PLUNGE | Plunge

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Jazz: Free Jazz Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Great acoustic improv trio from Sweden.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Exhibit A
7:22 $0.99
2. Can-Can
4:25 $0.99
3. Credo
4:44 $0.99
4. Plums
3:52 $0.99
5. Ebonology
5:17 $0.99
6. Solace
5:27 $0.99
7. Well Done, Dear
3:19 $0.99
8. Bommen
5:10 $0.99
9. Now What?
8:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Swedish trio Plunge has been in existence since 2001. The Malmö-based trio deals with collectively improvised, acoustic music. Their music is based on interplay, presence, spontaneity and a far-reaching sense of form. Plunge has toured in Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland. Plunge has also released two trio albums on the Swedish indie-label Kopasetic Productions.

Besides working as a trio, Plunge also has an ongoing collaboration with renowned Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson. The rewarding collaboration between the trio and Stenson started in the fall of 2002, and has so far resulted in numerous tours of Sweden, several national and European radio broadcasts and a CD on Kopasetic (“Plunge with Bobo Stenson”, 2005).

“Plunge” (KOPACD 002) is the group´s first CD and was released in April 2004. The record has been very well-received and has gotten great reviews in Swedish and international press as well as on the internet (such as and


Andreas Andersson – Saxophones

Andreas has, with his powerful sound and lyrical playing, established himself as one of Sweden's most personal saxophonists. He is active on the Swedish improv scene, as well as in the jazz community. He plays in duos with pianist Ola Hedén and renowned organ improviser Markus Wargh, and has also performed with Bobo Stenson, Marilyn Mazur and Sten Sandell among others.

Andreas has composed music for improvising big band, amateur theatre, documentary movies, and numerous tunes for smaller ensembles.

Mattias Hjorth – Double bass

Mattias´s melodic and sensitive playing is featured in several groups, such as Cennet Jönsson Quartet, Loïc Dequidt Trio/Quartet and Footloose. Mattias has worked with many renowned musicians, such as Bobo Stenson, Dave Liebman, Tommy Smith, Lotte Anker, Lennart Åberg, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Lina Nyberg and Peter Danemo.

Mattias is also a highly regarded improvisation and ensemble teacher at the Malmö Music Conservatory and at Fridhem's Folkhögskola in Svalöv.

Peter Nilsson – Drums

Peter has established himself as one of the most in-demand drummers in Sweden. His varied and organic playing can be heard in many constellations, including Cennet Jönsson Quartet, Double Standards, Footloose, Anders Nilsson´s Aorta, lim, Ola Hedén Trio and 15,5. He has also worked with Paul Bley, Miroslav Vituos, David Liebman, Marc Ducret, Bobo Stenson, Raoul Björkenheim, Eugene Chadbourne, Marilyn Mazur, Palle Danielsson, Lotte Anker, Joakim Milder, Sten Sandell, Tolvan Big Band and many others.

Peter has toured extensively in many European countries, as well as in Azerbajdzjan, Mexico and the USA.


Plunge is a young Swedish trio that has been together for three years, exploring a combination of composed music and completely free improvisation. On their self-titled debut, saxophonist Andreas Andersson, double-bassist Mattias Hjorth and drummer Peter Nilsson have chosen to expose their more extemporaneous side with a programme of nine purely spontaneous compositions. The term spontaneous composition is used with intent, because while Plunge may improvise freely, there are plenty of structural reference points that they create to give the pieces form. Less reckless abandon and more considered interaction, Plunge 's nine pieces traverse a breadth of stylistic territory, yet remain for the most part lyrical and in search of common ground where the three musicians can meet.
The pieces seem to move effortlessly through rhythmic and melodic constructs; “Exhibit A” begins with a more insistent rhythmic figure, but nothing ever lasts for long with these pieces, as the players respond to each others' suggestions. “Can-Can” is looser, with Hjorth and Nilsson flitting around the time but never quite settling into it. “Credo” is another loose-time piece, with Andersson's melodic ideas flowing effortlessly over Hjorth's contrapuntal bass lines, while “Bommen” is a darker work, with dramatic cymbal swells and light drum rolls creating a textural backdrop for Andersson's more constructed soprano theme and Hjorth's ascending bass figure.
Something about the way Andersson, Hjorth and Nilsson interact brings to mind the freer pieces on Dave Holland's classic Conference of the Birds. As free as things get, there is always the sense that the trio, like Holland, Braxton, Rivers and Altschul before them, is moving towards something. Sadly, completely free improvisation all too often comes across as a group of players more interested in their own concerns than those of the collective, but Plunge understands that no one player's interests should dominate. Plunge is truly a collective concept, with each member keenly intent on responding to the musical ideas around them. Nowhere is this more clear than on the album's closing track, “Now What?”, where Andersson sets the initial tone for Hjorth and Nilsson, who ultimately find their way into a clear harmonic and rhythmic figure that spurs Andersson to deliver his most tuneful work of the set.
Surprisingly accessible, even at their most extreme, the members of Plunge are clearly concerned with creating something out of nothing. And while many free players look for the sharp edges and the acute angles, Plunge instead looks for the rounded corners and the smoother sides. For those who think that free playing is too extreme, too “out there,” Plunge argues otherwise, that it is possible to play totally unstructured music that still maintains a sense of order and development.
- John Kelman/Allaboutjazz

Plunge is credited to the trio of Andreas Andersson (baritone and soprano saxophones), Mattias Hjorth (double-bass), and Peter Nilsson (drums). It’s a nice, loose set of originals with some solid rave-ups in a standard post-free session. Group interplay is at a premium throughout, with all three players making a considerable contribution.
“Credo” begins with Andersson laying down a nice, flowing line with Nilsson striking the rims and edges of his set, applying extra stick pressure when making contact with his cymbals. Hjorth plays solid accompaniment, especially interesting when he rides a bit higher up the register, bending notes for added effect. Andersson’s sound quickly invades one’s consciousness, pleasingly reserved. “Plums” ratchets up the energy considerably, with a soprano workout from Andersson. Hjorth gets a bit lost in the mix at times, especially in the lower registers, but his playing is entirely in the moment. Nilsson plays a disjointed swing utilizing a short-sustained ride cymbal, punctuated by the restrained use of a China boy. While the piece sometimes lacks in variation, the conviction on the part of all is undeniable. “Ebonology” (weird title, that) begins with the sound of sax fingerings and staccato flurries, accompanied by percussive rumbles from Nilsson, with Hjorth playing quick accented runs. The piece kicks into high gear with all three rumbling along, featuring particularly fine statements from Hjorth. It ends in a slow fade of swirling percussion from Nilsson, gong and all. A solid piece, “Ebonology” is the most direct and inspired performance of the disc.
“Bommen” is a dirge-like performance, with Andersson’s soprano setting a plaintive mood. Nilsson adds immeasurably through quick-fire brush work, and a compelling battery of cymbals. Lacking a bit in development, the entire thing comes to a somewhat abrupt end.
“Now What?” rounds out the disc and is in many ways a culmination of the group’s ethos; again, the focus is on Andersson’s melodicism, with the rhythm section floating along agreeably underneath. The piece takes a welcome turn when Hjorth and Nilsson set up a propulsive groove, Andersson being pushed to ever-greater heights.
Plunge is the sound of three skilled players feeling their way through the music, confident and with something to say. It bodes well for the future of a group worth keeping an eye on.
-Matthew Sumera/



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