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Brötzmann / Nilssen-Love: Chicken Shit Bingo

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Brötzmann / Nilssen-Love: Chicken Shit Bingo
We lost Peter Brötzmann in the summer of 2023. The saxophonist and champion of free jazz passed at the age of 82. There may be no more live appearances from the great man, but there will be posthumous releases. Hopefully, all will be as spirited and compelling as Chicken Shit Bingo, a duo with Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. The pair had worked together in groups as large as Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet, in trio and quartet settings. However, it is the duo tours and recordings, Sweet Sweat (Smalltown Superjazzz, 2008), Woodcuts (Smalltown Superjazzz, 2010), and the hard to find releases on Brötzmann's BRÖ label A Fish Stinks From The Head (2013) and Levontin 7 (2017) which establish this pair as a commanding voice in free jazz.

While the other releases by Brötzmann and Nilssen-Love are from live concerts, Chicken Shit Bingo was captured in an Antwerp studio in 2015. The musicians had the time and opportunity to record at their chosen pace. Couple that with Brötzmann's inclusion of the contra-alto clarinet, a new instrument in his arsenal. He opts here for deeply resonating horns, like the above plus the bass saxophone, tarogato, and bass clarinet. Nilssen-Love also brought new sounds to the session with the inclusion of Korean gongs.

The difference is felt from the opening track with unhurried notes blown over the ping of struck gongs and metal . For the most part, the expected onslaught of energy jazz is not found here. Nilssen-Love works with a deliberate pulse throughout. His rattle and clatter are replaced by echoing booms and small gestures. The pair seem to have agreed to create a meditative and solemn session. Could it be from their choice of instruments? Or maybe it was the setting of a studio which created the mood. Brötzmann's blues "Smuddy Water" wades through a thickness of sound, as does "Five Of Them Survived The Dream," where a full-throated horn is countered by the ping and clang of metal. The pair do amp the intensity with the two shortest tracks, "Dancing Octopus" and "Move On Over," performed as a kind of head-clearing gestures. The accompanying notes tell us there will be a future release from this studio session and also a live recording.

Track Listing

Butterfly Mushroom; Ant Eater Hornback Lizard; Smuddy Water; South of No Return; Dancing Octopus; Move on over; Five of them Survived the Dream; Found the Cabin but no People.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Chicken Shit Bingo | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Trost Records


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