Norwegian reedist Frode Gjerstad returns to Chicago tonight | Bleader

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Norwegian reedist Frode Gjerstad returns to Chicago tonight

Posted By on 08.31.11 at 02:52 PM

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Paal Nilssen-Love and Frode Gjerstad
  • Paal Nilssen-Love and Frode Gjerstad
Veteran Norwegian free-jazz reedist Frode Gjerstad returns to Chicago with a gig this evening at the Hideout. As usual he's joined by explosive drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, an even more frequent visitor to our city. Rounding out the lineup is young bassist Jon Rune, a recent addition to the band (who replaced ten-year vet Øyvind Stursund back in April) who's reportedly a monster on his instrument.

Last year Gjerstad and Nilssen-Love released a scalding duo set called Gromka (Not Two) that captures their trademark energy and endless sonic seeking. While looking over Gjerstad's website I was stunned to read that the two have been working together since the drummer was only 15—he's now 36. Considering that Nilssen-Love has played with the reedist for so much of his life, it's hardly surprising that the two of them have an almost telepathic musical communication—tamping down, blowing out, digging in, and simmering on in perfect synchrony, but also pushing and pulling against each other to keep the performances fresh and surprising. Nilssen-Love has become one of the greatest free drummers in the world, and he's in high demand; it's hard to think of another player who's on the road as much as him. So there's something admirable, even touching, about his commitment to Gjerstad. You can hear it in the music. Below you can listen to a track from Gromka.

Frode Gjerstad/Paal Nilssen-Love, "Klopotec":

Today's playlist:

Iti, Artifact: Iti Live in St. Johann (Okka Disk)
J Æ, Balls and Kittens, Draught and Strangling Rain (Hubro)
Marc Cary, Focus Trio Live 2009 (Motema)
Carlou D, Muzikr (World Village)
Microscopic Septet, Friday the Thirteenth: the Micros Play Monk (Cuneiform)

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