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Frode Gjerstad Trio: Ultima

Fighting the stereotype of pastoral jazz set forth in Norway by ECM stalwarts Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal, alto saxophonist Frode Gjerstad has operated as his nation’s free jazz ambassador for over two decades. Although a fixture on the bandstand when other adventurous Europeans visit Norway, Gjerstad is perhaps best-known for Detail, his powerful trio with bassist Johnny Dyani-and later, Kent Carter-and drummer John Stevens, which ended with the latter’s death in 1994. On Ultima he emerges with another trio of comparable rhythmic sophistication and emotional power thanks to bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake.

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