The Young Mothers – BIO
The Young Mothers
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – ac. and el. Bass, compositions
Jawwaad Taylor – trumpet/electronics/vocals
Jason Jackson – alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
Jonathan Horne – guitar/pedals
Stefan Gonzalez – drums/vibraphone
Frank Rosaly – drums/electronics
If you’re going to live and work somewhere as a musician, you have to make that place your own. Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, the man with the bass, could easily have kept to his musical roots in Norway and Chicago – places where he’s already known as a linchpin in the creative music scene. But upon relocating to Austin in 2009 – despite the exigencies of regular travel – Flaten decided that he had to convene a Texas-centric working band. After all, as trumpeter-composer Bill Dixon famously stated that “you start from where you are” – and for Flaten’s Texas sojourn, the starting point is The Young Mothers. From his Chicago Sextet, Flaten picked drummer Frank Rosaly to be his rhythm partner (they also work together in the Scorch Trio and Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet). Dallas drummer and vibraphonist Stefan Gonzalez, son of trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and one-third of the familial trio Yells at Eels (with bassist Aaron Gonzalez), completed the rhythm section. Coming from the Houston scene and Nameless Sound are saxophonist Jason Jackson and trumpeter/MC/electronic artist Jawwaad Taylor (now NYC-based). The guitar chair was originally filled by Norway’s Stian Westerhus, but to keep the band locally-centered, guitarist Jonathan Horne (Plutonium Farmers, Southwestern Free) has taken over.
The Young Mothers are a brilliant band that merges modern jazz, free improvisation, indie rock, hip hop and a caterwauling Afro-groove reminiscent of the Brotherhood of Breath. Bringing all of these elements together is an exercise in extreme risk, but Flaten’s rigor and ear has resulted in a unique and powerful handpicked ensemble. The rhythm section is deep, throaty and incredibly swinging, while Jackson’s reed work is both feral and soulful. Horne’s extensive pedigree in surf rock and punk (as well as rugged free improvisation) means that The Young Mothers have someone in the front line that’s unpredictable and has a wide range of sources to draw from. Coupled with Jawwaad, whose palette combines Don Cherry-like sputters and flourishes with intelligent, off-kilter rapping, this group is without comparison. Would something like The Young Mothers have come together without Flaten’s vision? Perhaps, but such an ensemble wouldn’t have had the knotty free-rock compositional sensibility that the bassist brings to the table, not to mention his grounded tone and drive. To call The Young Mothers just a local project is inaccurate, too – they may have started in Austin, but the world is certainly pining for their diffuse, joyous vibe.