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Lars-Göran Ulander Trio - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG Newsletter

Featuring Lars-Goran Ulander on alto sax, Palle Danielsson on contrabass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. I can't say that I was familiar with the leader, Lars-Goran Ulander, before this, although the enclosed booklet lists some 17 previous releases, recording with Phil Minton (1969) and Per Henrik Wallin ('75-'77).
The bassist, Palle Danielsson, has recorded on dozens of albums for ECM for more than thirty years. Their drummer, Paal Nilssen Love, is probably the most in-demand drummer to emerge from Scandinavia in the past decade, having worked with The Scorch Trio, with Mats Gustafsson in The Thing as well as with Frode Gjerstad.
This treasure was recorded live at The Glenn Miller Cafe in August of 2004. Starting with "Tabula Rasa G.M.C.", the bass and drums, slowly take off before the sax finally enters and trio begin ascending together, slowly and then more quickly as they evolve together. Considering that this all-star trio was playing for the very first time at this set, with just one short rehearsal prior, they sound pretty well tightly knit.
On "Intrinsic Structure 1", the sax and bass lay back and slowly build from a somber beginning, growing more intensely as they fly, the drums pushing harder as they finally erupt. The one cover here is Mingus' "What Love", which gets a warm, rich and enchanting version. Palle's amazing bass playing is featured and at the center of the storm here, strumming and plucking dynamically. Lars' alto playing sails and moves in streams of notes, quite Dolphy-like in his swagger and tone.
This is a most impressive and well-balanced trio in which each player is integral in the overall sound and performance.