Sunn Trio – Sunn Trio

The scorching heat of the Arizona day, and the complementary soothing coolness of its night, is whence Sunn Trio emerges. Playing a punk-spirited, Arabic-music-tinged free jazz, the ‘trio’ release cassette recordings of their live performances since at least 2015, with Radiowaves. Their new, self-titled endeavour takes the form of a vinyl record. What baffles me is that there seems to be a whole lot of people credited for a trio… Indeed, there are no less than eleven players mentioned on bandcamp, making it rather close to the scope of a big band, but I suppose they would be guest musicians, with the three core members forming the trio. Sunn Trio, or Stun Noir, clocks in at almost three quarters of an hour, with seven separate tracks of mind-boggling pseudo-composition. There is indeed no mention of what portion of it was written out beforehand, and how much of a role improvisation played, but I’m guessing that there is quite a lot of improvisation, with only perhaps some structure and loose events in the song laid out in advance. This recording features blazing guitars and nervous bass licks over an overachieving drummer and accompanied by a multitude of instrumentalists, from trumpet to lap steel guitar. The punk and metal nature of the band shows through the hazes of free avant-garde jazz, and that concoction is a bitter and amazing brew.