Ingebrigt Håker Flaten NY Quartet
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b), Joe McPhee (ts), Joe Morris (g), Nate Wooley (t),
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“Now is” is the definitive confirmation of the wide international status obtained by the Norwish bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten. From being one of the most important performers of his instrument in Scandinavia, he rapidly conquered a place in the front line of the European scene and, finally, of all the avant-jazz and improvised music world. In this disc he plays with the cream of improvisers in the United States, where he presently lives (Austin, Texas): Joe McPhee, Nate Wooley and Joe Morris. It’s a no-drums, no-piano quartet, enabling them a freer approach to the music. There’s only one written composition (by Flaten himself) interpreted here; the rest is totally improvised. But it’s not that much “experimental” as you could expect: the other two main characteristics defining jazz, after improvisation, are kept in this great studio recording from Brooklyn/NY, namely swing and the presence of a blues feeling. No wonder: veteran McPhee is involved and there’s traces of his Po Music concept. And as writer Clifford Allen puts it in his liner notes for this recording: “Across eight tracks, Flaten, McPhee, Wooley and Morris employ space, mournful blues dirges, darting fragments of bebop, Django-like folksiness and above all, purity of communication. Shared affinities are beyond nomenclature, though these might be all that nomenclature asks. After all, a phrase such as “jazz” or “this music” can only act as a small slice of a large canvas, representing but only referencing near-infinite possibilities”. Enjoy!