AMN Reviews: Frode Gjerstad / Johnny Mbizo Dyani / John Stevens – Day Two (2019; NoBusiness Records)

This is a slab of studio free jazz recorded in 1982 and – to the best of my knowledge – unreleased until now. The lineup is an incarnation of Gjerstad and Stevens’ Detail Trio, which featured a revolving member on bass. Here, the monstrous South African Johnny Dyani takes on that role to complement the Norwegian Gjerstad on tenor and soprano sax and the British Stevens on drums.

Day Two consists of two 20 minute improvisations that, if anything, showcase Dyani’s singular talent. While Gjerstad and Stevens share a comfortable rapport (they do not play “together” but instead complement each other quite suitably), Dyani is a different animal. At times he goes along with the trio’s flow, and at others he is doing something else entirely. When not providing a few sweeping slides, Dyani’s rapid fingerwork throughout the first track is sharply juxtaposed over Gjerstad’s soloing. This rapid-fire, prickly approach gets a supporting role of sorts from Stevens, though not in a homogenized fashion. Dyani’s ability to generate tension in this setting – sharing the bill with two outstanding improvisers in their prime – is a testament to his abilities. Nonetheless, the recording leaves plenty of room for soloing and expression from all three members.

Not overtly outside, Day Two remains an unconventional statement from an underappreciated trio. Thus, this release is much more than just a curious piece of history.

3 thoughts on “AMN Reviews: Frode Gjerstad / Johnny Mbizo Dyani / John Stevens – Day Two (2019; NoBusiness Records)

  1. The music on the cd “Day Two” was published as LP “Backwards and Forwards” on Impetus Records.

  2. Interesting – are you 100% sure? As far as I can tell Backwards and Forwards was recorded on November 11, 1982, while Day Two was recorded on November 12, 1982 at the same studio.

Comments are closed.