Reviews that mention Mette Rasmussen

February 17, 2022

The Block Ensemble

Bugs & Hugs
Clean Feed CF 569 CD

Rebecca Novak/Danny Kamins/Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith/Jerome Bryerton

Groundwater Recharge

Balance Point Acoustics BPAltd 15015

Unusual variations on how to evolve a striking program of improvised music don’t depend on ensemble size or geographical location. Instead uncommon achievements are usually the result of a particular vision and annexed to the players who add equally valid interpretations. That’s what brings together the seven Houston-recorded, all-acoustic mostly quintet tracks on Groundwater Recharge and the two lengthy ones on Bugs & Hugs which were combined and edited by Kristoffer Berre Alberts and Lasse Marhaug from separately recorded textures by 14 fellow Northern European improvisers. MORE

January 18, 2022

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten

(Exit) Knarr
Odin Records ODIN 9579

Horse Orchestra

The Milkman Cometh

ZEE 2021 07

Two largish ensembles from the northernmost parts of Europe have created programs that are almost antithetical but reflect the non-standard ethos of the ever-burgeoning Nordic improvised music scene. Precise and somewhat solemn, (Exit) Knarr is the result of a commission for peripatetic Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten from his country’s Vossajazz Festival interpreted by an octet of Scandinavian players. Performed by a similar cross section of musicians from Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the Copenhagen-based Horse Orchestra is a club band par excellence. Directed by local pianist Jeppe Zeeberg, the septet propels a set of originals and adapted tunes in a highly rhythmic, almost zany manner. MORE

September 27, 2021


Glass Triangle
Relative Pitch RPR 1118

Reflecting both parts of the title are the distinctive unity and transparent innovation arising during this session’s six tracks. The first recorded meeting of Danish alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and Americans, percussionist Ryan Sawyer and electric harpist Zeena Parkins, Glass Triangle builds on individual expression from Rasmussen’s raw reed lacerations, Sawyer’s place marking rumbles and the layered manipulations emanating from Parkins’ self-built harp. If unique saxophone techniques and distended string judders aren’t enough, Parkins and Rasmussen also vibrate several objects to link with Sawyer’s distinctive drum patterns. All three have experience with the associated beats playing in rock-styled groups with partners like Lee Renaldo, Chris Corsano and Thurston Moore. But joint musical sophistication and perhaps Parkins’ notated music and dance company compositional experience ensure this set avoids excessive density and formlessness. MORE

September 2, 2021


Clean Feed CF 560 CD

An unusually constituted ensemble, the Hearth quartet asserts that not only can inspired exploratory sounds be created by only two saxophones, trumpet and piano, but also that the Free Music paradigm is so wide that country of origin makes little difference to sonic integration.

Consisting of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler, Danish alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and Argentinean tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ada Rave, the four first decided to collaborate five years ago. Confirming musical internationalism, but complicating combination, none lives in the same country and all live in different places than their native lands. No noticeable chasm divides the six group improvisations however. The three horns often operate in layered cooperation or separate to contribute capillary smears and sour buzzes (Silva) or split tones, vibrating hacks or strangled blows (Rave and Rasmussen) move alongside Draksler’s rolling arpeggios or more frequently intermittent plinks. Occasionally adding to the clamor are penny-whistle-like peeps and disassociated vocal murmuring. MORE

December 1, 2019

Music Unlimited

Wels, Austria
Nov. 8, 9, 10, 2019

By Ken Waxman

Performance photos by Susan O’Connor

Treading the fine line among genres– or perhaps jumping from one to another – the sounds presented at Music Unlimited (MU) 33 touched on pure improv, hard noise, semi-notated patterns plus electro-acoustic and near-Rock forays. Still, every performer’s musical emphasis was on originality and discovery. That’s why some sets initiated by MU’s three curators – German pianist Magda Mayas, American tenor saxophonist Joe McPhee and Japanese guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi – during this annual festival in this Austrian city of 60,000 near Linz, featured some already constituted bands. Others were the equivalent of musical blind dates, with unanticipated sonic interactions adding up to memorable discoveries. MORE

September 22, 2019

Julien Desprez/Mette Rasmussen

The Hatch
Dark Tree DT 10

Ken Vandermark & Terrie Ex


Terp Records IS-30

Pairing a saxophonist and an electric guitarist alone for a program of intense improvisations on disc is conspicuous in its scarcity. But these duos take up the challenge fearlessly and each disc reveals exactly what can be created. Interestingly enough, natives of four separate countries are involved on both CDs. The Hatch features seven sound explorations from French guitarist Julien Desprez, who has played with figures such as Rob Mazurek and Eve Risser and is matched with Danish alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen, who has recorded with Chris Corsano and Dre Hocevar. Scaffolding on the other hand stages 10 brief improvisations via the skills of Dutch guitarist Terrie Ex, part of the band of the same name and American tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark who has played with almost all of the most accomplished Free Music innovators. MORE

January 1, 2019

Mette Rasmussen/Chris Corsano

A View of the Moon (from the Sun)
Clean Feed CF 493 CD

Aram Shelton/Håkon Berre


No Label No #



Manila Free Jazz No #

Constantly practiced so that it hardly seems novel, the completely improvised saxophone-drum duo has become as much a part of contemporary discourse as the Jazz piano trio. Still as these alto saxophone-percussion connections prove, virtuosity must be mixed with a certain sophistication to overcome self-indulgent tendencies that lurk beneath every one of these meetings. MORE

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

May 8, 2017

Festival Report

Artacts ‘17
By Ken Waxman

One of Austria’s ski resorts abutting the Alps, St. Johann in Tirol also attracts music fans during the annual artacts Festival. Attendees March 10-12 could be forgiven for being smug. While warm weather limited optimal ski conditions, music fans’ experience was elevated without using chair lifts. Case in point was the DEK trio, which opened the festival at the comfortable rustic Alte Gerberei performance space. While American tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark is wedded to jazz, Austrian drummer Didi Kern is involved with rock and Graz-based pianist Elisabeth Harnik at home in notated music, the resolution of these contradictions gave the performance its bite. Kern’s paddled beat lent veracity to Vandermark’s bar-walking sax honking, while Harnik’s pastoral patterning added emotion to abstract altissimo clarinet twists. Harnik’s attack could be brawny as well, extending her dynamic range by pounding darker phases from the lowest-pitched keys and plucking, rubbing and twanging inner piano strings. Although teaming with discordant touches, DEK’s sound never lost its sense of swing. MORE

March 11, 2017

Dre Hocevar

Transcendental Within the Sphere of Indivisible Remainder
Clean Feed CF 393 CD

Girotto/De Mattia/Cesseli/Kaučic

Il Sogno Di Una Cosa

Caligola 2213

Kača, Sraka in Lev Quintet

The Labour Suite

No Label No #

Samo Salamon & Stefano Battaglia


Klopotec Records IZK CD 037

Szilárd Mezei Septet


Oradek Records ODR CD 506

Something In The Air: Slovenia – of all places – Continues its Long Jazz Tradition MORE