Saturday, March 10, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on The Thing

Today, let's check out some videos featuring The Thing, who will be in St. Louis later this month for a show presented by New Music Circle on Thursday, March 22 at Off Broadway.

With an energetic, extroverted style that's sometimes been called "Action Jazz" (after their 2006 album of the same name), saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten draw as much inspiration from punk rock and various world musics as they do from the jazz tradition.

Founded in 2000 in Stockholm, Sweden, they've recorded more than 20 albums to date, roughly split between releases credited only to The Thing and those that give equal billing to collaborators such as Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark, Thurston Moore, Joe McPhee, James "Blood" Ulmer, and singer Nenah Cherry, whose father, trumpeter Don Cherry, lived in Stockholm for years and served as an important initial inspiration for The Thing.

You can hear them in action starting up above with a performance of "Red River," recorded on October 15, 2016 at the Skopje Jazz Festival in Skopje, Macedonia.

After the jump, you can see them play "Viking" from their 2011 album Mono, recorded July 7, 2014 at the Skuespilteatret in Copenhagen, Denmark, followed by a full set from October 30, 2014 at Jazzhouse, also in Copenhagen.

Next, there's another full set from the 2014 Music Unlimited festival in Wels, Austria, featuring a sit-in from saxophonist Ken Vandermark, followed by a set from 2013 recorded at a venue called MDK Dragon in Poznań, Poland.

Last but not least, you can see an excerpt from a show that The Thing did in October 2015 for students at the Austin Discovery School in Austin, TX, demonstrating the visceral appeal of their approach to all sorts of audiences.

For more, read the interview Mats Gustafsson did last year with The Vinyl Factory; his 2015 interview with the website Something Else!; and his 2013 interview published by The Quietus.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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