German saxophone powerhouse Peter Brotzmann favors the trio format to deliver the optimum combination of energy and directness. Over the years he's sought inspiration from many illustrious rhythm teams, from the South African Harry Miller / Louis Moholo axis, through the American Die Like A Dog coupling of William Parker and Hamid Drake, to the Swiss Full Blast pairing of Michael Wertmuller and Marino Pliakas. However one of his most potent units in recent times has been the English twosome of John Edwards and Steve Noble. Though initiated in January 2010, to date their only documentation has been on The ...read more
Gone, now more than twenty years ago, guitarist Sonny Sharrock passing in 1994 seems like just yesterday. Maybe it is because his inexhaustible larger-than-life sound still permeates the music of today's free jazz community. This recording, from 1987 is a hidden gem and treasured fragment, perhaps another Rosetta Stone that allows listeners to appreciate how the jazz and rock music worlds shattered into a million pieces in the 1960s, only to reconfigure into new and challenging ways. Sharrock first met Peter Brötzmann in 1969, as the saxophonist relates in the conversation interview book with Gerard Rouy We Thought ...read more
In his seventy-second year, Peter Brötzmann shows no signs of decline. The fire-breathing saxophonist and hero to all free jazz musicians embarked on yet another tour, releasing this limited edition recording (only 400 copies) with a silk screened cover A Fish Stinks From The Head with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love who is 33-years his junior. Recorded in April, 2013 at Cafe OTO in London, the two- track disc packs a Herculean blast into just 33 minutes of music. But then, connoisseurs of such matters know this. The saxophonist has recorded many stunning duets with drummers. Early on, in the ...read more
The greatest artists in history have never been able to capture the immensity of the American sequoia trees. Like the Grand Canyon, their gargantuan size cannot successfully be reduced to canvas by painters like Albert Bierstadt or Thomas Hill, nor captured on gelatin silver prints by photographers like Ansel Adams. Seeing is, indeed, believing. Just like the titanic Redwoods, experiencing the force of nature that is Peter Brötzmann is best done in person.Thankfully, an excellent recording can succeed in recreating the aural experience. The imagination is then left to fill in the invariable lacuna.With the success ...read more
The Peter Brötzmann Chicago TentetConcert For Fukushima Wels 2011PanRec/Trost Records2013 In 2011 the Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria, celebrated Peter Brötzmann's 70th birthday (as well as the festival's 25th year edition), under the title Long Story Short. Brötzmann was asked to curate the program and after two years of preparation he ended with 40 musicians, in new and not-so-new formations, who gathered to celebrate over four packed days what Brötzmann stands for--intensity, freedom, chin up and never give up, power and attitude. On the last day of ...read more
The Turkish free jazz outfit KonstruKt might be considered the most evolved improvisational band working in jazz today. Founded, not in the hotbeds of jazz, London, New York, Chicago, Wuppertal, or Krakow, their isolation is the key to their success. Well, isolation and observation. Although this band was formed in 2008, their free jazz ears date back to the 1960s. The band has absorbed the lessons of John Coltrane's Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1967), Peter Brötzmann's Machine Gun (FMP, 1968), and more recent works by Ivo Perelman, William Parker, and Joe McPhee. This live disc ...read more
Never at a loss for words (or, in his case, notes), saxophonist Peter Brötzmann is, nonetheless, one to speak only when necessary. Meaning, he chooses his sounds carefully. On first blush this fire-breathing legend, who brought forth such monumental free jazz discs as Machine Gun (FMP, 1968), the 1970 session Fuck de Boere: Dedicated to Johnny Dyani (UMS/Atavistic, 2001), and his current monster electric noise band Hairybones, might appear loquacious, even unreserved.But get a glimpse of his solo work. Beginning with Solo (FMP, 1976), 14 Love Poems (FMP, 1984) and the more recent Solo + Trio ...read more
Whether you have no experience with the Godfather of free jazz or you measure your Peter Brötzmann CD and LP collection in linear feet, this 5CD box curated by the German saxophonist is either a great introduction to or an affirmation of his music and influence.Organized on the occasion of his 70th birthday, these four days of performances in November 2011, also marked the 25th anniversary of the Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria. Brötzmann did not assemble a retrospective of his ouevre, as there were no recreations of the fabled Machine Gun (FMP, 1968) sessions, Globe Unity Orchestra, ...read more
Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet + 1Café OtoLondonNovember 9-10, 2012Reprising a legendary three-day residency at Dalston's Café Oto in April 2011, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet roared into town for two nights as part of the London Jazz Festival, the penultimate dates in a nine-day European tour. Incredibly, given the inclement economic climate and the busy schedules of a star-studded roster bursting with leaders in their own right, this band has hit the road relentlessly, several times each year, since its inception in 1997. That depth of shared experience, alongside the possibility absorbing lessons learned over ...read more
Peter Brötzmann Ada TrioCafé OtoLondonFebruary 20, 2012 So potent was the chemistry between saxophone behemoth Peter Brötzmann, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love when they first convened, that a separate existence was clearly merited. Although the saxophonist had previously engaged both younger men in duos, captured by Smalltown Superjazz on Wood Cuts (2010) and Sweetsweat (2007) in the case of the Norwegian, it was on the 2011 Chicago Tentet tour that the triumvirate initially came together. Each night varying subsets of the larger group provided the hors d'oeuvre to the main event. That performance ...read more
Peter Brötzmann QuartetAbrons Art Center Main StageNew York, NYJune 8, 2011 On a hot June night in downtown NYC, the Vision Festival welcomed German tenor saxophonist Peter Brötzmann to the main stage of the Abrons Art Center. Famously nicknamed Machine Gun" early on in his career by Don Cherry, for his unrelenting sound, and then cutting a legendary free jazz blasterpiece of the same name (FMP 1968), Brötzmann has been a fearless explorer of the outermost reaches of jazz and beyond, pushing beyond even the haunting chaos of Albert Ayler. Even at 70 years ...read more
Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet +1Café OtoLondon, UKApril 18-20, 2011 Since its inception in 1997, Peter Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet has become one of the foremost large groupings in free jazz, not least because of its unrivalled roster of talent and its durability as a unit. When asked how he had kept such an exceptional group of musicians together, German reed iconoclast Brötzmann replied: Doing it for such a long time tells me that they want to do it." As he explained to BBC Radio's Jazz on Three in a live interview on the final night, it ...read more
Peter Brötzmann's Full Blast Trio with Ken VandermarkCafé OtoLondonSeptember 30, 2010Any review of Peter Brötzmann's Full Blast Trio tends to be liberally spattered with words like blustering, explosive, aggressive and fiery, testament to the raw power and energy channeled through this threesome in their short existence. Not that the German reed iconoclast was a shrinking violet before. Ever since his emergence on the international jazz stage with the earth shattering Machine Gun (FMP, 1968), rightly or wrongly, Brötzmann's name has been synonymous with lung rasping excess. Age has not entirely mellowed him. Now aged 69, ...read more
We live during a time when society needs music in boxes, connected with dots; music that can be readily explained and even more readily understood. But Peter Brotzmann tears down the walls, rips apart the boxes and completely shatters any preconceived notions of what music is supposed to be. He understands the necessity of art being able to express from the soul and spirit of the artist, and that is a freedom fought for, one that is intensely fought for. It is a simplicity found in its own complexity, a search that cannot be taught but must be carefully found ...read more
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