Monday, October 12, 2015

Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity - Firehouse (Clean Feed, 2015)

Drummer Gard Nilssen leads a trio with Petter Eldh on bass and Andre Roligheten on saxophones on their debut album as Acoustic Unity. They play a tight and muscular form of modern jazz with aspects of free improvisation and deep group empathy. The track "Round trip" has a very exciting full throttle drums and probing saxophone, which gives the music a enjoyable sound, and develops into a barreling collective improvisation. High pitched and clipped bass led the trio into a choppier section where they are able to fully occupy the available space with the tight bass and drums supporting the saxophone. The group radiates confidence on "Adam's Ale" where their shrewdness allows them to move in a fast and intact fashion with Roligheten soloing over taught bass and tight cymbals. They carve a clear path through their improvisation, diving right in with muscular and exciting zeal. "Mojo" is a short but thrilling track taken at a blazing speed where sparks of energy erupt into a blast furnace of fire with howling saxophone and battering ram drums. They have a multitude of ideas and use them to create a freely improvised section that is awe inspiring in its ferocity. There is quite a melodic feeling to "The Resistance" where spacious drums and soprano saxophone carve the air at will. The action of the drums slowly picks up along with some excellent bass playing where Eldh displays a wealth of melodic ideas and structural support. Roligheten is a seeker on this track alternating choppy shorter flutters and phrases with longer spiraling tones. "Turtlehead" has Roligheten moving back to tenor saxophone moving briskly along with Nilssen whose drums are straining at the leash. The thick and muscular bass completes the scene and really exemplifies the potent nature of this trio. They hit an excellent grove that is uptempo but vey well controlled where the bass and drums are locked in as one monster duo and the saxophone is able to move in a nimble fashion at will. This is a powerful unit that has a lean and potent sound, exemplified when Roligheten circles ever faster before lifting off into an explosive solo.   Firehouse -

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