BT 118LP BT 118LP

Black Truffle announces the first vinyl reissue of Trancedance, a wild slice of Swedish Afro-fusion from Christer Bothén, originally released in 1984. A major figure in Swedish jazz and improvised music since the 1970s, often heard on bass clarinet and tenor sax, Bothen studied doso n'koni (the large six-stringed "hunter's harp" of the Wasulu) in Mali in 1971-1972 before turning to the guinbri (the three-stringed lute of the Gnawa/Gnauoua) in Marakesh later in the decade. In between, he performed extensively with Don Cherry during his Organic Music Society period and taught Cherry the doso n'koni. In the later '70s and '80s he worked with the most important figures in the distinctive Swedish jazz-rock-world fusion scene, joining Archimedes Badkar for their African-influenced Tre and participating in Bengt Berger's legendary Bitter Funeral Beer Band. Many of the musicians who played on the Bitter Funeral Beer Band's ECM LP (including Berger on drums, Anita Livstrand on voice and percussion and Tord Bengstsson on piano, violin and guitar) joined Bothén for one of the sessions that produced Trancedance, the first release under his own name, dedicated to his compositions. The other session introduced his seven-piece group Bolon Bata, heard on the second track of each side. Using an expanded 16-piece ensemble, the music balances untethered improvisation with carefully arranged passages of knotty ensemble playing that at points suggest Mingus, Moacir Santos, or some of the ambitious post-free work being done in the same years by figures like David Murray or Henry Threadgill. A must for fans of the Swedish scene around groups like Arbete och Fritid and Archimedes Badkar, as well as any listener who has been seduced by Louis Moholo's Spirits Rejoice!, The Brotherhood of Breath, or, more recently, the guinbri grooves of Natural Information Society, Trancedance is a lost classic ripe for rediscovery.