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Estonian, Copenhagen-based singular alto sax player-composer Maria Faust founded Jazz Catastrophe in 2012 as a modern jazz 15-musician big band. Jazz Catastrophe released a debut, self-titled in 2013 (released by Barefoot Records) and Faust continued to perform with a smaller version of this band before Faust shifted her focus to other bands like Sacrum Facere, Machina, Shitney and other projects.

The 3rd mutation of Jazz Catastrophe is concentrated and reduced down to its essence, a trio with guitarist Lars Bech Pilgaard (of Svin and Laser Nun) and drummer Anders Vestergaard (of Girls in Airports, Yes Deer and Laser Nun), neither of them played in the first incarnations of Jazz Catastrophe or recorded before with Faust, but both are long-time collaborators of Faust. Moth is Faust’s 15th album and was recorded at Studiet på Frederiksberg in October 2023.

Faust, as usual, finds inspiration in the most unconventional places and creatures and now she is fascinated by the life of mysterious nocturnal creatures – moths, and their attraction to light, including artificial light, that may become fatal. Moth explores the bittersweet similarities of moths to human behavior, but Faust insists that this album is not about death and demise. She thinks of Moth as and album for star-crossed lovers, who in their euphoric state of mind see only the light.

Moth serves here as a provocative yet beautiful and moving metaphor for us, humans, when something is about to go wrong, we still choose to go straight toward the flame. It is stripped down to its essence like a thick syrup, and so real and beautiful that it can hurt you, but you will not be able to turn away. But it also fits perfectly with the genre-bending sonic vision of Faust who refuses to subscribe to any conventions and pushes her compositional ideas into the most profound and personal realms, flirting with art rock and punk. Moth is the most free and ‘out’ album of Faust, close in its intensity only Farm Fresh, her trio with American bassist Tim Dahl and drummer Weasel Walter (Gotta Get It Out, 2019). Pilgaard and Vestergaard are perfect comrades for this moving yet thoughtful and sober journey toward dramatic, emotional enlightenment and release.

Eyal Hareuveni

Maria Faust (alto saxophone), Lars Bech Pilgaard (guitar), Anders Vestergaard (drums)