Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what you could call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed pop unit Wildbirds And Peacedrums (Werliin). Around 2011 the idea sprang up to expand a massive orchestra around the core trio, featuring the cream of Scandinavian jazz, improvisation and avant rock players and vocalists. After playing rare shows a handful of times a year, culminating with a number of ecstatic Scandinavian shows this January, this incredible mass ensemble took one day off to record their first studio recording in Gothenburg. Following last year’s live debut ”Exit”, ”Enter” might surprise with its slow, treacly funk dynamics, running through a kaleidoscope of moods, rhythms, textures and dynamics. Muscular rock rhythms flesh out texts written by singer Mariam Wallentin, inspired by legendary free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee, and sung in soured blues moans by the Orchestra’s three-headed vocal team of Wallentin, Ethiopian born Sofie Jernberg and Silverbullit´s Simon Ohlsson. Recalling the righteous big band jazz of the late 60s by figures such as Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, Mike Westbrook and Chris McGregor, there are also echoes of Matana Roberts’s recent jazz tapestries and the steamy psych-funk of Brightblack Morning Light. Part Two opens on a groove ripped from The Beatles’ psychedelic classic ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Using collective riffing at its finest, this is an epic suite that undergoes constant scene-shifts between relentlessly building rhythms, rising in emotional intensity as the furnace is stoked.
Both vinyl editions come in a gorgeous gatefold sleeve with the CD included.