By Tim Niland
Danish alto saxophonist Mia Dyberg is a bracing and exciting musician who uses the influence of William Burroughs to create a memorable and thought provoking album of free jazz. She is in fine company with Asger Thomsen on bass and Dag Magnus Narvesen on drums. “Ticket” begins the album with raw saxophone and bass in open space, probing the silence for an opening. The drums crash in and the music lunges forward in a predatory fashion, building to an exciting collective improvisation of thick elastic bass, ripe saxophone and drums. The music becomes very exciting with gales of saxophone pushing the band forward relentlessly amidst thrashing percussion and stoic bass. There is a swooping and free sounding nature to “Wil’s Swing” with long tones of saxophone against deft bass playing, though the entry of the drums is the cue to unleash the full power of the trio, with Dyberg’s rending howls approaching Pharoah Sanders territory, and her inventive use of sounds that are released from restraint makes this track particularly thrilling. There is a rattling, clanking drum feature akin to controlled chaos that is tethered to the saxophone by the unflappable bass planing. “Mia’s Pulse” continues mining this vast sound the trio achieves, as she leaps with abandon along with the bowed bass and drums creating waves of sound that course forward from the band. Another short track, “Claws Out” is a potent collective improvisation that gives each member equal footing in a sharp blast of concentrated energetic free jazz. “Topical” builds its own majestic pace through strong interplay between deeply toned alto saxophone, tight bass and drumming that opens a subtle pocket which is perfect for exploration. The longest performance on the album, “The First Track,” is among its most memorable, with the group developing a firm rhythmic foundation that allows for unrestrained expression by each member and the trio as a whole. Dyberg gets a rich and emotional tone from her instrument which gives her a unique sound while the bass playing is thick and powerful, and the drumming free ranging and unpredictable. The music gradually builds becoming faster and stronger as the group whips up a frenzy of resonant improvisation, dynamically moving between full out blowing and abstract improvisation. The album ends with the blistering act of free fun called “How Do You Know When You Are Through?” where they through caution into the wind for an all out blast that abruptly cuts off as if they had reached orbital velocity and slipped the bonds of Earth entirely.