Japan

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This little track comes from a concert in Moscow that we did in December. A new CD “Russian Standard” will be released on NotTwo records in May.

In May, the trio will go to Japan for the very first time. I am looking forward to see what that will be like. We hope to bring along our new CD from a concert we did in Moscow in December, called “Russian Standard”.

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These the gigs are booked:

20th Big Apple, Kobe
21st Life Time, Miyasaki
22nd New Combo, Fukuoka
23rd Valentine Drive, Nagoya
24th Candy Jazzspot, Chiba
25th Superdeluxe, Tokyo
26th Dolphy, Yokohama

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Bradford/Gjerstad Quartet

 

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Photo: Marek Lazarski

This is a bit from our concert in Buffalo

The band:

Bobby Bradford, cornet,  Frode Gjerstad, alto saxophone, clarinet, Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, acoustic bass, Frank Rosaly, drums

I am very pleased to say we are going to do a little US tour with Bobby, who will be 80 later this year. He did not want to call it an anniversary tour, but I guess, that´s what it is…

This quartet has not been working together before, but Ingebrigt, Bobby and I plus Paal Nilssen-Love have. We even made some recordings together. This time Paal was busy and Ingebrigt suggested Frank. I have heard him a few times and I am very much looking forward to playing with him!

I have known Bobby since 1986 when we first met and played together in England. It was us plus Johnny Dyani on bass and John Stevens on drums.

We toured around the south of England and made a couple of LP´s and a CD while we were together. The CD “In Time Was” is a concert performance from The Bracknell Jazz Festival. I still have great fun listening to that record! I was playing tenor at the time and when I got back, I visited Oslo and then my tenor plus my Otto Link No 10 mouthpiece was stolen. I played several tenors but the biggest problem was the mouthpiece.  My sound was gone!

So after about 3 years of searching I was very frustrated and I gave up. Then I found an old Martin alto, which I still play. That was much more fun than trying to find my past!

I also remember the first night I played together with Bobby: it was in a bar in London somewhere and I was so nervous, my legs were shaking! But when we started playing, it was fine.

A few months later, unfortunately Johnny Dynai died. I remember seeing him smiling and waiving his hand when he left the Plough in Stockwell, London, after our final gig. What a great bass player he was!

After 1986, Bobby came to England several times and we had Kent Carter and Paul Rogers playing bass with us.

And then in 2008 I had a new version of my Circulasione Totale Orchestra with Bobby included. When we played the Molde Jazzfestival that year, we were also asked to do a quartet with Bobby and that´s when we made the “Reknes” CD.

When Bobby heard we were going to play the Victory Grill in Austin, he said that´s the place he first saw Ornette Coleman!

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el nicho Aural – Mexico city

Sitting in the airport ready to go home after 3 nights in this wonderful city. I have met many musicians new to me and I have heard some very interesting sounds.

I played a trio concert Saturday with drummer Eli Ketzler from NY and bassist Itzam Cano from Mexico city. Both excellent. Then I did a solo on Sunday and later a duo with guitarist  Fernando Vigueras. Also excellent!

New people. New sounds.

Walking around Mexico city was very interesting. Nice old houses which almost bursted with historic information.

Thanks to all who made this trip possible.

Contra bass clarinet

When I was in London in December with my trio, I brought my bass clarinet. Because it´s a deep C clarinet, the lower part is quite long and I always travel with the lower part in a plastic tube – over my shoulder. The rest is inside my trolly bag along with the alto sax and Bb clarinet. When I got to London I had to see someone and after that was over, I got a cab and drove to the Vortex club where we were going to play. But when leaving the taxi, he stopped at a very difficult place with lots of traffic and when I got out, asked for a receipt and took my suitcase and trolly bag out of the cab, I forgot the lower part of the bass clarinet inside the cab.  It took me awhile to discover, but when I called the company, the driver in the end said he had not found anything!

So I lost it. I thought that was a sign of stopping to fool around with the bass clarinet. So I did not bother to look for another horn. But then I discovered someone was selling a contra bass clarinet nearby where I live. I went by and tried one – he had several –  and was chocked to hear and feel the sound. However, he was asking for more money than I have available for this kind of thing. So the next day I looked at eBay, and someone had one for sale in Seattle! I thought that was another sign!

My son and I were going to New York for a visit, so I bought the horn, had it shipped to New York, where I picked it up at a friends house.

When I got home, I had it looked over and adjusted and now it plays very well and fits nicely in a flight case that I sometimes used for my old bass clarinet pluss Bb clarinet.

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So now I am ready to go with my new contra. And what an amazing sound!!!!

Frode Gjerstad Trio

• Paal Nilssen-Love, drums

• Jon Rune Strøm, bass

• Frode Gjerstad, clarinets, alto sax

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After two decades of trios with various international musicians, this is Frode Gjerstads first all-Norwegian trio. And it is a significant move towards a Nordic improvised sound. In the past, he has played in trios with Hamid Drake, William Parker, John Stevens, Johnny Dyani, Kent Carter, Wilber Morris and Rashid Bakr, John Edwards and Mark Sanders.

