Strange and Perfect Connections: Mats Gustafsson at 50

Bandcamp Daily

Mats Gustafsson
Mats Gustafsson. Photo by Micke Keysendahl.

Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson is still somewhat embarrassed that a three-day festival—held at the Vienna club Porgy & Bess in October 2014—was essentially organized to celebrate his 50th birthday. The venue sponsors a few artist-in-residency projects each year, and it invited the Swedish native—who lives in Nickelsdorff, Austria—to participate. He mentioned that his birthday was nearing and that, perhaps, the residency could be connected to the occasion. “And then I immediately regretted it,” he jokes. “But I’m very happy it was done.”

Earlier this year, more than four hours of highlights from that extravaganza, which featured performances by the saxophonist with many notable collaborators, was released as a box set by Trost Records: MG50 Peace & Fire. It’s a spectacular collection of gritty, high-energy free improvisation jazz and experimental music from one of the most prolific and passionate figures in cutting-edge sounds of the…

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