Exploding Customer - At Tampere Jazz Happening

Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta

A demented Swedish quartet playing a live gig in Finland is now recorded for posterity in the form of Exploding Customer's second release "Live at Tampere Jazz Happening". Really, there isn't a better way to capture the energy of this band than in a live scenario. [This is in fact the second time a live performance was captured on their record.]

Saxophonist Martin Küchen founded the group back in 1999 and together with his cohorts - trumpeter Tomas Hallonsten, bassist Benjamin Quigley and drummer Kjell Nordeson - they make up wild, wickedly hilarious music. Sure, not everyone has the same sense of humour, while some have none at all, but to my ears, this music rocks with hilarious juxtapositions.

The rompous "Mr. BP(D)" is a joy to behold. Full of these call and response games between Küchen's alto and Hallonsten's wildly high-pitched trumpet calls, the piece reminds me of some better Sun Ra Arkestra's moments.
Further on, "The Crying Whip" offers a sombre tenor solo from Küchen, while Hallonsten's trumpet throws up gorgeous colours all around. A gorgeous piece it is, no matter what perspective you approach it from.
Rhythm section is tight and Nordeson's heavy-handed percussion blows remind me of Rashied Ali's approach near the end of his tenure with John Coltrane. Though the piece are all composed by Küchen, the music feels extremely free and sporadically chaotic.

Exploding Customer once again succeed in making intense and highly rewarding music of the highest order.