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Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, co-founder of seminal Scandinavian groups as The Thing and Atomic, formed The Young Mothers after relocating to Austin, Texas. This Texan sextet was titled after after a Houston community project for teen mothers that Flaten’s then-partner worked with. This title captures the spirit of this group that embraces and nurtures a hyperactive fusion of sonic approaches – free-improv that meets tough hip-hop lyrics, Tejano-inspired horn lines mixed with soul jazz and Ethio-jazz quotes and surf rock that collides with metal.

«Morose» is the sophomore album of The Young Mothers, following the self-released «A Mothers’ Work Is Never Done» (2014). This album was recorded in the middle of 2016 and early 2017 after the group completed few tours in United States and Europe, solidifying its explosive interplay. The line-up remains the same – Flaten on acoustic and electric basses; drummer Frank Rosaly, the only non-Texan player, a Chicagoan now based in Amsterdam who has played in Flaten’s defunct Chicago Sextet; Dallas-based, vibes player-drummer Stefan González, known from the Yells At Eels; Houston-based sax player Jason Jackson; Austin-based guitarist Jonathan F. Horne, known from the group Plutonium Farmers; and Houston-based hip-hop artist, trumpeter, electronics player (and social activist) Jawwaad Taylor.

The distinct sonic approaches keep crisscrossing and merging into each other constantly in the most natural manner, offering a peaceful co-existence. The Young Mothers simply claim that superficial genre labels don’t mean much anymore and even in the volatile, urgent microcosm of The Young mother there is enough room for all. This sextet does not leave you any choice but to surrender totally to the infectious, groove of «Attica Black». Before realizing it you may find yourself dancing or moving your limbs involuntary to its fierce and intense free-jazz freak out. «Black Tar Caviar» blends Gato Barbieri-like soulful jazz blows with death metal growls and Ethio-jazz à la Gétatchèw Mèkurya and «Bodiless Arms» suggest a folk theme from the school of Don Cherry. «Jazz Oppression» summarizes what The Young Mothers thinks of purists or authoritative protagonists of any genre, especially jazz, provoking these neo-cons jazz advocates to stand against the tidal waves of this omnivorous sextet. «Shanghai» concludes this intense journey with an optimist-dreamy invitation to a better, more welcoming world.

Eyal Hareuveni

Jawwaad Taylor (rhymes, tp, elec), Jason Jackson (ts, bs, v), Stefan González (vib, dr, v, grindalonium); Jonathan F. Horne (g, v); Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (el.b, acc.b), Francisco Rosaly (dr, perc)

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