Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
437

Peter Brötzmann: A Night In Sana'a

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Brötzmann: A Night In Sana'a Reaching across cultures is nothing new for jazz artists, and certainly jazz (by definition) is the amalgamation of ethnic European, African, Afro-Cuban and American blues music. With this recording by free jazz patriarch Peter Brötzmann in Yemen, the junction is not only of different cultures but of different centuries.

Record label chief Uli Armbruster shared recordings of traditional Yemeni music with the saxophonist, convincing him to travel to Sana'a in 2004 to perform. He arrived with Chicagoan and first generation Assyrian-American drummer Michael Zerang to rehearse and perform with a quintet of classically trained Yemeni musicians.

That the Arabic musicians had never considered the 20th (or 21st) century concept of improvisation is reflected in the music of this live concert. But, with rehearsals and the exchange of ideas, the two jazzmen met the five Middle Eastern musicians halfway.

Traditional pieces open and close the recording. The Yemeni musicians playing the kanoun (zither), nay (wooden flute), darbuka (hand drum), cello and violin are joined by Zerang on drums and Brötzmann, playing clarinet and tenor saxophone. In deference to his hosts, Brötzmann's signature torrential attack is held in check for the most part; what develops, though, is the musicians' ancient style opening up to Brötzmann's untethered sounds.

The four remaining tracks are Brötzmann compositions, the accompaniments the result of the saxophonist's hosts transcribing his melodies. The results are beautifully polite, with the Yemeni musicians loosening their structures and Brötzmann thriving in their Arabic vibe. Occasionally, as on "The 3 Back 2 Procedure," only Zerang can follow the saxophonist's improvisational flights, but not to worry; his new friends are waiting for him once he returns to earth.


Track Listing: Aza-Hu Wa Adhla-Ni (traditional); Borne Back Home; Jumpin' And Rollin'; The 3 Back 2 For Procedure; Song For Fred; Ya Nasim Al-Sahri (traditional).

Personnel: Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Michael Zerang: drums; Abdul-Aziz Mokrid: violin; Khalid Barkosch: cello; Achmed Al-Khalidy: kanun; Ali Saleh: ney; Yasir Al-Absi: darbuka.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Armored Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
Read more articles
Risc
Risc
Trost Records
2016
buy
Münster Bern
Münster Bern
Cubus Records
2016
buy
Ears Are Filled With Wonder
Ears Are Filled With...
Not Two Records
2016
buy
Tales Out Of Time
Tales Out Of Time
Hatology
2015
buy
Soulfood Available
Soulfood Available
Clean Feed Records
2015
buy
Mental Shake
Mental Shake
Otoroku
2014
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.