Calling Signals

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Frode Gjerstad alto saxphone
Hasse Poulson guitars and effects
Nick Stephens double bass
Louis Moholo drums

Fjord Deep, Mountain High 5:40
Threeways Meet 4:42
Crossing The Bar 19:40
Dots And Dashes 4:39
The Last Three Notes 7:47
Drum’n’Bass 3:22
Unanticipated Turns 9:16
The Breeze And Us 5:07

Recorded by Frode Gjerstad at Dudversive Studio Notting Hill Gate, London, November 1996
Artwork Fay Stephens

Loose Torque LT 004


Frode and I started Calling Signals after an all day memorial concert for John Stevens. We played a trio with Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset and were followed onstage by trombonist Paul Rutherford. We determined afterwards to form a quartet. We toured the UK with the aid of an Arts Council Bursary and played gigs in Norway.
The group on this recording was assembled to play Stavanger, Bergen and London Jazz Festivals. In 1996 Frode came to London with his mobile studio and John Steven’s son, Richie, offered his studio space, although in truth there wasn’t much space. Richie was temporarily storing his dad’s vast record collection there. Giants from the past looked out at us as classic record sleeves formed a freeze around the walls. Ironically, the records that had inspired John in the past now surrounded the group that was conceived to celebrate his music.

“During several of these parallel dialogues one gets the picture of a division between the ones who talk more calmly (Gjerstad’s ever-articulated emissions, Stephens’ patient excavations in the multiple opportunities offered by an acoustic bass) and those who instead mostly hit, run then stop thinking about their next move but decide to do the opposite (Poulsen’s phrasing mixes Frith, Rypdal and noise in equal doses). Moholo is just wonderfully selective, always in the thick of the action with controlled angularity, his playing showing no sign of repetitiveness whatsoever. The menage a trois between Gjerstad, an arcoed Stephens and Poulsen in “Dots and dashes” is highly charged and totally vicious, while “The breeze and us” whispers memories of Ovary Lodge. “Calling signals” is an album permeated by sheer sincerity and bursting with lucid visions by four artists whose aerials fear no interference or bad weather, totally contradicting the theory according to which records of improvised music should ideally be listened only once.” Massimo Ricci – Touching Extremes

“The whole thing is continually complex, fascinating, and, best of all, it unfolds right in front of your ears.”
Dan Rose One Final Note

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