Frode Gjerstad's genre-bending Circulasione Totale Orchestra with Sabir Mateen, Anders Hana, Louis Moholo, Paal Nilssen-Love, Lasse Marhaug, &c. in a 2 disc set, one each live in 2010 from Oslo, and Philadelphia.
Circulasione Totale Orchestra
PhilaOslo [2 CDs]
Released in: Norway
"This double-CD by Frode Gjerstad's large ensemble starts with the horrendous electronic screeching of Lasse Marhaug, but then gradually the music develops, harsh, raw, intrusive, overwhelming, overpowering, with the triple drums of Louis Moholo-Moholo and Paal Nilssen-Love and Morten J. Olsen, accompanied by the acoustic bass of Nick Stephens and the electric bass of Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, the full rhythm section picking up rhythm and Børre Mølstad's tuba accentuating it with a repeated tone, yet the behemoth gradually slows down for Bobby Bradford's cornet to bring the first clear tones, played in his bluesy tone over Kevin Norton's vibes, and Sabir Mateen and Gjerstad himself adding the sax and clarinet lines. On the seventy-one minute long first disc, recorded in Philadelphia, the band shows its real strength by moving as one, not only in the exuberant parts, but especially in the quiet moments, in which sounds bubble up organically like sounds from nature waking up at dawn, all different yet painting a great common canvas of surprise and purity. But of course madness erupts again, with screeching electronics, disrupting every notion of possible comfort, to be altered by steady rhythm and great soloing, "electric Miles"-like at moments.
The second disc is recorded in Oslo, and features the same band, except for two changes : Per Zanussi plays the electric bass and Anders Hana joins on electric guitar. The piece is a few seconds shorter only, and offers the same joyous wildness, and it is hard to say which is best, and possibly nobody can, and that's probably the reason why we get both in one package. The electric Miles elements are a little more accentuated because of the electric guitar, but that's just a little touch, the rest is as rambunctious, boisterous, booming, cacophonous, clamorous, crashing, deafening, deep, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, emphatic, full, heavy, high-sounding, intense, piercing, powerful, raucous, blustering, roaring, rowdy, sonorous, thundering, tumultuous, turbulent, uproarious, vehement, vociferous ... in short capable of waking up the dead ... and real fun at that.
Yet the great power of the album is its variation, and other moments are delicate, gracious, restrained, ritzy, sensitive, sophisticated, subtle ... resulting in a bewitching, captivating, entrancing, hypnotic, mesmerizing performance.
I hope you get the gist: free and wild and adventurous and deep?
Forstår du?"-Stef, FreeJazzStef
• Show Bio for Morten J. Olsen
"Morten J. Olsen (b. 1981, Stavanger) is a musician, composer and artist. He studied in Amsterdam, but has been living and working in Berlin and Stavanger since 2006. Olsen mainly plays percussion, usually within selected forms of experimental music. He works with a sound palette which includes orchestral, electronic, improvised music and rock. He has performed throughout Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia with MoHa!, Ultralyd The Pitch and his latest collaboration NMO with Rubén Patiño. Olsen is also a member of Splitter Orchester, a 25-piece improvising collective based in Berlin. He has released more than 40 records on approximately 10 different labels and recently adapted a new hobby as techno DJ."-Morten J. Olsen Website (http://plus3db.net/artists/morten_olsen/)
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• Show Bio for Frode Gjerstad
"Frode Gjerstad was born in Stavanger, Norway, 24-03-1948. He started trying to play improvised music as a trumpeter in 1968. When he moved to Lund in Sweden (1971 to 1975) he got a chance to meet, talk and play with musicians interested in this music. He had at that time started playing tenor saxophone (1969).
After he came back to Stavanger in 1975 he started collaborating with keyboardist Eivin One Pedersen. Together, they explored many different aspects of improvised music, as a duo or with others, but it was not until 1981, when they first played with John Stevens, that he had a real chance to feel what a dedicated musicians can do to the music-making.
At the early stage of his career, he choose mainly to play with international musicians because there was no tradition in Norway for the free music. However, after the club Blå opened in Oslo in 1996, a good number of younger musicians are now picking up on the music.
His relationship with British drummer, John Stevens which started in -81 and lasted up until his death in -94, was of great importance both musically as well as on a personal level. Through Stevens, he was introduced to some of the finest British improvisers and got to know their way of playing. Together, they led the trio "Detail" starting with Johnny Dyani on bass. And after Johnny died in -86, with Kent Carter.
