Label: Clean Feed, 2018
Personnel - Mia Dyberg: alto saxophone; Asger Thomsen: double bass; Dag Magnus Narvesen: drums.
Ticket!, an artful statement from Berlin-based Danish alto saxophonist Mia Dyberg makes an interesting entry into the chord-less free-jazz trio panorama. With the creative writings of William S. Burroughs as part of her inspiration, Dyberg drives melodically while the foundation is entrusted to fellow countrymen bassist Asger Thomsen and Norwegian drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen.
The title track, the first of six improvisations with concepts by Dyberg, opens the session with artifice-less spontaneity. The saxophonist interacts with the bassist before an athletic groove, reinforced with ebullient drumming, sustains motionless, multi-timbral long notes uttered with a punkish rebelliousness.
Thomsen penned three of the fourteen tracks, including “Party Its Vorbei”, a circular, lazy-paced ballad that integrates simple sax melodies and singing bass lines; and “Tropical”, which swings with a scruffy posture, regardless the quantity of melody thrown in by Dyberg. This melody actually diffuses a tropical flavor, like those Brazilian songs tweaked and twisted by tenor saxist Ivo Perelman in the early phase of his career. If she doesn’t explore so much timbre here, then she does it in collaboration with her music cohorts on “Chinese Laundry”, another conceptual improvisation.
The swing comes back on “Wil’s Swing” as its title suggests, only unorthodoxly at first. And then, there is this quick-witted entrance by Narvesen, who contributes to Dyberg’s bursts of energy with fast attacks and fidgety moves. The trio finishes it with rock-derived accents.
“Claws Out” is rampantly motivic and shudders with restless drumming, opposing to “Silversmoke”, where sparse bass motions meet kaleidoscopic cymbals and unhurried sax phrases declared with occasional air notes.
“The First Track” is by far the longest piece on the record, clocking at 12 minutes. It is launched in a ruminative, abstract way with drifting arco bass, evolving into unisons of sax and bowed bass, and then, closer to the end, into a raw, hot, yet swinging punk verve. The album finishes in an abrupt way with “How Do You Know When You Are Through?”, a controlled cacophonous chant that lasts 1:24 minutes.
Dyberg’s versatile approach to the instrument allows her to produce light and dark sounds with full-throated diction and a variety of timbres. Ticket! made me curious about Dyberg’s next explorations.
01 - Ticket! ► 03 - Wil’s Swing ► 09 - Tropical