Mats Olof Gustafsson (born on 29 October 1964 in Umeå, Sweden) is a Swedish saxophone player and a stalwart on the Scandinavian free jazz scene. He is known for his tonal belligerence and intensity when improvising.He first came to the attention of lovers of improvised music as part of a duo with Christian Munthe (started in 1986) and the band Gush (started in 1988). He has later played widely with musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy, Yoshimi P-We, Derek Bailey, Magnus Broo, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Lehn, Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Zu, The Ex and Sonic Youth.Since the early 1990s Gustafsson has been a regular visitor to the United States, forming a particular affinity with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang and Ken Vandermark and recording for the city's OkkaDisk label.In addition to projects with musicians, Gustafsson has worked extensively with artists from the worlds of dance, theatre, poetry and painting.Gustafsson was awarded the 2011 Nordic Council Music Prize.Gustafsson currently lives in Gärsnäs, Skåne, Sweden and Vienna, Austria.
He first came to the attention of lovers of improvised music as part of a duo with Christian Munthe (started in 1986) and the band Gush (started in 1988). He has later played widely with musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy, Yoshimi P-We, Derek Bailey, Magnus Broo, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Lehn, Evan Parker, Misha Mengelberg, Zu, The Ex and Sonic Youth.
Since the early 1990s Gustafsson has been a regular visitor to the United States, forming a particular affinity with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang and Ken Vandermark and recording for the city's OkkaDisk label.
In addition to projects with musicians, Gustafsson has worked extensively with artists from the worlds of dance, theatre, poetry and painting.
Gustafsson was awarded the 2011 Nordic Council Music Prize.
Gustafsson currently lives in Gärsnäs, Skåne, Sweden and Vienna, Austria.
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 15:08 (six years ago) Permalink
I bring this up because Live at The South Bank has been getting more attention, and it seems like more people recognize his name now.
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 15:09 (six years ago) Permalink
here is a live cliphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xxzCurgR0
i've seen him with The Thing and in several other ensembles that i honestly can't remember entirely, but every time his playing has been totally interesting and rather recognizably his.
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 15:13 (six years ago) Permalink
This album is really good (How to Raise an Ox) http://mvdb2b.com/i/images/ALP168.jpg
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 15:25 (six years ago) Permalink
talking to myself about mats gustafsson
discography through 2008:
2008, The Vilnius explosion, No Business Records NBCD1.2007, At Molde 2007 (10 years 10tet), Okka disk OD12072. The Chicago Tentet.2006, Tarfala, Maya Recordings MCD0801. Guy/Gustafsson/Strid.2006, Beirut-Ystad, Olof Bright OBCD 16-17.2006, American landscapes 2, Okka disk OD12068. The Chicago Tentet.2006, American landscapes 1, Okka disk OD12067. The Chicago Tentet.2006, Devil’s last call, Ninth World Music NWM 042. Torden Kvartetten2006, Only the devil has no dreams Jazzwerkstatt JW013. Sonore.2006, Free The Jazz Free The Jazz Discs FREE#1. Eric Oscarsson and the Perspectives.2005, Plingeling/Plingaling, Olof Bright OBCD 12. Olle Bonniér.2005, Out to lunch, doubtmusic dmf-108. Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra.2005, ONJO, doubtmusic dms-102. Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra2005, Catapult, doubtmusic dms-103. Baritone sax solo.2005, Slide, Firework Editions FER 1054. Solo on the slide saxophone.2004, Critical mass, psi 05.06. Agustí Fernández/Mats Gustafsson.2004, Oort-Entropy, Intakt CD 101. Barry Guy New Orchestra.2004, Be music, night, Okka disk OD12059. The Chicago Tentet featuring Mike Pearson. Also issued on Jazzwerkstatt JW 002.2004, 13 Erindringer fra Hr. Grøns liv, Ninth World Music NWM 035. Torden Kvartetten2004, Garage, Smalltown Superjazzz STS078CD. The Thing.2003, Blues, Atavistic ALP163CD. Gustafsson/Stackenäs.2003, Norrköping, Atavistic ALP161CD. Gush.2003, Live at Blå, Smalltown Superjazzz STSJ099CD. The Thing.2003, No one ever works alone, Okka disk OD12053. Sonore.2002/2003, Signs, Okka disk OD12048. The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.2002/2003, Images, Okka disk OD12047. The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.2002, Off-road, Blue Chopsticks BC11. Duo with David Grubbs.2002, The Zanzibar excursion, STIM/SAMI. A promotional 32-minute DVD for DJustable.2002, Friend of the bumblebee, Rönnells/Håll Tjäften TJÄFT 002.2002, Trees and truths, Olof Bright OBEP 6, 7, 8. Håkan Blomkvist/Mats Gustafsson.2002, Chicago 2002, Emanem 4082. Paul Rutherford.2001, The music of Norman Howard, Anagram Records ANA LP 001. School Days and The Thing2001, I love it when you snore, Smalltown Supersound STS063CD. Duo with Paal Nilssen-Love.2000/2001, Look at the music, Olof Bright OBCD09. Two track on compilation CD.2000, Two lightboxes, Locust 53. The Peter Brötzmann Tentet Plus Two + The Come Sunday Ensemble.2000, Short visit to nowhere, Okka disk OD12044. The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet Plus Two.2000, Hidros 3, Smalltown Supersound STS080CD. Mats Gustafsson/Sonic Youth with Friends.2000, Broken English, Okka disk OD12043. The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet Plus Two.2000, Inscape – Tableaux, Intakt CD 066. Barry Guy New Orchestra.2000, I wonder if I was screaming, Crazy Wisdom 003. AALY Trio with Ken Vandermark.2000, The Thing, Crazy Wisdom 001. Trio with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love.1999, Sounds 99, Blue Tower Records BTCD 09/10/11.1999, Port Huron picnic, Spool SPL 110/LINE 10. Trio with Kurt Newman and Mike Gennaro.1999, Windows: the music of Steve Lacy, Blue Chopsticks BC4. Solo.1999, Xylophonen virtuosen, Incus CD38. Duo with Jim O’Rourke1999, Sticky tongues and kitchen knives, XERIC XER-CD-101. Duo with John Corbett.1999, Double or nothing, Okka disk OD12035. AALY Trio/DKV Trio.1999, Stone/Water, Okka disk OD12032. The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet.1999, Three rocks and a pine, Ninth World Music NWM 020. With The Wild Mans Band.1999, Live at the Glenn Miller Café, Wobbly Rail WOB-008. AALY Trio + Ken Vandermark.1999, They were gentle and pretty pigs, The Beak Doctor BD7. Goodman/Gustafsson/Cremaschi.1998, Apertura, Blue Chopsticks BC2. Duo with David Grubbs.1998, * water writes always in * plural, Concepts of doing 004. Vario 34-2.1998, Background music, hatOLOGY 526. Gregorio/Gustafsson/Nordeson.1998, 98 Duets, Wobbly Rail WOB004. Two duos with Jeb Bishop.1998, Stumble, Wobbly Rail WOB-002. AALY Trio + Ken Vandermark.1997/98, Three concerts per a A.T., Edition Explico 08. Three tracks with Christmann/Lovens.1997, Hidros one (1997), Caprice 21566.1997, One to (two)…, Okka Disk ODL 10002. Gustafsson/Christmann duo.1997, The Chicago Octet/Tentet, Okka disk OD12022. Peter Brötzmann.1997, Frogging, Maya MCD 9702. Duo with Barry Guy.1997, Live in Holland ’97, X-OR FR 5. With Misha Mengelberg and Gert-Jan Prins.1997, Lennart, Blue Tower Records BTCDS 51. Two slices of acoustic car.1996, Electric eel, QBICO 30. Gush.1996, Concert in Berlin 1996, Wobbly Rail WOB007. Georg Gräwe Quintet.1996, Hidden in the stomach, Silkheart 149. Aaly Trio + Ken Vandermark.1996, Impropositions, Phono Suecia PSCD 99. Enhanced CD.1996, Live in Tampere, Dragon