“Forget Cream, this is what a power trio should be like.”—bbc.co.uk
This Scandinavian trio features one of Sweden’s leading sax players, Mats Gustafsson, and the ubiquitous and brilliant Norwegian rhythm section of drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. The last two form a stellar backbone for a number of key bands like Atomic, Scorch Trio, and School Days with Ken Vandermark. All three musicians play with remarkable energy, fire, and spirit within the Thing, mixing free jazz ecstacy with garage rock intensity. The acoustic trio’s unusual repertoire is a combination of post-’60s new jazz (Don Cherry, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Butch Morris) and hard rock wail (White Stripes, P.J. Harvey, Sonics, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). But this ain’t no watered-down hybrid. The Thing take the most uncompromising aspects of both genres and turn up the heat, not to mention the volume. Mats Gustafsson will also be performing with Zu and Lotta Melin during the Festival. Thanks to Rikskonserter Sweden and the Norwegian Arts Council.