FIRE! — Fire! Orchestra : Exit! (review)

FIRE! — Fire! Orchestra : Exit! album cover Album · 2013 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
snobb
Swedish sax player Mats Gustafsson is a household name in the local alternative scene, and his countless projects represent a wide range of jazz-related alternative music from the scratchy punk-jazz of The Thing, to "out" solo improvs and free-form duos with English bassist Barry Guy, as well as others. Last year (2012), when his Norwegian-Swedish trio The Thing released an album with r'n'b/hip hop vocalist and Don Cherry step-daughter Nenah Cherry, it almost sounded like a joke - but only on the first spin. Catchy RnB songs supported by a rocking/free-jazz trio were strange, but an attractive mix which received good media and listener attention.

All of that looked like a one-night adventure until the end of this January when Mats continued the same concept of adding guests to his groups, but with a much more ambitious project. Using his other trio - the all-Swedish Fire!, he formed a 30-piece Fire! Orchestra adding 5 vocalists, 10 reed players, 4 guitarists, 3 drummers, 3 bassists, plus a keyboardist and electronics wizard to the original trio's line-up! Based on the ritualistic lyrics written by Dutch avant-garde rock musician Arnold de Boer, Orchestra recorded a two part suite with chant vocals from Mariam Wallentin (of Swedish experimental duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums) and Ethiopian-Swedish soprano Sofia Jernberg.

By its concept, Exit! could be compared with Carla Bley's "Escalator Over The Hill", Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra or Keith Tippet's Centipede - but transferred to the XXI century. From the very first seconds the listener will be caught by industrial rock pulsations orchestrated by a mind-blowing reeds section and exceptional vocals. The Cherry Thing sounds like a childish rehearsal compared to Exit!'s monumental beauty. With support from leading Swedish jazz and avant-garde rock musicians such as guitarist David Stackenas, bassist Dan Beglund (ex E.S.T., Tonbruket), reeds players Fredrik Ljungkvist (Atomic) and Magnus Broo (Atomic, Angles) as well as others, this work represents the entire modern experimental Swedish scene at its best. Avant-garde free-jazz/rock big band with operatic vocals and contemporary classical music elements played live in front of an enthusiastic audience - you just have to hear it!

It's a pity the album is so short, just around 45 minutes. Mats is known as a passionate vinyl record collector, probably it's the reason why his albums are usually just vinyl disc-long.

Highly recommended - I believe this album will take an honorable place among this year's best releases.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Breathe: Night Sessions Jazz Related RnB
KRIS BROWNLEE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Summer Breeze Jazz Related RnB
CURTIS HAYWOOD
Buy this album from MMA partners
I Never Knew Swing
JOHN COLIANNI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Hybrid Roots Eclectic Fusion
TRI4TH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Fred Lonberg-Holm / Simon Camatta : crazy notions Avant-Garde Jazz
FRED LONBERG-HOLM
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

I Never Knew
JOHN COLIANNI
js· 1 day ago
First Things First
ANDREW GOULD
js· 1 day ago
Bluer Than You Think - Cowboys and Frenchmen
COWBOYS AND FRENCHMEN
js· 1 day ago
Emerald Crescent
PHIL PARISOT
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us