DRCD 327. Gush.1996, Live at Fasching, Dragon DRCD 313. Gush.1996, Improvisors, Kontrans 143. With Jaap Blonk and Michael Zerang.1996, Battuto, Random Acoustics RA 023. Gustafsson, Lonberg-Holm, Kapsalis, Corbett.1996, gryffgryffgryffs, Music & Arts CD-1003. Guy, Gustafsson, Strid, Crispell.1996, Upgrade and afterlife, Drag City DC90CD. Gastr del sol.1996, Opus apus, LJCD 5212. Jormin/Gustafsson/Jormin.1994/96, The spirit of milvus milvus, Rub-a-Dub CD14. Christer Bothen.1995, Nickelsdorf Konfrontation, Silkheart 143. Joel Futterman-Kidd Jordan Quintet.1995, The education of Lars Jerry, XERIC XER-CD-100. Solo.1995, For Don Cherry, Okka Disk ODL 10003. Gustafsson/Hamid Drake duo.1995, Blow horn, Okka Disk OD 12019. FJF.1994/1995, You forget to answer, Maya MCD 9601. With Barry Guy and Raymond Strid.1988/94, Of if – best of Improvised Friday, Blue Tower BTCD 05. Forthcoming.1994, Gushwachs, Bead CD002. Gush and Phil Wachsmann.1994, Parrot fish eye, Okka Disk 12006.1993, Vario-34, Edition Explico exp 05/Blue Tower Records BTCD 06.1991/1992, Sometimes crosswise, Moers 02094 CD. Günter Christmann.1992, Mouth eating trees and related activities, Okka Disk OD12010. Gustafsson/Guy/Lovens.1992, Letter 4, Leo CD LR190. Duo with Sainkho Namchylak.1991, Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins, Dragon DRCD 215. Per Henrick Wallin.1990/1991, Nothing to read, Blue Tower BRCD03.1990, From things to sounds, Dragon DRCD 204. Gush1990, Try me, Blue Tower BTSHH 50. The Try me ensemble.1989, The Aerial no. 6, AER 1994/6. Duo with Ricardo Dal Farra.1989, Sounds: Contemporary Swedish improvised music, Blue Tower records BTLP 01/02. Includes two tracks from ‘Two slices of electric car’.1989, Tjo och tjim, Dragon DRLP192. Gush and Sven-Åke Johansson.1988, Saw, Radium 046. The too much too soon orchestra.1988, Now or never, Bauta Rec BAR 8803. Sten Sandell.
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 16:18 (six years ago) Permalink
1999, Xylophonen virtuosen, Incus CD38. Duo with Jim O’Rourke
have always loved this one - lots of 'junk' sounds and noises, rather than the usual fire music tunage
― Ward Fowler, Friday, 6 January 2012 16:24 (six years ago) Permalink
good lord that is a lot of records! thread title does not lie. i really dig that south bank thing, so i need to explore more.
― tylerw, Friday, 6 January 2012 16:25 (six years ago) Permalink
that's exactly why i started this thread! if you like that, you will like a lot of his other stuff
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 16:29 (six years ago) Permalink
i think the logical place to start is THE THING but i may be biased
I have been enjoying I Love It When You Snore, which is just him and Paal Nilssen-Love playing rather quietly and percussively (as opposed to the assault honking)
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 16:31 (six years ago) Permalink
"tonal belligerence" made me lol. I love this guy's work and his energy and invention as a soloist. I've seen him a couple of times with the Brötzmann Tentet+, and have a few of these discs.
― Steamtable Willie (WmC), Friday, 6 January 2012 16:35 (six years ago) Permalink
Can also recommend:
2003, Live at Blå, Smalltown Superjazzz STSJ099CD. The Thing.2004, Garage, Smalltown Superjazzz STS078CD. The Thing.
And anything with the Chicago Tentet if you like large ensembles.
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 20:16 (six years ago) Permalink
saw him in '95 in Chicago, pretty mindblowing to young me
― unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 6 January 2012 20:21 (six years ago) Permalink
Seen him loads of times here in Vienna, am seeing him tomorrow night in fact
The Thing are indeed great, also dig his work with Vandermark and Brötzmann as Sonore
for those who are scared of jazz, the two Fire! LPs are essential, the latter with Jim O'Rourke.
