Boomkat Product Review:
"This historical recording is something of a milestone, and it´s a mystery why it has been kept away from the public for over thirty years. More about that later. If anybody deserves to be called a living legend in Norwegian free jazz it must surely be saxophone, flute and clarinet player Frode Gjerstad. Born in 1948 in Stavanger, he has since the late 70s been central on more than fifty records and played with a number of free jazz players such as Evan Parker, Johnny Dyani, John Stevens, Derek Bailey, Barry Guy, Bobby Bradford, Paul Rutherford, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Peter Brötzmann, John Edwards, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Han Bennink and several others. With Detail he has released eight albums, with Circulatione Totale Orchestra there are seven records (one of which is "Bandwith" on Rune Grammofon) and five with Frode Gjerstad Trio, (with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Øyvind Storesund) there are five albums. There are also numerous duo, trio and group recordings. He received the Norwegian "Jazz Musician Of The Year" award in 1996, and the prestigious Buddy Award in 2009. Eivin One Pedersen (1956-2012) was also born in Stavanger and remained a very close friend of Frode ever since they met in 1975 and started their first band together, Ida Lupino, before they a few years later invited John Stevens to come to Stavanger and be a part of Detail. He released his solo album "Solo Mio" in 1981 and formed Aha! in 1984. Their debut album "Keep Nose In Front" was released the same year, before they for obvious reasons had to change their name. Under the name Extended Noise they released two more records, in 1986 and 1990. John Stevens (1940-1994) is an important musician in the history of free jazz. We could fill pages with his credentials, but his main focus was always the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, the group he founded with Trevor Watts and Paul Rutherford in 1966, and stayed with throughout numerous personel changes until his untimely death in 1994. Detail was intended as a quartet, with Johnny Dyani on bass, as suggested by John Stevens. They played a tour of Norway in March 1982, did the Molde Jazz Festival in the summer and had a tour lined up for the fall, but Johnny didn´t make the first gig at the Henie Onstad Art Center outside Oslo, where this recording is from. Eivin left the group after the tour, and the remaining trio of Gjerstad, Stevens and Dyani went straight to Stavanger and recorded Detail´s two first albums, "Backwards and Forwards" (Impetus 1983) and "Okhela" (Affinity 1984). So the intended quartet never got to make a record, but some live recordings do exist, so maybe one day. So why the delay? The main reason, according to Gjerstad, is that he couldn´t listen to the recordings because there were too many feelings involved. His close friend suddenly left the group, Dyani died in 1986, then Stevens in 1994 and Pedersen in 2012. There was also some doubt about his own playing, but after listening to the tapes last summer he realised how good everything was. And make no mistake, this is a fantastic album! It´s almost unbelivable that Eivin One Pedersen had just turned 26 at the time of recording, what an incredible talent he was! Also note his use of the organ on this date, not an instrument much used in free jazz, but to great effect here, also doing the "missing" bass parts. John Stevens is also great on this recording, quite different from what we´re used to with the SME, more "open" possibly? It´s been said that his playing with Gjerstad brought out other qualities in him, and we wouldn´t argue about that. Gjerstad is, as always, himself. At a time when most Norwegian sax players wanted to be Jan Garbarek, Gjerstad followed his own nose. In that respect there are no obvious references to other sax players. In our ears he is one of the giants still active on the international scene. Frode Gjerstad: Saxophones, bass clarinet and alto flute John Stevens: Drums Eivin One Pedersen: Piano and keyboards."