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The Thing: The Great Scandinavian Power Trio US/Canadian Tour - May 2009

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By Lloyd Peterson

Only once in a great while does a group of musicians come along with an inherent discipline that dares to question the realm between the known and the unknown. Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love of the Scandinavian Power Trio, “The Thing," provide a language so determined in its musical complexity, boundaries literally and figuratively disappear.

This doesn't mean that these brilliant musicians do not respect what came before them, far from it. What it means is that their personal language is of such a progressive and impassioned approach, “style" cannot identify nor capture their ingenious and daring creative sensibilities. They have an unusual sense of artistic self awareness with a commitment that is a total expression of honesty and truth. It's a place greater than self, a place without prejudice, and a place of sacrifice where freedom in artistic values is worth fighting for.

Each one of these extraordinary musicians has redefined their own given instrument with an exceptional ability to transform life into art with burning clarity. Their music is one of mystery, yet hides no secrets. There is the suggestion of a “search," yet there are no questions to answer. In truth, it is a creative universe of intense conviction where sacrifices are made, lives are given but where few understand what this means. Gustafsson, Haker-Flaten and Nilssen-Love have made the decision to give that sacrifice. In my book, there is no creative faith greater than that.

If interested, you can catch a rare performance of “The Thing at the following dates and locations:

  • 4/29/09: PORTLAND, OR Backspace 115 NW 5th Ave, 503.248.2900
  • 4/30/09: SEATTLE, WA 8.00pm @ Poncho Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, Kerry Hall, 710 E Roy Street, (206) 547-6763
  • 5/01/09: VANCOUVER,BC 8.00pm @ Ironworks,235 Alexander St, 604-681-5033
  • 5/02/09:EDMONTON, AL 9.00pm @ Yardbird Suite, 11 Tommy Banks Way, 780-432-0428
  • 5/03/09:WINNIPEG,MB 7.30pm @ The Royal Albert Arms Hotel, 48 Albert Street
  • 5/04/09: TORONTO, ON 10PM@TRANZAC, 292 Brunswick Avenue, 416-923-8137
  • 5/05/09: TORONTO, ON TBA
  • 5/06/09: MONTREAL, QC Sala Rossa, 4848 St-Laurent, Montreal


You can also catch the amazing band “ONOFFON" featuring Paal Nilssen-Love with Massimo Pupillo on electric bass and Terrie Ex on electric guitar at the following dates:

  • 5/09/09: NEW YORK, NY The Studio at Webster Hall 125 E. 11th St.
  • 5/10/09: PHILADELPHIA, PA Johnny Brenda's 1201 Frankford Avenue
  • 5/11/09: PITTSBURGH, PA Garfield Artworks 4931 Penn Avenue
  • 5/12/09: LEXINGTON, KY Hop Hop (800 N. Limestone
  • 5/13/09: CHICAGO, IL 9.00pm @ The Hide Out, 1354 West Wabansia, 773-227-4433
  • 5/14/09: DETROIT, MI The Old Miami 3930 Cass Ave 48201
  • 5/15/09: TORONTO, ON Studio 6, 6 Nassau
  • 5/16/09: Sala Rosa, MONTREAL, QC
  • 5/19/09: Cafe MONO, Oslo, NO
  • 5/20/09: Nattjazz, Bergen, NO


The Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, perhaps today's greatest arts ensemble will also be performing at the following:

  • 5/22/09: Community Hall, Rudersdorf, Austria
  • 5/23/09: Porgy & Bess, Vienna, AU
  • 5/24/09: Manga, Krakow, PL
  • 5/26/09: KAB/Cave 12, Geneve, SW
  • 5/27/09: Singhel Antwerp, BE
  • 5/28/09: TBA
  • 5/30/09: Stadtwerkstatt, Linz, Austria

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