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- Stones by Colin Stetson & Mats Gustafsson
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When it comes to free jazz/fusion sax honkers, there are two names which seem to keep cropping up, but aside from Brotzmann and Edwards there are other uniquely expressive brass-parpers who attract consistent enthusiasm among post-music types, and among those are Colin Stetson, who specialises in intense hypnotic bass sax drones, and of course Mats Gustafsson, whose explorations in free jazz smoothness and aggressive skronk are well documented.
This week Mats has two excellent and very different new albums on Rune Grammofon. One is the dramatic 31-piece FIRE! Orchestra epic, and the other is this more challenging and stripped back collaboration with Colin. The two of them trade squeaks over four decent-sized passages of squiggles and drones and squeals and pips. It’s like they’re just kicking back and blowing away freely to themselves with a wry, anarchic sense of playfulness, sometimes communicating closely, sometimes both just going full force to whip up a dual hurricane of free sax drama.
It’s not the easiest of listens, being comprised entirely of freeform sax duets, but they’re both talented players and fans of Rune Grammofon’s freer and weirder stuff, and indeed people who are into experimental music and don’t mind the sound of the saxophone, will really enjoy this. Phil straight up hates saxophones, though, so I think my reviewing time is up for this one. He just said, and I quote, “It’s affecting my asthma”.
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