The match between Copenhagen-based, Estonian sax player Maria Faust and the Brooklyn-based rhythm section of bass player Tim Dahl and drummer Weasel Walter is not the kind that was written in the stars. Faust suggested in recent years a romantic view of modern jazz, expanded her musical language with projects that involved contemporary music and Estonian folk music and collaborated closely with Danish vocalist Kira Skov. Dahl and Walter, who have worked before in many formats including in Lydia Lunch’s Retrovirus and more recently in Walter’s The Flying Luttenbachers, often behave like brutes who need their music to be loud, dirty and steamy.
But creative artists like Faust, Dahl and Walter are much more than one-trick-ponies (or fish, like the one Faust holds in the cover). Faust has a sharp sense of humor and wild imagination as her work with the trio Shitney and the teasing videos for «Farm Fresh» stress. Dahl has worked with notable improvisers, including Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn and Marc Ribot. Walter’s body of work draws equally from no-wave, death-metal, free-jazz, punk, and modern classical music.
Faust, Dahl and Walter were ready to prove the stars were dead wrong already in the 2016 version of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival when the trio first performed. «Farm Fresh» was recorded two years later, in March and December 2018 in Brooklyn, later mixed and mastered by Walter. Surprisingly, neither Faust nor Dahl and Walter needed to change their attitudes. Faust wrote the ten pieces and she tells her eccentric, in-your-face emotional stories with her melodic-singing alto sax. Dahl and Walter charge these stories with nervous, punk-ish energy. Sometimes she disciplines them and channels their irresistible power to her narratives, as on the ironic «Kulak», the restless ballad of the title-piece or the playful «Gone Modern Harvest». On other times, Dahl and Walter seduce her to a sweaty, manic dance as on «Helvede Sild» or to join the reckless, rhythmic grind of «Virgin Lands». But, Faust claims that she is no more that «A Little Farmer Girl», as one of her new pieces is called. I guess that this girl just wanted to have some wild fun and make some joyful noise with the big guys from the big city.
Maria Faust (as), Tim Dahl (b), Weasel Walter (dr)