The Thing

Thursday, March 22. 2018

Off Broadway
3509 Lemp Ave., 63118

Mats Gustaffson – saxophones
Ingebrit Håker Flaten – upright and electric basses
Paal Nilssen-Love – drums


Swedish/Norwegian trio The Thing was formed to create a long awaited synthesis where garage rock and jazz styles could merge by means of this high energy vehicle. Though the group initially came together in 1999 as a tribute project dedicated to legendary composer/trumpeter Don Cherry, it quickly evolved and found its own identity, performing improvised music, informed by the urgency and simplicity of garage rock. If you line up a list of The Thing’s cover selections (songs by The Stooges, The Cramps, The Sonics, and PJ Harvey) beside their roster of collaborators (experimental-rock-luminaries like Jim O’Rourke, Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann, and Neneh Cherry) you can get an idea of where their sensibilities lie.

Boot! (2013) is The Thing’s sixth full-length album, and it is among the group’s finest efforts at pairing broad physicality with heady free jazz technique. The record opens with a high-volume reimagining of India, from John Coltrane’s 1963 album Impressions. Here, spiritual jazz is recast as raw and sludgy stoner rock, producing an album of genuine “fusion music” in the best sense of the word.

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