Album Review

Gustafsson, Mats – “Bengt” – [Utech Records]

mickeyslim   5/29/2012   12-inch, A Library

Yet another mind-melding album from Mats Gustafsson on Utech Records, this time it’s his solo work on Grafton alto saxophone, paying homage to Bengt Nordstrom (1936-2000). Bengt was a musician who played the Grafton, and who’s music is explained in the liner notes as “simple songs and sounds, as well as mistakes were part of his atonal way of playing, adding new explorations to his experience.” Cool. Gustafsson utilizes all the sounds a sax can make, plus some mouth sounds for good taste. The instant compositions are fragile and mystical, intense and sometimes awkward. The notes are relentless and keep hitting you hard, but its relaxing somehow.

A-side is a casual stroll the park, but only if the park was from a David Lynch movie. Spare and anxious; playful, but like in a “I’m about to play an awful prank on you” sort of way. The first half of the B-side starts off slow and quiet before going into broken blue jazz, almost sounding like a love song. Then take a ride on a psychotic train where the horn doesn’t stop blowing, and only stopping at stations to pick up confused listeners. 18 and 20 minutes of fun! Mix and match!

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