|| Charles Tyler + Brus Trio
Autumn in Paris
Cat. No.: SHCD118
Charles Tyler alto saxophone
Arne Forsén piano
Ulf Åkerhielm bass
Gilbert Matthews drums
1. Saga of the Outlaws (Tyler) 12:30
2. Mörkrost (Dark Blend) (Åkerhielm) 5:29
3. Mellanrost (Medium Blend) (Åkerhielm) 6:25
4. Autumn in Paris (Forsén) 10:50
5. Forsén Special (Forsén) 13:56
6. Twing Twang Twiddle All Night Long (Tyler) 7:05
7. Legend of the Lawmen (Tyler) 5:15
Total time: 61:30
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"Autumn in Paris is a lyrical outing which both swings and successfully
takes musical risks. This is a European based trio featuring guest saxophonist
Charles Tyler, a former colleague of Albert Ayler. The Brus Trio is an adventurous
collective comprised of Swedish pianist Arne Forsén, Swedish bassist Ulf
Åkerhielm and South African drummer Gilbert Matthews."
Kalamu ya Salaam, Wavelength, February 1991
There is an appropriateness about the events leading up to and including the actual
session on this alhum. The sense of rightness that permeates the music makes this
a very special album as far as I'm concerned.
Charles Tyler has lived in Europe since 1982, first in Copenhagen and then in
Paris. After the recordings made in fall 1981 for Storyville ("Definite"
vols. 1 & 2, SLP-4098 & SLP-4099), Tyler decided to strive for greater
flexibility of musical performance by playing the music of others to a much greater
extent than ever before. He played bebop with French groups, performed and recorded
with Khan Jamal ("Dark Warrior", SteepleChase SCS1196), sat in with
the Steve Lacy Sextet, played African music with Paris-based ensembles, and even
toured as a duo with just piano and saxophone. He played quite a bit with the
Sun Ra Arkestra in Europe and aims soon to tour Japan with them.
Charles had played with Gilbert Matthews previously on occasion, but not with
Arne Forsén and Ulf Åkerhielm, and there was a good deal of curiosity
on all sides. In the spring of 1988, Brus Trio visited Paris as part of a tour
of southern Europe and they were able to find time to jam with Charles. I heard
a variety of reports but the essential message was unanimously that it had been
a ball. The question concerning their performances in Stockholm was therefore
not so much whether the group would function as a quartet, but more a matter of
how well it would function.
The International Conference on Culture, Language and Artificial Intelligence
(held in Stockholm, Sweden, between May 30th and June 3rd, 1988) was an important
gathering organized by the Swedish Center for Working Life (Arbetslivscentrum)
under the leadership of program committee chairman Bo Göranzon. It comprised
lectures and workshops devoted to the theory of knowledge, artificial intelligence,
mathematics, the history of ideas, computers and the law, education and training,
knowledge and skill-transfer, the philosophy of language, and tradition and innovation
in translation. Within the framework of the conference there were also a number
of artistic contributions in the areas of theater, cabaret, music and art exhibitions.
The musical events included concert performances by the Haga String Quartet, the
Nisse Sandström Jazz Quartet, and Charles Tyler with Brus Trio.
Brus Trio has ploughed its own furrow on the Swedish jazz scene ever since its
inception in 1981. The individual members are highly responsive to statements
from elsewhere within the trio and this has the result that, at any particular
time, the music can move off in just about any direction. There are thus basic
demands on each of the musicians, not only to be receptive to each other, but
also to maintain form or structure in their improvisations together.
When a fourth instrumentalist joins the ensemble, a good deal of reshuffling
takes place and the final outcome depends critically on the musical personality
of the fourth participant. A couple of months or so before Charles Tyler arrived
I heard Brus Trio together with Danish saxist, John Tchicai, in a most elegant
performance at Fasching club in Stockholm. Very little of the guttsiness that
marked the sessions with Tyler was to be heard in the Tchicai session, although
that music was delightful too, albeit in a quite other way.
The prime features of Tyler's musicianship were already clear from his sixties
recordings (ESP 1010, 1020, 1029, 1059), notably his fine instrumental technique,
the characteristic careening style, the rich flow of ideas, the high humor, the
big sound and his singular vibrato. The fact is though that Charles Tyler is a
blues musician, despite his new-wave reputation of more that twenty years standing.
The music begins to swing whenever he starts to play, and Brus Trio are receptive
to this state of affairs. The playful, gambolling style of their music is still
quite evident in their efforts together with Tyler, but they swing a lot harder
than perhaps is the case at other times. It's certainly true that Brus Trio swing
a good deal when they want to, but it's also true that they often tend to lay
stress on alternative dimensions of musical improvisation. With Tyler out front,
the quartet was cooking for much of the time, even when solo passages took the
music on the most bizarre trips. This is an aspect of Brus Trio I didn't altogether
expect, but one that I can only rejoice in. There is something about their way
of working that comes close to a definition of what jazz music is about, certainly
jazz of the eighties.
Arne met Charles at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm and I met both of them a
little later at Charles' hotel. The talk was pretty much about pianos. They had
been at the Royal Dramatic Theater (Dramaten) already and Arne was most anxious
to test the piano scheduled for the trip on the the theater boat (Teaterskeppet).
A phone call ascertained that we were welcome right away to try it out. There
were a few problems, but we were assured that these would be attended to forthwith
under guarantee, since the piano was newly purchased.
Tuesday afternoon, May 31st, was spent in rehearsal on the small stage at Dramaten,
including a sound-check. The music was pretty tricky but it started to come together
convincingly. They were ready for their first performance at the conference proper
on Wednesday morning. This was well received by a full auditorium of mathematicians,
knowledge engineers, social scientists and philosophers.
The boat trip on Wednesday evening was a great success. The quartet performed
at the start and close of the evening, and both times were well received by a
Neither of the conference venues were really suitable in terms of recording the
quartet and an alternative was sought. This proved to be a performance space in
the south part of Stockholm operated by the Fylkingen Society for New Music and
Intermedia Art. Fylkingen were able to provide a good, lively acoustic and a newly
tuned Steinway grand piano.
When the recording session got under way it was soon evident that the quartet
was fully fired up to express itself and in fine fettle from all points of view.
It is unnecessary for me to describe in detail the turnings and pathways that
the music took during that Thursday afternoon, all of which can be beard on the
album and compact disc.