The odd couple pairing of free jazz maestros The Thing (Mats Gustafsson on saxophone, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on double bass, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, percussion, and sampler) and dance pop maven Neneh Cherry is hitting the road to promote their forthcoming LP, The Cherry Thing, out June 18 on Smalltown Supersound! After two initial shows in Stockholm on May 17, the collaborative foursome are set to take a host of club spaces and festivals by storm. Given the band’s limited time spent together rehearsing, let alone playing together at all, they should make for pretty interesting engagements.
So how did these crazy kids hook up? The Thing is named after a track by Neneh’s father, Don Cherry, and Neneh has a pretty robust history of collaboration, so when Neneh found herself frequenting the young jazz scene in Stockholm, her current residence, Things just kind of clicked into place. An interest in a diverse swath of music outside of the genres each is generally associated with laid the groundwork for finding tracks they could tackle anew. After sending songs back and forth, they recorded a set of tracks (including a few originals), eight of which have made it onto their upcoming album, including covers of MF Doom, Suicide, Ornette Colman, and even Don Cherry himself.
If you haven’t heard any of the tracks released thus far, you should do so, because they’re awesome and we should all be happy Neneh is back front and center. If you’re lucky enough to be spending your summer in Europe, do yourself a favor and get thyself to one of these shows!
06.30.12 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Ljubjana Jazz Festival
07.01.12 - Stadt, Austria - Porgy & Bess Bezirk Innere
07.02.12 - Prague, Czech Republic - Lucerna Music bar
07.05.12 - Træna, Norway - Traena Festival
07.10.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Copenhagen Jazz Festival
07.15.12 - London, UK - Village Underground
07.16.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Mlekweg
07.18.12 - Berlin, Germany - Radialsystem
07.20.12 - Molde, Norway - Teatret Vårt
07.23.12 - San Sebastian, Spain - San Sebastian Jazz Festival Donostia