― ban this sick stunt (anagram), Friday, 6 January 2012 21:00 (six years ago) Permalink
This dude used to play Chicago all the time, often with O'Rourke, and between them they were responsible for some of the most embarrassing, indulgent improv shows I've ever seen (including one where Mats was doing sub-Zorn improv with a mouthpiece and O'Rourke, playing accordion, walked out of the club and never came back). But I've seen Mats be awesome, too.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:18 (six years ago) Permalink
Like in the Tentet, who were (are?) mind-blowing.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:20 (six years ago) Permalink
did he walk out because it was sucking?
― sarahel, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:21 (six years ago) Permalink
i have def been to shows where it feels like they're practicing on stage in front of the audience, that is not desirablealways chalked it up to lack of chemistry?
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:24 (six years ago) Permalink
chemistry is only part of it -- there are a lot of factors, and there are a lot of techniques that improvising musicians employ to mitigate those factors.
― sarahel, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:28 (six years ago) Permalink
like having a terrible attitude or being a stage-leaving baby hehe
― La Lechera, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:31 (six years ago) Permalink
oh no - i mean, i have been at improv shows that have sucked, and one of the musicians leaving mid-set was the best decision possible.
― sarahel, Friday, 6 January 2012 21:32 (six years ago) Permalink
xpost No, O'Rourke was just in whimsy mode. Doodle doo, I'll play my accordion and walk around the place. Oh, look, he walked right out! Ha, very funny. Oh, he's not coming back? That's OK, he was droning along on the accordion. Har.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 6 January 2012 22:06 (six years ago) Permalink
From when he played with The Ex here in Glasgow back in January 2010...
I also saw him last year with The Thing and then with Fire!, but have still not processed those photos yet, sadly.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 6 January 2012 22:45 (six years ago) Permalink
Have only heard Mouth Eating Trees, Nothing To Read, Parrot Fish Eye, and From Things To Sounds. MET is one of the most amazing records of anything I've ever heard ever. Can't recommend it enough. NTR is almost as good (two of the three MET participants) -- Paul Lovens is a favorite of mine, and he and Mats work incomprehensibly brilliantly together. PFE was a bit of a disappointment; I'm not a fan of what is sometimes derisively referred to as "insect music," although Gene Coleman tries to add a little depth. FTTS is great, particularly the drummer, Raymond Strid.
― Let A Man Come In And Do The Cop Porn (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 7 January 2012 00:58 (six years ago) Permalink
"1999, Windows: the music of Steve Lacy, Blue Chopsticks BC4. Solo"^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^this one is gorgeous
― bear, bear, bear, Saturday, 7 January 2012 01:32 (six years ago) Permalink
Currently listening to Catapult (solo baritone sax) and it is super weird.
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:01 (six years ago) Permalink
2005, Catapult, doubtmusic dms-103. Baritone sax solo.
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:02 (six years ago) Permalink
yeah I wasn't too keen on the solo LP he did for Dancing Wayang a year or so ago.
― ban this sick stunt (anagram), Friday, 24 February 2012 09:22 (six years ago) Permalink
At the risk of seeming like a shameless self-publicist, I wrote a primer of sorts to the world of Mats and The Thing last year that may be of interest. I concentrated on stuff from the last decade or so that is readily available. I'm not really familiar with his Chicago-era stuff, although For Don Cherry with Hamid Drake is a great live recording, going from really quiet and intense moments to free-bop. I'll check out the stuff mentioned above though.
I've never been disappointed with Gustafsson live, whether it's with The Thing, The Ex or other outfits. A fantastic player, hugely inventive, gutsy and subtle when he wants to be!
Really keen to hear that new album on Terry Ex's Terp label: MG, Paal Nilsson Love and krar player Mesele Asmamaw kicking out the jams in an Ethopian hotel room. http://www.theliminal.co.uk/2012/02/mats-gustafsson-paal-nilssen-love-mesele-asmamaw-baro-101/
― Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. (Stew), Friday, 24 February 2012 15:31 (six years ago) Permalink
Oooh, Ethiopian jams sound great. Thanks!
