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Album Review

This series of nine improvised duets between Mats Gustafsson and Barry Guy remind you of how extraordinary each of these players is. Gustafsson, of course, brings forth his full arsenal of weapons: tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, flutophone, and French flagolet. Meanwhile, Guy's extended techniques on acoustic string bass are a perfect foil. Together, they easily sustain interest for almost 70 minutes of recording time. There is plenty of solo space for those who particularly admire either or both of these consummate performers, but the real thrills come when they interact. Gustafsson's little sounds careen off Guy's arco strings like a tennis ball bouncing on a trampoline. Neither player is disposed to grandstanding, so each track is filled with joys that sometime only appear after repeated listening. For those who have not heard either Gustafsson or Guy, this may be a good starting place, as the duo format lets each expand at his own pace. Even for those who are familiar with their prodigious outputs, there are unique rewards here that highly recommend this recording.


Born: 29 October 1964 in Umea, Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Swedish reeds player and improviser Mats Gustafsson's extended saxophone techniques draw equally from the fiery free jazz blowing tradition and the European microtonal schools. Born in 1964 in the culturally rich area of Umeå, he was exposed at a young age to various Swedish improvisers such as saxophonist Lars Göran Ulander and pianist Per Henrik Wallin. His first instrument was the flute, but by his early teens Gustafsson was playing saxophone as well. Around the age of 14, he put his saxophone...
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Frogging, Mats Gustafsson
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