He has also been active, running a larger group of mostly Norwegian musicians, the Circulasione Totale Orchestra. He started the group using electric instruments and modern rock-oriented rhythms. He has used the band to present his own compositions as well as a workshop and a place for young people to get to know free music. The band presented a commissioned work at the Molde Festival in -89 with a 13 man band combining free improvisations, compositions as well as rapping and scratching.(Three horns, three bassists, three drummers, accordeon, guitar a rapper and a DJ). The Circulasione Totale Orchestra is a powerful ever-changing band.
But it´s not easy to keep such a big group together. In 1998 he decided to keep the core of the band which at that time was Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Øyvind Storesund on bass and try to develop that sound. It became Frode Gjerstad Trio. So far the trio has toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Polen, Italy, Austria, Portugal, England, Canada and the United States.
He has received several grants from various foundations and has been very active in the Norwegian Jazzmusicians Federation as well as in the committee for the Norwegian Contemporary Music Federation. Voted Jazz Musician of the Year in Norway, 1997. Part of the price was a concert where he could freely choose which musicians to use. This was the first meeting with Hamid Drake and William Parker. The concert became a tour of Scandinavia in -97 and the US in 2000.
US Pianist Borah Bergman has also been important to Frode. They first met in -94 and have played as a duo and also as trio with Evan Parker and later Peter Brøtzmann. Borah has been a great inspiration and a challenge over the years!
English bassist Nicholas Stephens first played with Frode in 1984. He played electric bass at the time, but it was not until after John Stevens died in 1994 that they started working together as "Calling Signals". First with a tour of England in 1995 with Paul Rutherford and Terje Isungset. And in 1996 with Louis Moholo and Danish guitarist, Hasse Poulsen. The latest version of the group has been with accordionist Eivin One Pederesen and Paal Nilssen-Love or Tony Marsh on drums. Frode also met and worked with US percussionist Kevin Norton in 2004 and they have found a common ground. They have a trio with Nicholas Stephens: Instinctual Eye.
Electronic music started to make an impact when he met Lasse Marhaug. They have played some concerts together and made some recordings. Lasses sounds have opened up a whole new territory of possibilities and came at a time when Frode started playing clarinets. A very fruitful combination!
Another side of the electronic thing was the group Ultralyd which was Frodes idea: to bring in a loud powerful electric bass with drums, guitar and reeds. After about a year, he left the band because the sound level was unbearable for the old man.! And he left it to the youngsters to decide how loud the band should be. Still, he has continued playing with Morten, Anders and Kjetil in other projects."-Frode Gjerstad Website (http://frodegjerstad.com/?page_id=162)
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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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• Show Bio for Lasse Marhaug
"Lasse Marhaug (b. 1974) has since the early 1990s been one of the most active artists in the Norwegian noise/experimental music scene. As a performer and composer he has contributed to well over 300 CD, vinyl and cassette releases over the years, as well as extensive touring and performing live on all continents of the world. In addition to his solo work, Marhaug has collaborated with several artists in the fields of noise, experimental, improv, jazz, rock and extreme metal, as well as working with music and sound for theatre, dance, installations, film and video. In the mid-90s Marhaug started TWR Tapes (still going) and Jazzassin Records (ended 2001). In the 2000s he started the record labels Pica Disk and Prisma Records. In 2011 he started his own print publishing called Marhaug Forlag. He has also been active as an organizer, promoter and producer. Marhaug was born in the northern regions above the arctic circle of Norway, but currently lives in Oslo."-Lasse Marhaug Website (http://lassemarhaug.no/biography/)
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: CT12
Squidco Product Code: 15880
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: 2 CDs in gatefold cardstock foldover
Phila recorded live by Eugene Lew in Philidelphia on January 30th, 2010. Oslo recorded live by John Herge in Oslo on March 9th, 2011.
Louis Moholo Moholo-drums, right channel
Morten J. Olsen-drums, left channel
Anders Hana-electric guitar
Frode Gjerstad-saxophone, clarinets
Nick Stephens-acoustic bass, right channel
Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten-electric bass, left channel
Per Zanussi-electric bass, left channel
Sabir Mateen-saxophone, clarinets
John Herge-live sound
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