2013 / 05 / 22 (Wed)
Live House:
Pit Inn - Shinjuku
Free Jazz
Open Time:
Start Time:
Adv. Price:
4000 yen
Door Price:
4500 yen
Added by:




Mats Gustafsson: saxophones

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: contrabass, bass guitar

Paal Nilssen-Love: drums


The Thing was formed in the spring of February 2000 when Gustafsson, Håker Flaten and Nilssen-Love met to play several concerts and record a CD for Crazy Wisdom, a sub label of Swedish Universal. Another CD, a quartet with Joe McPhee, was recorded for the same label the following year.

The music of The Thing is a high-energy merger of multiple styles, but all three members share the influence of the various traditions of free music that developed in the USA, UK and Germany.

Initially the band's repertoire mainly consisted of tunes by Don Cherry (hence the group's name). Following the collaboration with Joe McPhee, the group's book expanded to include free jazz "standards" by David Murray, Frank Lowe and Norman Howard. The group’s enthusiasm for rock music can be felt in their cover of PJ Harvey's "To Bring You My Love" on the second CD. Today the book includes tunes by The White Stripes, The Sonics and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a reflection of how close musical styles are today, how similar the expression of energy, and how much today`s audience is united in their devotion to creative music. The Thing is currently signed to the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound.

The Thing "Lean & Mean" Japan Tour 2013

Mats Gustafsson, from Sweden, is one of Europe's biggest names on the free music scene. Through groups like Gush, AALY trio and Peter Brötzmann`s Chicago Tentet, he has established himself as a powerful, and re-inventive, master of the saxophone family. Norwegians Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love are renowned as one of the world's heaviest rhythm sections. Since their lengthy collaboration began in 1992, they have worked as a team in several groups incuding School Days with Ken Vandermark, Scorch Trio with Raoul Björkenheim, and the Scandinavian supergroup Atomic.

The Thing also performs sporadically with Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark and other guests.


·"Tapping into rock's most primal forces with the fire and fury that's something to behold" – Mojo

·"The Thing convert nouveau punk and vintage garage rock into a roaring scream-up, but the sheer energy and love of the music keep gimmickery at bay" – Uncut

·"The sheer power they generate from wood, metal, breath and muscle is stunning" – BBC

·"Absurdly cool" – DJ Magazine


Live House

Live House:
Pit Inn
Accord Bldg B1, 2-12-4 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Address (Japanese):
新宿区新宿2-12-4アコード新宿 B1
Closest stations:
Shinjuku, Shinjuku Sanchome
Pit Inn


Jazz and improvised music venue.



Come out of JR Shinjuku station East exit in front of Alta. Walk right down Shinjuku-dori, pass Mitsukoshi and Isetan department stores. Keep going until you get to the Shinjuku 2-chome intersection. Turn left here and you can find Pit Inn on the right in the basement of the Accord Building.


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