Torben Snekkestad (NO) – saxophone/trumpet
Agustí Fernández (ES) – piano
Barry Guy (UK) – double bass
An exciting international trio initiated by an active force in Scandinavian improv; saxophone wizard Torben Snekkestad. Here, he is flanked by two esteemed international capacities in the field of free improvised music – the Spanish pianist Agustí Fernández and the British double bass player Barry Guy. The three of them have been working with each other in different constellations during the last decade (i.e., Barry Guy ́s Blue Shroud Band) but a concert at Copenhagen Jazzfestival in 2017 marked the real beginning of this iconoclastic trio project.
The music they create together is situated somewhere between free improvisation, free jazz, and contemporary classical music and executed with lightning fast interaction and explorative innovative sounds and textures. Each in this trio has a singular technique, creativity and total commitment to their art.
”…this album´s not just a wall of one, two, three go! Blare; there´s a real subtlety here, with exploration of small melodic cells creating genuine suspense. In improvised music, making people wonder what´s happen next rather than how much longer is a real achievement”.
The Wire – Julian Cowley,
“Snekkestad, Guy and Fernández are masters of the art free-improvisation, free and highly creative spirits who refuse to subscribe to binding musical legacies, genres or styles….The communication between these highly creative masters is super fast but remarkably deep. The music moves and explores simultaneously different dimensions – surprising and innovative sounds, singular extended techniques and fascinating textures” salt-peanuts.eu – Eyal Hareuveni
“Three musicians who have a really great way of improvising together – sounds that almost make you feel like one player tripped, and the other two decided to follow – falling through sonic space with all these happy accidents in music – yet somehow making complete sense as they move along the course of the album! ” Dusty Groove
All three musicians manage to create an independent and expressive melody line, bright dynamic rhythmic line, gorgeous background and innovative instrumentation. Their music is surprising and driving, a mix of modern and experimental jazz styles gently brought together. Avantscena
Torben Snekkested saxophone improvisations are full of unpredictable stylistic waves, sudden turns, huge variety of musical expressions and playing techniques. His improvisations have rich, bright and evocative sound, are based on free form and individual melodies, which are highly contrasting with other instruments. Wild fast arpeggios, rapid and extremely active passages, powerful, turbulent, sharp and aggressive blow outs, aggressive and provocative sounds, expressive and dramatic melodies, vivacious, touching and striking solos and fascinating musical experiments – all these elements are gently combined together in one place. Saxophone improvisations are filled with bright, extremely expressive, vivacious, dynamic and touching sound, which effect whole sound of the improvisations…….
The trio is extremely focused and balanced just right. Starting off quietly and spaciously, the trio slowly combine forces and build in intensity. Mr. Snekkestad switches between several reeds & trumpet, selectively weaving his playing with the diverse piano and bass interplay. Both Mr. Guy and Mr. Fernanez are well-matched, with Mr. Guy exploring by banging on the strings with objects and Fernandez scrapping the strings inside the piano. Mr. Snekkestad sounds somewhat like Evan Parker when he plays soprano, spinning out notes furiously before settling down to a more minimal web. There is a section midway where Mr. Fernandez erupts and plays some of that Keith Tippett-like intensity pushing the other two players into the stratosphere! This disc is high-end improv at it very best! – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG “A beautiful, moving concert, a real mastery!”
On this release, the trio lose none of the intensity previously kindled by Snekkestad and Guy; if anything, the fire is stoked, the coals are prodded, and the improvisations whip out wilder and further than before…… Snekkestad, Fernández, and Guy make music that is uncompromisingly bleak, and there is a little in the way of a melodic “thread” to grasp onto. Nevertheless, for those who are drawn to this kind of raw, unfettered interplay, Louisiana Variations is likely to be a treat. These three players are masters at carving out a sonic space (and then filling that space with all manner of tonal and timbral mutations). It’s an adventurous release from an adventurous trio of improvisers – what more could you ask for?