The Thing head out on US tour

Norwegian/Swedish improv trio The Thing head out on a US tour next with special guests saxophonist Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee.

Listen to excerpts from The Thing's latest album Action Jazz (Smalltown Superjazz 2006)
Listen to and download The Thing releases here

The Thing w/Joe McPhee

Joint Norwegian/Swedish improv trio The Thing features one of Europe’s leading sax players Mats Gustavsson and arguably one of the best rhythm sections around; drummer Paal Nilssen Love and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten.

Free Jazz ecstasy meets the intensity of Garage Rock. The Thing blends the spontaneity and imagination of classic free jazz with the emotional immediacy of underground garage rock. With acoustic traditional jazz instrumentation, the three young Scandinavians can match the power of the fiercest rock band. The Thing's repertoire consists of 60's era new-jazz (Don Cherry, Ayler, James Blood Ulmer, David Murray) and reinterpretations of underground rock classics (PJ Harvey, White Stripes, Sonics). This is no watered down jazz-rock. The Thing take the most uncompromising aspects of both genres and turn up the heat - representing the best of cross-border collaboration. This is pure energy – free flowing improvisation and outbursts of anger contrasted by tight interplay and rhythmic savvy. The trio’s unusual choice of tunes (exemplified by own compositions coupled with renditions of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Art Star and White Stripes’ Aluminium) sets the trio apart from other acts on the improv scene. The Thing’s free punk-jazz is challenging but utterly rewarding for the listener in search of something wildly different. A review quote of the trio’s Smalltown Supersound album ‘Garage’ sums it all up: “Absurdly cool!”

Mats Gustafsson is currently Sweden's and perhaps Europe's most well-known artist within free improvised music. He has established himself as a saxophonist with a broad repertoire of extended techniques on level with Evan Parker and John Butcher. He has also been inspired by the “Brötzmann-school” which demands volume above all else. Mats is also known through AALY trio and collaborations with Jim O´Rourke, Thurston More, Jaap Blonk, Paul Lovens and Barry Guy among others.

Since their first collaboration in 1992, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (now based in the US) and Paal Nilssen-Love have established themselves as Norway’s tightest rhythm-section through their work with the group Element. Today they are active in School Days with Ken Vandermark, the Scorch trio with Raoul Björkenheim, and Atomic to mention a few of the many ensembles the prolific rhythm section contribute to.

A few review quotes:

* "Tapping into rock's most primal forces with a fire and fury that?s
something to behold" MOJO

* "The Thing Convert nouveau punk and vintage garage-rock into a roaring scream up, but the sheer energy and love of the music keep gimmickry at bay"

* "The sheer power they can generate from wood, metal, breath and muscle is stunning" BBC

* "Absurdly cool." DJ Magazine

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