Recorded 14th nov 2009 by Michael W. Huon at Belgie, Hasselt, Belgium.
Mixed and mastered by Michael W. Huon 2010. Produced by Tarfala Trio.
Design by Oskaras Anosovas. Executive production by Danas Mikailionis and Valerij Anosov
Tracklist Side A: BROKEN BY FIRE Side B: LAPILLI FRAGMENTS Side C: COOL IN FLIGHT Side D: TEPHRA plus 7” EP: SYZYGY
The TARFALA TRIO has its roots from 1992, meeting at the SOLO – 92 festival in Stockholm, Sweden. After that first encounter in 1992, the trio has worked sporadically and played festivals in Europe and releasing 2 Cds on Maya Recordings. This recording captures them playing live in Belgium, 2009. It is explosive, high energy loaded ferocious music focusing on low dynamic melodic material. Tarfala Trio is at their peak creating the most exciting improvised music you can hear today.
This is a double limited gatefold vinyl edition only, which, as a bonus, contains one-sided 7“ EP and a booklet of photos of the musicians playing live.
Drawing on the legacy of Albert Ayler’s
extraordinary trio LP Spiritual Unity, The Tarfala Trio, consisting of Mats Gustafsson on saxophones, Barry Guy on bass and Raymond Strid on drums and percussion take the notion of open-ended free jazz and make an impassioned statement that would certainly have made Ayler proud. Opening with “Broken by Fire,” the band sets the stage for their opening improvisation by probing at the edges of the music, before Gustafsson finds a path with ecstatic tenor saxophone supported by elastic bass and drums. Strong peals of saxophone run deep establishing the late-period Coltrane/Ayler influence as the music develops into a strong and potent force. Throttling back to a skittering bass and drums section, they develop a quiet form of improvisation, which begins to re-build gradually, before saxophone again develops gales of sound before slowing down to a quiet, spare finale. “Lapilli Fragments” sounds like quantum flux in musical space with notes and sounds popping in and out of existence. The seemingly random sounds coalesce into the (well named) fragments of melody and harmony as the music further develops. Bowed bass and light saxophone play with an against each other in open space, with scattered blasts to saxophone echoing against the interplay. “Cool in Flight” begins with open and exploratory quiet wisps of sound as bowed bass and saxophone swirl and sway. A quiet borderless atmosphere pervades the music here, before Gustafsson leads a charge with strong and emotional bursts of sound, urgently moving the music forward. The end the piece by gradually pulling back to the opening spacey feel. Light and agile percussion ushers in “Tephra” with the bells and raw saxophone developing a distinctive atmosphere. Raw and exciting saxophone and drums revolve around a rock solid bass pivot point, building into a deeper and stronger collective improvisation. Anxious sounding bowed bass and percussion open “Syzygy” before saxophone contributes reeling blasts and then lays out, creating nervous, uncomfortable silences and extraordinary dynamic tension. They resolve the tension by blasting into overdrive for a rousing conclusion. This band may dwell at the other end of the spectrum from mainstream jazz, but it suits them well. Developing a cascade of responses to the musical opportunities their creativity allows, they spin extraordinary improvisations out of the raw materials of heart, soul and spirit. — Tim Nilund
After two albums
on Maya, the super trio of Mats Gustafsson on tenor and alto fluteophone, Barry Guy on bass and Raymond Strid on drums, took on the name of the second album, “Tarfala”, and is touring Europe this summer. I unfortunately missed them when they came to Belgium in May, but the good thing is that we now get this fantastic double vinyl LP with 7″ EP and booklet, equally recorded in Belgium, two years ago, as a comforting substitution. Although it must be said that comfort is the last thing that crosses your mind and body, when listening to this fabulous trio. The trio creates a world of urgent little sounds, full of eager anticipation, surprise and fast response. There is hardly any volume, no screaming, no violence, just the dynamics of a mountain river, light, fast and crystal clear, moving forward without choice. How the currents will flow is unpredictable and chaotic, yet coherent and focused. At times the speed picks up, or slows down, …. but that’s where the metaphor meets its limits. Next to the dynamics, there are the emotions, no doubt the most hard to describe, and the most difficult aspect of the playing, and no doubt this trio’s strongest asset. Nobody in the world can scream like Gustafsson, in long heartrending wails, bringing the long built-up tension to a level or relief, or release, or increasing agony, depending on how you listen. Guy’s playing is as usual, oscillating between extreme precision and maverick madness, with Strid demonstrating the art of modern percussion, and critical to the overall sound, with little accents and colorings, yet equally driving the music forward when needed. And the three of them together … well that’s some kind of magic, moving you through a wide variety of sonic landscapes. In sum, a music of contrasts : raw and vulnerable, sensitive and harsh, coherent and adventurous, energetic and contained, yet full of incredible passion.– Stef
Double LP + EP version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)