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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Exploding Customer - At Your Service (Ayler Records, 2007) ***½

This is the third album by the Swedish band Exploding Customer on the Ayler Records label, and the first one which is recorded in the studio, which is too bad, because with the kind of music they play, this is a real live band, where the interaction with the audience must be immediate and reinforcing to the players. Nevertheless, their soulful funky approach to free jazz is still invigorating enough, but at the end of each track I'm surprised not to hear any applause. The band consists of Martin Küchen on alto and tenor, Tomas Hallonsten on trumpet, Benjamin Quigley on bass and Kjell Nordeson on drums. And their music is fun, lively, clever, and well-played. This is not boundary-shifting jazz, but you will enjoy it from beginning to end, because of the great compositions, the great interplay, the variation in the music, the fun and the funk, yet the heart and the mind are not forgotten either, the album contains its slower more introspective moments too, such as the long and beautiful "The Supply And Demand Of Love And Hate", and they even finish the album with Charlie Haden's moving piece, "Els Segadors". For those who like skillful funky free bop without pretence.

Can be ordered at Ayler