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The Electrics - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

If it's live at the Glenn Miller Café, it's on Ayler. Label boss Jan Ström has his own corner at the bar and he's probably signed a partial lease on the stairs in the adjacent apartment building where the sound engineer usually sets up his gear. (There's no room in the GMC itself, take it from me.)

This time it's The Electrics - Sture Ericson (tenor sax and clarinets), Axel Dörner (trumpet), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Raymond Strid (drums) - with the long awaited sequel to Chain Of Accidents (in the strange numbering system Ström uses that was aylCD-035, whereas this new one is aylCD-034, even though it was recorded four and a half years later).
It's also the best recording yet to emerge from the GMC, thanks to some serious mixing by Ericson and Strid which helps capture the stereo image of the tiny venue better than anything I've heard from there before. They obviously thought the music was worth the effort, and they were right.

The Electrics is another one of those groups after my own heart, one that can play free and swing hard and see no contradiction between the two. Improvised Free Jazz, I called it elsewhere.
It's wonderful to hear Dörner playing crisp and clear, the Tony Fruscella of new music, instead of gurgling and hissing (which he also does, and very well too). The interplay between him and Ericson, especially when the latter takes to the bass clarinet, recalls the mighty Die Enttauschung (and, standing behind them in the shadows, the Dolphy / Little Five Spot quintet.. though of course there's no piano here).

Not all the music is at the same high level - as with any improv, there are peaks and troughs, and the fact that the musicians consciously choose to work with the more recognisable vernacular of free jazz means that it's easier to spot the latter - but when these lads start cooking they're a match for the chef at the Glenn Miller Café, who's pretty damn good too.
It's a great place to eat as well as catch fine live music. Next time you're in Stockholm, check it out. Reserve in advance though; you won't believe how small the place is.