Apr.06, 2011


TRIO Guy/Gustafsson/Strid = TARFALA TRIO

Mats Gustafsson – slide,  tenor and baritone saxes, fluteophone

Barry Guy – bass

Raymond Strid – drums


The   Tarfala TRIO has its roots from 1992, meeting at the SOLO- 92 fest in stockholm, Sweden. From 2011 we are re- starting this beast!

With the release of SYZYGY on No Business Records the Tarfala Trio will hit clubs and festivals again. a spectacular 2 LP set + limited 7″ will be released at the beginning of summer 2011.

a late spring tour of 2011 will be done to celebrate the awakening… chcek tour dates for details.

next period in 2011 will be :28th nov – 2nd dec .

But the Tarfala trio is open for occasional festival gigs the whole year.

After that first encounter in 1992, the trio has worked sporadically and played festivals in Europe and releasing 2 Cds on Maya Recordings. The members of the group  have  also worked together in different duos, large ensembles ( BGNO, NU – ensemble etc) and small formations with a.o. Marilyn Crispell, Sten Sandell, Agusti Fernandez a.o.

please contact Danielle Oosetrop for furter info and bookings:

contact : danielle@oosterop.com

– cell +31 6 2662 0845 – Amsterdam

Latest reviews:

Mats Gustafsson/Barry Guy/Raymond Strid, Vienna Blue Tomato, 18 November 2009

November 23, 2009 by viennesewaltz

The first of two thrilling free jazz gigs at the Blue Tomato in the space of three days. What with these two, and the Sonore/Thing soundclash last month, this unassuming venue in the wilds of the 15th district is at the very top of its game right now. Ken Vandermark says that this place and Alchemia in Krakow are the two best jazz clubs in Europe, and he should know.

Whenever I’ve seen Mats Gustafsson play before, it’s been with Peter Brötzmann – either with Sonore, or as part of the Chicago Tentet. He’s always been a powerful presence, but at the same time he’s occasionally been overshadowed by the ferocity of Brötzmann’s blowing. Last time I saw the Tentet at Porgy & Bess, it seemed to me that the Swedish saxophonist’s prodigious physicality was underused. The solution, naturally, is to give the man his own trio – and that’s precisely what we got at the Blue Tomato this week.

I say that, but of course this was a long way from being The Mats Gustafsson Trio. (Sidenote: with the exception of the Schlippenbach Trio, you just don’t get that highlighting of one person as the leader in the names of free improv groups, which is just as it should be.) Joining Gustafsson were Barry Guy on double bass and Raymond Strid on drums, neither of whom I had seen play live before. Guy, however, was known to me through his work with Evan Parker and Paul Lytton – in fact, Parker/Guy/Lytton’s Live at the Vortex album on Emanem was the first free improv record I ever heard, and for that reason it’s an album I cherish with great affection.

Anyway, the point is that each member of this trio contributed equally to the great firestorm of sound that was kicked up. Strid was a consistently agile and forceful percussionist, as well as being great fun to watch with his varied approach to his cymbals, gongs and whatnot. Guy, meanwhile, was simply breathtaking. I’ve never really “got” the double bass before, it’s always seemed a little bit too trad-jazzy for my liking (Ingebrigt Håker Flaten’s assault on the instrument notwithstanding). But I sure as heck “got” it tonight, as Guy proceeded to play the bass in ways I never knew were possible. Switching fluidly between arco and pizzicato, he stuck sticks between the strings, rapidly and expertly travelled his way up and down the length of the neck, and generally flayed hell out of the thing. And he did so with, often, the broadest of smiles on his face. It was sheer joy to behold.

As for Gustafsson, his playing on the saxophone was overwhelming. Whether he’s soloing tenderly and lyrically, producing a range of unusual sounds by tonguing the reed, or delivering a majestically deep and resonant melody, the man is never less than compelling. And the strength of his commitment to live performance couldn’t be clearer. With his face getting redder and redder, the sweat dripping off him and his veins threatening to burst at any time, Gustafsson is a viscerally enthralling performer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mats Gustafsson, Barry Guy and Raymond Strid, Zaal België (Hasselt), 14/09/09

Last Saturday (14 November 2009), we went to a live performance of Barry Guy, Raymond Strid and Mats Gustafsson in Zaal België (Hasselt – Belgium). That was one of the most amazing, challenging and inspiring freejazz concerts of this year.

