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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Boots Brown - Boots Brown (Slottet, 2007) ****

Swedish band "Boots Brown" consists of some of the country's key jazz figures : Mats Gustafsson on sax, Magnus Broo on trumpet, David Stackenäs on guitar, Johan Bertling on bass, accompanied by Tomas Hallonsten on organ on one track. When I heard their debut record for the first time, I was a little taken aback by the apparent emptiness, the lack of melodic evolution and structure. To its immediate strength, it had an immediacy, intimacy and fragility which were compelling. The music is pointillistic, with specks of sound reacting to one another, like random dots of paint splashed on a canvas, meaningless by themselves, but once you see them in the overall frame, with some distance, and familiarization, an overall picture emerges. More experimental jazz than free jazz, with repeated listens, the album's musical vision and creative use of sound texture and coordinated free interplay become more and more appealing. In sum, a very open exercise, very gentle, at moments sad, at moments joyful. A rare treat.

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