed in combination with The Ex members and Norwegian free jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. And all cooperated with many amazing Ethiopian musicians and dancers. Like Getatchew Mekuria, Melaku Belay, Indriss Hassen, Misale Legesse and krar-player Mesele Asmamaw (who we knew before from the Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed Trio).
The evening before the latest project was about to leave Addis, Mesele, Paal and Mats wanted to record. After a week full of sensational cooperation and excitement, they had something to say. In room 101 of the Baro Hotel, our home, Arnold and Andy put down some microphones and an hour later it was ready.
"Unheard music". A krar, a baritone sax and drums. Free improvising."-Terrie Ex, January 2012
• Show Bio for Mats Gustafsson
"Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Solo artist and international tours and projects with a.o. Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Fake (the facts). Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra,FIRE! Orchestra and the NU - ensemble.over 1800 concerts and over 200 record productions in Europe, Australia, Africa, North & South America and Asia.Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater, art, poetry as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.Discaholic - running the discaholic corner website.Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records."-Mats Gustafsson Website (http://matsgus.com/archives/category/bio)
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• Show Bio for Paal Nilssen-Love
"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.
Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.
Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
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Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Cultural Musics from Around the World
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Label: Terp Records
Catalog ID: TERPIS 019CD
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Recorded on February 27th, 2010 at Baro Hotel, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia during the "Free the Jazz" saxophone project of The Ex.
Mats Gustafsson-baritone saxophone
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1. Baro 101-A 19:38
2. Baro 101-B 21:24