This trio has made 8 recordings so far: “Last First” on the US label, Falcata-Galica. A studio-recording from November -99 when the group was quite fresh. Then came a live recording from September 2000 in Oslo, “The Blessing Light” on Cadence Jazz Records. This CD is dedicated to the late British drummer, John Stevens. “Sharp knives cut deeper” with Peter Brøtzmann on the Italian label Splash came in-03, “St.Louis” is a live recording from our 2002 US tour that came out on FMR in -04 and in 2005 we recorded “mothers & fathers”. In 2007 we recorded “Nothing is forever” at a concert in Oslo. Then there is “MIR” recorded in 2010 at cafe MIR, Oslo. This was the first try out for the new trio. And the “East of West” was recorded in April 2011 and this is also our latest recording.

The trio has so far toured and/or played festivals in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Germany,  Slovenia, Kroatia, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, England, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, USA and Canada.

Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News:
This trio has a freshness which the big names in London and New York find it hard to muster these days.

Glenn Astarita, All about Jazz:
This band often performs with a distinct sense of spiritualism to coincide with an abundance of hearty soloing and curiously interesting three-way dialogue.

Paal Nilssen-Love first started playing with Frode Gjerstad when he was 15. Since then, he has become one of the most active musicians of the new generation in Norway. He has also played and recorded with international sax-players Mats Gustavsson, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark and many, many more! He is now traveling the world and also is a permanent member of the Brøtzmann Tentette.

Check out www.paalnilssenlove.com

Jon Rune Strøm now plays bass in the trio. We first played with him last September in Oslo at the MIR club. A CD form the gig will be out soon, called MIR. Then we did a tour in May with him. Before the tour, we rehearsed a couple of days and also recorded. So another CD is on it´s way “East of West”. I feel very excited playing with Jon Rune and I think we are moving into something else…

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Frode Gjerstad/Paal Nilssen-Love:  Duo

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Paal and I sometimes play as a duo as well. We did 13 concerts in the US and Canada in August -08.

Check out the video from Toronto on YouTube….

Circulasione Totale Orchestra

The Circulasione Totale Orchestra started in 1984 and the idea was to play with local musicians so I could try out compositions and also be a place for younger musicians to meet and to try to improvise. At that time I was playing with Johnny Mbizo Dyani and John Stevens in the group”DETAIL” and I felt it was important to bring on some of the things I learned from playing with them, to younger musicians.

The name of the band indicates that people will come and go and it was created ot of a night with some red wine and some quasi Italian language-ideas. A bit stupid, but at the same time a name which most people could understand the meaning of.

Over the years, many musicians have passed through – I think we have had 11 bassplayers….. We had two bassists most of the time and sometimes also 2 drummers banging along!. The band would be around 10 people and and in 1989 we played at the Molde Jazz festival with 13 people: 3 bassists, 2 drummers, percussion, guitar, keyboards, three horns, a DJ and a rapper. We used some of my songs and freely improvised of the rest. So the DJ and rapper who did a fantastic free-style rapping. People went crazy, dancing on the tables etc.  This version of the band was called CTO “Dancemble”. Unfortunately, I thought it was going to be a disaster, because the rehearsals were horrible, that I said no to the state radio to record the concert…..It would have been a very early example of  mixing free music and rapping.

We have made 7 CDs with various versions of the band:

  • ACCENT, (Stevens, Kleive etc. 10 musicians) Odin, Oslo-89
  • ENTEN ELLER, Circulasione Totale, Stavanger-93
  • Recycling Grieg. Circulasione Totale.Stavanger -96
  • Borealis,  Cadence, USA, -98
  • Open Port (12 piece international band) ) Circ. Totale, Stavanger -08
  • Bandwith. 3-CD box. Rune Gramofon, Oslo -09
  • PhilaOslo 2-CD. Circ. Totale, Stavanger -11

The last version of the band includes some of my musical friends from over the years

The line-up was:

  • Louis Moholo-Moholo, drums , South-Africa
  • Morten J. Olsen electronics, drums , N
  • Anders Hana el.guitar , N
  • Frode Gjerstad sax,clarinets , N
  • Nick Stephens acoustic bass, UK
  • Paal Nilssen-Love drums, N
  • Ingebrigt H. Flaten acoustic bass , N
  • Børre Mølstad tuba , N
  • Sabir Mateen, sax and clarinets, USA
  • Kevin Norton vibraphone , USA
  • Bobby Bradford, cornet , USA
  • Lasse Marhaug electronics, N
  • John Hegre, soundman, N

It is an acoustic-electric band. Which to me, means that there will be many influnces put together: some well known acoustic sounds and some sounds very far from the acoustic area. I have in the past mostly worked from an acoustic platform, but I am also looking for other musical avenues to explore and have worked with electronics.

In the CTO I would very much like all these influences to come together as one. And I need musicians who would bring their own identity to the table so we can cook a great meal together.

At the moment there is no band. I had to do all the work myself so I was worn out. It was too much.  

Maybe I will get a new band together at some point. We´ll see….

sax/clarinet player/improviser