Somnambule - Writing About Music

The Thing ~ Live At Blå

The Thing have blown a breath of fresh air into the generally rather ascetic world of free jazz by alternating their own originals with covers of contemporary rock songs. Whatever the source material, their music is forged with a disarming sense of intense energy. The endearingly unselfconscious cover photograph of the trio laughing helplessly leads one to expect more of the same. Instead, Live At Blå sees Gustafsson, Flaten and Nilssen-Love delivering two lengthy slabs of music recorded at Oslo’s premiere jazz club. Said music comprises six covers of compositions by the likes of Joe McPhee, Don Cherry and David Murray. Although these musicians are always worth hearing, the recording sounds uncomfortably like it was made from the audience and lacks the clarity or sense of perspective that would make this music truly enjoyable. Better to experience The Thing’s floor shaking power live or on their other releases.
Colin Buttimer
August 2005
Published by Jazzwise magazine