The Thing started as a recording project in 2000, for the newly formed label Crazy Wisdom, run by Christian Falk, Conny Charles Lindström and me. I wanted to put together a trio, to record some Don Cherry pieces and since I had recently played with Paal in Stockholm and heard Ingebrigt playing live, I knew they were tight. So, things went where they went.
I invited the two young Norwegians to Stockholm for a recording date at Atlantic Studios. One day of recording for the first album and lots of partying with the producers. The mixing was done in one day and pretty soon after that, we planned the next steps.
Originally the trio was named Trans Love Airways, after another Don Cherry composition but the name was already taken by a snotty indie group in Gothenburg so we decided on The Thing, also named after a Don Cherry composition, as it was one of the pieces coming up on our 2nd album, The Thing with Joe McPhee, She Knows... – Mats Gustafsson, June 2020