Whenever Peter Brötzmann picks up a saxophone, he broadcasts a tremendous sense of urgency. He projects life experience with incredible emotional intensityas freely and powerfully as a saxophonist has ever spoken. For some listeners, the force of his personal expression may be too much, so consider yourself warned. The fire here gets very hot.
Brötzmann's original Die Like A Dog Quartet, first recorded by FMP in '94, contained trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. The new quartet features trumpeter Roy Campbell instead. In many ways, the new recording improves on the old. From Valley to Valley documents a very urgent live performance from 1998's Fire in the Valley Festival in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Brötz's old comrades on this date include Hamid Drake on drums and William Parker on bass. These two have spent a lot of time working together, so they know how to tie down a groove. The relative tightness of the rhythm section helps anchor the wild, unrestrained freedom of the front line. Roy Campbell, who has his own records out as a leader on Delmark and Silkheart, stands aside Brötz without trying to step in front: playing witty contrapuntal lines and tugging the saxophone behemoth in new directions. As you might not expect, there is a wide variety of moods here, from exuberant to curious to contemplative. You might even have to turn up the volume in a couple of places.