Frode Gjerstad

Ikosa Mura

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Forget those stereotypes of Norwegian jazz. Tenor saxophonist Frode Gjerstad leads his quartet through some wildly adventurous terrain on this one, recalling the most avant-garde experiments of the 1960s. For this trip, Gjerstad has assembled an all-star American cast as collaborators. Gjerstad is a powerful performer whose solos energize with verve and muscle. The underrecorded and unsung trumpeter Bobby Bradford is in top form, with jagged lower-register phrasing and clipped notes. Borah Bergman is one of the most exciting of the free-style pianists, and his unique fingering and eclectic approach are pure delights. Drummer Pheeroan akLaff keeps the proceedings on course, firing them just beyond the boiling point. This is more than a simple free-for-all, as the soloists weave in and out, with changing tempos, rhythms, and dynamics, producing entrancing and even enlightening results.

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