There was a time when touring avant-garde jazz acts rarely came to Houston. Thanks to the Pauline Oliveros Foundation, all that is changing. Joe McPhee, Sam Rivers and Jon Butcher have all graced stages here in the past few months, and the home stretch of 2002 promises even more interesting artists who take jazz to places where many of us are scared to go. Norway's Frode Gjerstad Trio is one of them. Gjerstad heads the ensemble on alto sax and clarinet, badass young buck Paal Nilssen-Love mans the drums, and Øyvind Storesund is on the bass. Gjerstad has played and recorded with the likes of William Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Brotzman, Billy Bang and Rashid Bakr, and Love has performed with Pat Metheny, Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson, to name a few. This trio combines a strong influence of classic '60s free jazz with a reverence for the careful ensemble playing of the British school of free improvisation. Over the years they have developed a style all their own. Come try to understand it.