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Friday, 24 February 2012 15:41 (six years ago) Permalink
― Valéry Giscard d'Staind (NickB), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:29 (six years ago) Permalink
The Cherry Thing tracklisting:
01 Cashback (Neneh Cherry)02 Dream Baby Dream (Suicide)03 Too Tough to Die (Martina Topley-Bird)04 Sudden Movement (Mats Gustafsson)05 Accordion (MF Doom)06 Golden Heart (Don Cherry)07 Dirt (The Stooges)08 What Reason (Ornette Coleman)
― Valéry Giscard d'Staind (NickB), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:30 (six years ago) Permalink
this collab is not new, they first played together a year ago. looking forward to seeing them live in any event, and to hearing the album of course.
also, I don't know who is in this picture with her, but it sure isn't The Thing.
― my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:41 (six years ago) Permalink
that sounds super cool!
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:48 (six years ago) Permalink
Awesome, can't wait to hear it, also I guess there a new Thing record called "Mono"? I haven't come across it yet
I saw them in Chicago in 2006 (I think?) completely fantastic, one of my favorite bands
― chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:43 (six years ago) Permalink
yeah Mono is the most recent studio album, came out last year
― my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:50 (six years ago) Permalink
That's not even Neneh in that picture is it? The bloke on the right is Jack Bruce though. Live clip of them doing MF Doom's Accordian sounds pretty great. http://youtu.be/pbggxxf_7wQ
Further to my post of a few weeks back, the album with Mesele Asmamaw is terrific. Asmamaw does some wild stuff with his krak, particularly when he runs it through a wah.
― Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. (Stew), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 23:19 (six years ago) Permalink
Krar, not krak. Unintentional double entendre there.
― Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. (Stew), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 23:20 (six years ago) Permalink
This is not one of Mats Gustafson's records but it is the one video I could find from his Big Ears 2018 duo with Kieran Hebden/Four Tet. I enjoyed the hell out of it and when he wasn't playing MG made some of the most diabolical facial expressions I've seen a human make.
I just remembered to look it up and this video only has 114 views. Criminal!
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:29 (four months ago) Permalink
I've almost certainly seen this guy play more times in the last 10 years than any other musician* - and I still don't own anything with him on it, in spite of the fact that he's great. (*apart from John Edwards, the bassist, I feel like I see him playing every time I go to a gig).
― We can be herpes (Tom D.), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 17:25 (four months ago) Permalink
The newish Fire! record (like just about all the other Fire! records) is pretty awesome...an almost stoner free-jazz? Basically a thundering power trio with Gustafsson filling the guitar role on sax. Great stuff.
― chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 19:54 (four months ago) Permalink
agreethat lineup is always enjoyable. the one i know best is with jim o'rourkethe song titles are something else https://www.discogs.com/Fire-With-Jim-O-Rourke-Unreleased/master/347570
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 20:38 (four months ago) Permalink
that latest Fire! lp is pretty fab in it's own grindingly grim manner, a soundtrack to a shit summer with serious vit d deficiency issues!
― calzino, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 21:01 (four months ago) Permalink
this appears to be the most updated discography fwiw http://www.restructures.net/Gustafsson/Mats_disco_home.htm
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 21:07 (four months ago) Permalink
and it's still not fully updated-- last updated July 2013
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 13 June 2018 21:09 (four months ago) Permalink
love his philosophy <3 good interview
To build your own language is an amazing journey to take. To build it up, to learn, to make the research. It never ends. ALL tools are good – as long as you make the knowledge yours. To copy is just a tool among others. We are free to use ANY elements from ANY source available and transform it. In some cases, you need to go really deep into certain music and languages. To really understand. All knowledge is good.That is beautiful.
― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 24 August 2018 17:34 (one month ago) Permalink
just been blasting out the 2016 Fire! album She Sleeps... it's pretty damn good as well! I find the Fire! Orchestra big band projects quite terrible and unlistenable tbh, but as a trio they burn very brightly.
― calzino, Friday, 24 August 2018 21:58 (one month ago) Permalink
Oh, I disagree. The first Fire! Orchestra album was great - reminded me of Burnt Sugar a lot.
― grawlix (unperson), Friday, 24 August 2018 22:07 (one month ago) Permalink
maybe I need another listen, but last time I hated it.
― calzino, Friday, 24 August 2018 22:08 (one month ago) Permalink