Colin Stetson & Mats Gustafsson - Stones LPRune Grammofon (Norway)
Here are two of the planet's most uncompromising and inventive young hornithologists and saxophonists, Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafsson. Mats Gustafsson is the uncompromising Swedish saxophonist famous for his no-holds barred style. Colin Stetson is a member of Arcade Fire's touring group, and his prodigious bass saxophone tones have been called on by a host of American alternative acts including Bon Iver, Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV on the Radio, David Byrne, Feist, My Brightest Diamond, LCD Soundsystem, and many more. The four tracks on Stones were recorded live on stage at the 2011 Vancouver Jazz Festival. Miraculously, this explosive encounter was also their first meeting. From the long throaty drones that open "Stones That Rest Heavily" to the slithering and flutter-tonguing interplay of "Stones That Need Not," it's clear that this duo is intent on alchemizing their brass tubes into liquid gold. But they mainly use low-end instruments like the bass and baritone sax, which emit deep, warm vibrations. And unlike the more in your face free improvisation, there's an underlying tunefulness that draws you in and envelops you. "It was completely magic," remembers Mats. "All was there, the communication, the interaction, the music, the mystery..." The titles were partly inspired by the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf (1907-1968), of whom Mats says, "He is the foundation of Swedish modern poetry. There is so much music in the way he constructs his work. It is extremely inspiring, on all levels. Ekelöf is the man." This is fire music that smolders in the dark. Perhaps this will give the elusive sax duo a new lease on life. After all, as Mats says, there's "no escape... nothing to hide... you just need to go out there and interact!"