By Tim Niland
This is a very interesting collaboration between the Landæus Trio: Mathias Landæus on grand piano, analog delay, Cornelia Nilsson on drums and Johnny Åman on bass; and the iconoclastic saxophonist Martin Küchen, heard here on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. I’m not sure if “Old Harriot Hat” was meant to be dedicated to the great Jamaican/English saxophonist Joe Harriott or not, but regardless Kuchen sounds very inspired on this track. He has a lush and hearty attack on whatever horn he plays that imbues great emotion into the music, cutting to the core of this track and every song on the album as a whole. The rhythm team swings madly with wonderful bounding bass, cascades of piano and potent drumming, goaded on by vocal encouragement. Kuchen rejoins the trio at the end of the performance playing angular yet scalding lines of saxophone, that fit in with the trio like hand in glove. Kuchen is equally amazing on “Love, Flee Thy House (in Breslau), particularly in the opening section, where he is playing his guts out with pure emotional vigor. The raw energy that he emits is so genuine and so personal, that you almost want to turn away, but if you do than you’ll miss how he interacts with the trio and his sound coalesces with this outfit in a genuine way, as they interact and with this instrument of withering intensity in spectacular fashion. The album works well, the Landæus Trio at times works as a foil for Kuchen’s tremendous saxophone explorations, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for reticence. The trio plays Kuchen’s compositions with imagination and mindfulness, keeping the music in the moment, as it should be.