Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cold Fusion...

I've been a fan of Arild Andersen's music for decades. He's a distinctive bass player and an individual composer. He's a wonderful, intuitive accompanyist - he's played behind dozens of excellent musicians in just about every corner of jazz. You can hear him on records by artists as diverse as Sheila Jordan and Paul Bley.

His own albums are cherished items in my collection. My first real encounter with the music of Arild Andersen was Green Shading Into Blue, an ECM record that has, to this day, never been released on CD. I'm also fond of Hyperborean, Lifelines (also, still not available on CD), If You Look Far Enough and The Triangle.

And then there's A Molde Concert...

When I first began listening to Andersen's music, I'd only read about the recording. I read that it was like no other Arild Andersen record before or after it. It documented a live preformance by his quartet - an ensemble made up of Andersen on bass, Bill Frisell on guitar, John Taylor on piano and Alphonse Mouzon on drums - at the Molde Jazz Festival in August of 1981. But that tells you nothing of what to expect from this group performance. If, like me, you had identified Arild Andersen with the music heard on Hyperborean, If You Look Far Enough and the other releases cited above, then A Molde Concert would be a profound shock to the system. When it was finally released on CD I bought my copy with expectations that were entirely destroyed upon first listen. Why? Because this wasn't typical ECM fare. This was not the cool Scandinavian sound to which I'd grown accustomed. This breathed fire! This had more in common with Birds of Fire and Inner Mounting Flame than just about anything in the ECM catalogue.

All this to say, the concert we have here bears a distinct resemblance to A Molde Concert despite the fact it was recorded five years later (August 1, 1986) in Lund, Sweden and is only a trio performance. Andersen is on bass and Alphonse Mouzen is on drums but the guitarist is Frode Alnaæs and there is no pianist. The trio does a blistering version of "The Sword Under His Wings" that also appears on A Molde Concert. Mouzon is a force of nature.

The playlist is:
1. ? (fade-in) 5:39
2. ? 5:19
3. ? 6:16
4. The Sword Under His Wings 8:27
5. ? 6:29
6. Space Instead of Trumpet 8:44
8. ? 12:20


1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for this. I share your enthusiasm for Arild. He has an orchestral sense of music, his bass follows from that big picture.

    I only hope Mouzon is not at his flailing worst - ruined many a set with his approximate flashiness!