When we entered the venue, the concert just started – so we kind of missed the beginning which is a pitty since we missed the initial start of the set. But after some minutes (and enjoying our first Duvel) we immediately are “in the groove”. The set is dark, raw, explosive, intimate and adventurous at the same time. The musicians are constantly challenging each other and each one is giving the other enough time to develop an idea, a route to go, a path to follow. The rest jumps onto that idea and so the set is not one single second a moment of hesitation, a moment you have the idea they are losing it. Not at all. But that would be a surprise when you know who’s playing.

First thing that amazed me was the drumming skills of Raymond Strid. That man is a drumming genius! He can make up complete stories with his percussion set, he switches from firm “jazz drumming” to complete free noodling and uses a wide range of other things besides his drumming sticks (chains, bells, metal sheets, …).

Than we have Barry Guy on double bass. First time I saw him live and … oh my God … I’m sorry, but I don’t know enough English words to describe what that man is doing with his instrument. You need to see it with your own eyes or you won’t believe it! From “classical” playing to going completely (and I do mean completely) insane, using his hands (off course), but also long iron needles (that he squeezed in between two snares to generate a sort of resonating sound) and drum sticks. I had no idea there is such a variety of sound hidden in this big instrument.

And finally, someone I’ve been addicted to since his 1999 release “The Education Of Lars Jerry” (released on CD and LP on Xeric), Mats Gustafsson on sax. What can I say that hasn’t been said before? The man is a musical omnivore (anything from smooth jazz to punk rock to noise), an extremely talented musician and a beast on his sax in the best Peter Brötzmann tradition. The only problem I have is he releases too much in one year … and almost all of his releases are superb!

This was easily one of the best freejazz live gigs of this year (it was even better than the Vandermark5 one, early this year in the same venue).

As usual, I couldn’t resist to go to the merch table and picked up some goodies. One album I’ve listened to (already three times) is an album from Bary Guy and Mats Gustafsson “Sinners, rather than saints” – released this year on NoBusiness Records (great label, check what they already released!)

There’s a great review about it on Freejazz Stef. I suggest you read it, that should convince you to get yourself a copy of this amazing album.

Absolutely recommended!

You Forget to Answer (liner notes)

Age four to twelve, my greatest pleasure was to catch frogs. These years of earnest experience tell me that there is a special skill involved in frog catching, one might even say an art. You see, it’s not just a matter of speed or power – if you do nothing but lunge quick and hard, the frog will simply spring from its perch and out of your grasp. The art of frogging is more a matter of finding just the right moment to strike, of selecting precisely the time to move your hand at precisely the speed and in precisely the same arc traced out by the leap of the frog. It’s precise work to snare the web-foot.

The way to find that moment and that vector entails something more than guesswork or luck. You have to empathize with the amphibian. For a split second you’ve got to imagine yourself the frog. This is essential, for the frog already knows the art of frog-catching. He’s honed his craft on flies, mosquitoes, and water-bugs, sure, but at heart he’s a frogger just like you. So, if possible you must identify with the frog, visualize the insect it’s about to devour, choose the same moment to jump that he would, that he inevitably, irrevocably will choose. You have to pick the frog’s brain, because there’s one right time to act, and only the frog knows when that is. The frog is the master.

Ultra-slow motion study: the frog and your hand begin to move at the same instant, his rear legs reach full extension as he leaves the ground, your fingers curl around them, cradling them in motion and gliding together like an ice-skating team or Astaire and Rogers; bulbous eyes closed flat against his head, front arms tucked in, he’s a cannonball mid-air when all of a sudden >FLASH< your hand jerks closed and the show’s over. The frog is yours.

Guy, Gustafsson and Strid make their music difficult to capture with tools as blunt and lethargic as words. One is tempted to lunge at it, but it just wriggles away. The trio’s sound is an accumulation of precisely timed movements: elements of steady determination, strategy, even calculation, but also, once the move is started, a force of lightning quickness and tensile strength. Nothing hesitant, nothing unsure. This is frogging music, no doubt in my mind. A form of improvising that requires the same kind of deep emphatic relations. To communicate at a level not just reactive – the brutality of scaring frogs into nets, or of simple question-answer improvising – but truly emphatic. To visualise the fly through the frog’s eyes.

You Forget To Answer: perhaps there’s no response because once that deep empathy occurs it pre-empts conventional communication routes. If we both ask the same question at the same time, who’s supposed to reply? In its temporal seizures, Barry’s bass at times seems to anticipate what the Swedes will do, like those rare outings in which you see the frog about to jump and get there first; you know before he does, and he literally hops into your hand. The emphatic circulation runs through many other networks: Mats’s uncanny ability to grasp and redirect energies, Raymond’s radiant projection of a center of gravity.

Make the grab at the wrong time, the croaker plunks away, rings on the pond. But become the batrachian and you’ve already snared him.

John Corbett, Chicago, June 1996