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The Sten Sandell Trio + John Butcher

Sten Sandell piano, voice & electronics / Johan Berthling double bass / Paal Nilssen-Love drums & percussion / John Butcher tenor & soprano saxophones, amplification & feedback

Available on Amazon and iTunes

Listen and you’ll hear electronics and traditional instruments not traditionally played. For example, there’s a saxophone, but the controlled feedbacks originated aren’t specific of the tube with holes and keys on it invented by Adolph Sax – it’s really a saxomicrophone. The mic is part of the instrument, and without it those sounds wouldn’t be possible. While everybody was saying that saxophonist John Butcher, the guest musician on “Strokes”, was a disciple of Evan Parker, the man was already exploring new forms of blowing with a reed, inspired in electronic music (after all, the microphone is the most important tool of any electronica). This is something else indeed. Sten Sandell, the leader of this session, plays piano (listen to those cascades of notes, people!), sings biphonically (more Tibet than Tuva, by the way) and adds more electronics. Bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love play acoustic, but both of them know very well how to interact with the “non-natural” sounds. We couldn’t expect anything else from them, knowing that the first is a member of the electro-acoustic experimental pop band Tape and the other duels frequently with a laptoper extraordinaire of the noise field, Lasse Marhaug. So, this is not your conventional jazz disc, but jazz it is, with a European perspective and a futuristic commitment. The four musicians here play other music idioms besides jazz, beginning with Sandell, also known for his dedications to contemporary composition and performance (Cage, Xenakis, Feldman.) and to a revised form of prog rock, but all those extra activities are reflected in what they do here. Music of our times. Or more precisely: good music of our times.


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