A live recording from the Casa Del Popolo club in Montreal, Canada, named because Gjerstad was upset that Air Canada had messed up his sax in transit, which he played regardless; his frustration pushed him into an overwhelmingly amazing set of smoking free jazz!
Gjerstad, Frode / Jon Rune Strom / Paal Nilssen-Love
Steam In the Casa
Released in: Norway
"As the title indicates, we were pretty much steaming. I was really mad because Canada Air had made my old Martin alto sax almost impossible to play: the three lowest notes did not work after they had thrown it around. I got to try a Yamaha modern alto. But I just could not get a strong sound out of it and decided to play my Martin even though it was sort of broken. That gave me an extra push I guess: I really wanted to show to myself that the Martin is good even when it's crippled! I love the sound in that horn!"-Frode Gjerstad
"Frode Gjerstad has been a key figure of Norway's free jazz scene since the 1970s. In 1981 he started a fruitful collaboration with John Stevens, who encouraged him to pursue his interests in free improvisation, eventually connecting him with a diverse range of important international musicians. A few years later he started working with a younger generation of promising Norwegian improvisers, meeting Paal Nilssen-Love when the drummer was only 15; since then they created a strong musical and personal bond, collaborating in countless occasions. One of the most enduring projects has been the trio, where the only variable was the bassist role, until Jon Rune Strøm, another young Norwegian musician, joined the group in 2011. Recorded live in concert at Montreal's Casa Del Popolo in November 2015, Steam In The Casa is the seventh album released by this group.
The record opens with "Pinch And Hide," a properly steaming free jazz assault, with Strøm and Nilssen-Love laying down a throbbing pulse constantly growing in intensity, while Gjerstad unleashes twisted saxophone lines and piercing upper register contortions. The atmosphere then changes, with the rhythm section pulverizing in steady drum hits and arco digressions, while Gjerstad remains in the same abstract mood, transforming the sound of his instrument through unorthodox techniques. The following piece, "Stranger In A Common Place," takes the opposite route, with bass and drums moving from a sparse, abstract activity to a bouncing vehicle for the clarinet excursions, firmly kept on the most strident registers.
"Dodging Borders," the longest track on the album clocking in at almost 13 minutes, further develops these themes, with a high energy, fractured rhythm base that constantly evolves in different permutations-from rock oriented sections to sinuous walking bass lines- supporting Gjerstad's explorations of different thematic materials, mostly based on short ostinatos and simple but effective melodic modulations. There's an infectious enthusiasm in the proceedings, with the musicians constantly interacting with each other's ideas without fear of dismantling effective combinations, always in search of new paths to explore. In contrast with the preceding tracks, "Wobbly Rail" is a piece mostly played on subtle dynamics and tonal explorations, where Nilssen- Love's choice of unusual timbres and Strom's restrained arco work provide a rich backdrop for Gjerstad's breathy clarinet meditations, building a pensive, textural soundscape that brilliantly closes the album."-Nicola Negri, All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Jon Rune Strom
"Strøm grew up on an island in the north-west of Norway. Influenced u. A. By Gary Peacock and Frode Gjerstad , with the first shots were (East of the West, 2011), he plays in the Norwegian free jazz scene with Paal Nilssen-Loves Group Large Unit, Petter Wettre and Mats Gustafsson Nu Ensemble, also with musicians like Mats Äleklint , John Dikeman , Martin Kitchen , Thomas Johansson and Tollef Østvang in formations such as SAKA Trio, Universal Indians, All Included and Friends & Neighbors. 2013, it issued a solo album Jøa.-Wikipedia (translated Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Rune_Str¿m)
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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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Catalog ID: PNL034
Squidco Product Code: 22037
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Case Del Popolo, Montreal, Canada on November 27th, 2015 by Mathieu Belanger.
Frode Gjerstad-alto saxophone, Bb clarinet
Jon Rune Strom-double bass
Paal Nilssen-Love-drums, percussion
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1. Pinch And Hide 7:48
2. Stranger In A Common Place 6:46
3. Dodging Borders 12:33
4. Scattered Fiction 2:23
5. Wobbly Rails 7:30