Paal Nilssen-Love & Mats Gustafsson, I Love It When You Snore

Charles Farrell

By Charles Farrell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and Swedish multi-reed player Mats Gustafsson are two like-minded, technically head-spinning avant garde improvisers who, with I Love It When You Snore, work in tiny, fast bursts of rasps, buzzes and clangs. Their level of communication is uncanny; phrases often almost sound composed, so rapid is their ability to process information. It's all the more remarkable that the duo can generate the degree of propulsion they do at a mostly soft volume.

Scandinavian improvisers work their magic with rasps, buzzes and clangs.

Gustafsson has mastered most of the advanced saxophone innovations of recent years. He employs multiphonics, Evan Parker-inspired tonguing methods, and tones produced exclusively by the horn's keys. This provides him with a very broad palette. If Nilssen-Love is more conventional in his approach, it's at no expense to coloration and embellishment. He plays with great subtlety and intelligence.

The album starts off with a startling “I Love It” — all glottal utterance with corresponding roller coaster drum commentary. My personal favorite however is probably “Lightning Bug,” where Gustafsson's individual note tonguing is as quick and elusive as the eponymous title creature.