Cornetist Bobby Bradford and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad have been performing together since they were first introduced in 1986 by drummer John Stevens . Bradford and Gjerstad’s associations date back almost 30 years to their pivotal posts in Detail, Stevens’ short-lived quartet with bassist Johnny Dyani. A bond forged, they reconvened in a variety of contexts over the intervening years. Their most recent collaboration took the form of a quartet with bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Frank Rosaly, both of whom are well-versed in the completely improvised music the co-leaders favor. Gjerstad tapped his extensive network of presenters and venues and the makings of a tour for the band coalesced earlier this year.
The music here reflects an array of associations both long-standing (the leaders) and comparatively nascent. Rosaly, added at the urging of Haker Flaten when regular drummer Paal Nilssen-Love couldn’t fill the role, is the fresh recruit, but his nascency is hardly noticeable as he aligns beautifully with the extemporaneous inventions of the others. The three track titles string together just like the pieces they delineate, forming a brief allegory for the set in poetic form.