The Thing (jazz band)

The Thing are a Norwegian/Swedish jazz trio, consisting of Mats Gustafsson (saxophones), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (double bass), and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums).

The Thing
The Thing in Austin, Texas, November 18, 2005
The Thing in Austin, Texas,
November 18, 2005
Background information
OriginStockholm, Sweden
GenresFree jazz, jazz
Years active2000–present
LabelsCrazy Wisdom/Universal, Smalltown Superjazzz, The Thing
MembersMats Gustafsson
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Paal Nilssen-Love


The Thing took their name from a track on Don Cherry's 1966 album Where Is Brooklyn?[1]

Performances and recordingsEdit

The Thing, featuring Otomo Yoshihide (guitar) (2010)
The Thing with Ken Vandermark (far right) at Kongsberg Jazzfestival (2008)

The Thing were established in February 2000 to play a series of concerts in Stockholm and a recording of Don Cherry compositions that was released in Sweden by the label Crazy Wisdom/Universal. Melding German, British and American traditions of free music, their repertoire has later been collected from various sources such as James Blood Ulmer, Frank Lowe, PJ Harvey, White Stripes and Joe McPhee. McPhee was also a participating musician on the She Knows... album (2001). Other guests who have joined The Thing for recording and performances include Ken Vandermark, Otomo Yoshihide, Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke and Jeb Bishop.

Garage was released on the Smalltown Superjazzz label in 2004. An EP of live material performed with Joe McPhee and Cato Salsa Experience was released in 2005, as well as a live album. 2006 saw the release of Action Jazz, also on Smalltown Superjazz. The group cover material from Ornette Coleman, Lightning Bolt, Yosuke Yamashita and others in addition to original material. The group are the only free jazz ensemble working today who wear stage uniforms. They perform clad in t-shirts from Ruby's Barbecue Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

In June 2012 they released the album The Cherry Thing, a collaboration with Swedish-British singer Neneh Cherry. The album was Cherry's first album as a named leader for 16 years.[2]


The ThingEdit

The Thing with Cato Salsa Experience and Joe McPheeEdit

The Thing with Otomo YoshihideEdit

The Thing with Jim O'RourkeEdit

Neneh Cherry & The ThingEdit


  1. ^ Rogers, Jude (22 May 2012). "Neneh Cherry: 'Jazz Can Be the Way You Make Love'". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (June 23, 2012). "Neneh Cherry and The Thing: The Cherry Thing". The Financial Times. Retrieved June 27, 2012.

External linksEdit