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BrŲtzmann/Friis Nielsen/Uuskyla: Medicina (2005)

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Brötzmann/Friis Nielsen/Uuskyla: Medicina No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Medicina further documents Peter Brötzmann's volcanic creativity, here in a trio with veteran collaborators Peeter Uuskyla on drums and Peter Friis Nielsen on electric bass. While recent recordings have shown the Teutonic Tornado varying his attack with a relatively gentle touch, Medicina is pure balls-out Brötzmann, except for a ballad and his lyrical intro to "Hard Time Blues." He might as well be Thor, saxophone lightning launcher. Notably, each piece receives individual compositional credit. Whatever structures these guys erect are obliterated in the resulting firestorm.

Fading in with Uuskyla solo, "Rocket Tango" lifts off when Brötzmann and Friis Nielsen ignite. The alto bellows with primal power, Uuskyla scattering beats like blowing leaves. Unfortunately, here and throughout Friis Nielsen occupies a poorly mixed sonic netherworld, and his contributions to the frenzy are muddy. His "One, Two, Three, Free" follows, with the bass seeming to wander through Uuskyla's minefield and Brotzmann essaying the explosions on tenor.

Brötzmann's near-multiphonic attack runs rampant over Uuskyla's multirhythmic "Artemisia." A brief bass and drum duet seems to slow the momentum, then Brötzmann returns to fill the sails once again. "Justicia" features death defying tenor twists and turns, rhythm section roiling. Back on alto, Brötzmann offers his own "Some Ghosts Step Out." With the scent of Ayler in his technique and performance, this seems a tribute. Friis Nielsen busily tears up the fret board as Uuskyla tells several stories at once.

A fluttering clarinet and crisp brushwork open the collection's lone ballad, "Here and Now." Friis Nielsen climbs around the bass as Brötzmann plays an introverted heartbreaking melody. With raspy squawking, Brötzmann brings his tarogato to the medium tempo "Bones and Beans." A soulful tenor intro sets the mood for "Hard Time Blues." With impassioned cries and downward bent tones, Brötzmann tells a long, sad tale. After a brief rhythm section interlude, Brotzmann slams the tempo in gear and drives off the disc.

Medicina supplies a strong dose of the Brötzmann phenomenon, with the powerful reed player showing no sign of relenting or mellowing.

Track Listing: Rocket Tango; One, Two, Three, Free; Artemisia; Justicia; Some Ghosts Step Out; Here and Now; Bones and Beans; Hard Times Blues

Personnel: Peter BrŲtzmann: alto and tenor saxophones, tarogato and A-clarinet; Peter Friis Nielsen: electric bass; Peeter Uuskyla: drum

Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide

Style: Modern Jazz


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