The Thing


Mats Gustafsson (SE) - Reeds

Ingebrigt H. Flaten (NO) - Bass

Paal Nilssen-Love (NO) - Drums


The Thing was established in the spring of February 2000 when the three musicians met do play several concerts and to record the first CD on Crazy Wisdom, a sub label of Swedish Universal. In 2001, they also recorded another CD on the same label as a quartet with Joe McPhee. Both CD´s are out of print.

The trio was a long wanted constellation where several musical styles meet in a very high energetic outlet. All members are influenced by different traditions of free music derived from Germany, England and America, and these influences are to be felt and not necessary heard.
When the trio started out, the book contained mainly of tunes by Don Cherry, hence the group's name. Since Joe McPhee`s participation, the group's reportuar has included other free jazz standards by David Murray, Frank Lowe and Norman Howard. Also, the groups enthusiasm towards rock music, is heard when they play "To Bring You My Love" by PJ Harvey on the second CD. Today the book has expanded to include tunes by The White Stripes, The Sonics and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is just an example that explains how close musical styles are today, how similar the energy is and can be, and how much today`s audience is melted together, devoted to creative music. The Thing is now signed on the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound.

Mats Gustafsson is today Sweden's and 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 very powerful saxophonist, and has somewhat reinvented the way of playing the saxophone.
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love has become known as Norway`s heaviest rhythm-section. Since they`re long time collaboration started in 1992, they have been working in several groups, amongst them are School Days with Ken Vandermark, Scorch trio with Raoul Björkenheim, and the Swedish/Norwegian jazz-group Atomic.

The Thing also performs with Joe McPhee, though more sporadic.

"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

The Thing

Immediate Sound



The Thing


Smalltown Superjazzz STSJ 123CD


1. Sounds Like a Sandwich (Cato Salsa Experience)
2. Chiasma (Yosuke Yamashita)
3. Broken Shadows (Ornette Coleman)
4. Ride the Sky (Lightning Bolt)
5. Better Living (The Thing)
6. Danny’s Dream (Lars Gullin)
7. The Nut/The Light (Alva Melin)
8. ... Through BBQ (The Thing)
9. Strayhorn (Mats Gustafsson)


The Thing

Live At Blå



Cato Salsa Experience and The Thing with Joe McPhee

Sounds Like A Sandwich




1. Sounds Like A Sandwich
2. Whole Lotta Love
3. Art Star
4. Our Prayer
5. Hardcore Mama

The Thing


STS 078


The Thing + School Days

The Music of Norman Howard

Anagram Records (12" LP)


The Thing + Joe McPhee

She Knows…

Crazy Wisdom, Universal 006/014756-2


1. To Bring You My Love (PJ Harvey)
2. The Thing (D Cherry)
3. Baby Talk (JB Ulmer)
4. Kathelin Gray (O Coleman)
5. Going Home (Trad)
6. For Real (F Lowe)
7. Old Eyes (J McPhee)

The Thing

The Thing

Crazy Wisdom, Universal 001/159 073-2


1. Awake Nu
2. Mooti
3. Cherryco
4. Ode To Don
5. The Art Of Steve Roney - Smilin’
6. Trans-Love Airways


Atomic School Days


Butcher/Nilssen-Love Duo



Frode Gjerstad Trio

Gustafsson/Nilsson-Love Duo

Marhaug/Nilssen-Love Duo


Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet

School Days

Scorch Trio


Sten Sandell Trio

Territory Band

The Thing

Townhouse Orchestra

Two Bands and a Legend

Vandermark/Nilssen-Love Duo

Yagi/Brötzmann/Nilssen-Love Trio