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Anders Gahnold Trio - Flowers for Johnny

Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

A while back, reviewing …and William Danced, a superb studio encounter between Swedish altoist Gahnold and the extraordinary rhythm team of William Parker and Hamid Drake, I expressed a wish that Ayler's Jan Strom might unearth some of Gahnold's recordings with bassist Johnny Dyani and drummer Gilbert Matthews. Well, sometimes wishes are granted.

This release of a 67 minute live concert recorded at the 1983 Umeå Jazz Festival and a 33 minute set at Stockholm's Jazz Club Fasching two years later is great news for several reasons. Firstly, the artists featured here have recorded comparatively little, which is unfortunate in the case of Gahnold, a superb post-bop stylist with a strong tone and ideas to match, but nothing short of tragic in the case of South African-born Dyani, a bassist of monumental stature throughout a career that took off upon his arrival in England with the Blue Notes and continued until his death in October 1986.

Drummer Matthews is best known for his work with Chris McGregor's groups (his trio and the fabled Brotherhood of Breath), but on the strength of this he should be right up there with the aforementioned Drake in the Guild of Master Drummers.

With the exception of an infectiously foot-tapping "Summertime", all the material here is penned by Gahnold, who proves himself to be as able a composer as he is saxophonist, and thanks to Ayler Records' exclusive AYVI system, you can also access a fascinating collection of visual documents at the label's website by using the code printed on the discs themselves.

Go check it out - it seems pretty clear that Anders Gahnold is the best thing to come out of Swedish music between Abba and Mats Gustafsson.