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Peter Brötzmann: Wolk In Hosen

Mark Corroto By

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In a blindfold test—and not knowing he was but 11 years old when this solo session was recorded in 1976—the sound heard on Wolk In Hosen might be mistaken for that of Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. But no, it is, indeed, Gustafsson's hero and musical role model, the fire-breathing Peter Brötzmann.

Also released as part of the limited edition, 12-CD box FMP im Rückblick—in Retrospect (1969-2010) (FMP, 2010)—with an extraordinary 218-page book full of photographs, articles, and a complete FMP discography—this Brötzmann solo recording was last available as an LP back in the 1970s, and he didn't record another solo disc until 1984's 14 Love Poems, reissued as 14 Love Poems Plus 10 More—Dedicated To Kenneth Patchen (FMP, 2004).

This gem of a session features Brötzmann on alto, tenor, and bass saxophones, clarinet—even a bit of piano twinkling, on "Eine Kleine Marschmusik" (which Gustafsson and The Thing would cover 30 years later). This piece, plus "Jack-In-The-Box"—a football team's marching song—best demonstrates Brötzmann's connection to the music of Albert Ayler, music which he extended and nurtured, after Ayler's death in 1970.

Like Ayler, Brötzmann has a love for ferocity, but the great man's ability to extend his sound beyond the limitations of his instruments is also heard here. Musical poetry is spoken through his mouthpiece on "Blue Balls," where he walks a simple melody on his clarinet into a seesawing tussle between spoken growls and sweet lines. Same for his bass saxophone on "Humpty Dumpty," played with a bouncy dance of low notes, and "Twee(D)didum," a song that scales the upper registers of his alto saxophone.

Too long out-of-print, this solo session is as fresh now as it was back in 1976.

Track Listing: Brunches; Two birds In A Feather; Piece For Two Clarinets; Wolke In Hosen; Der Grieche; Blue Balls; Scrambag; Piece For Two clarinets; Humpty Dumpty; Jack-In-The-Box; Twee(D)didum; Eine Kleine Marschmusik.

Personnel: Peter Brötzmann: clarinet; alto saxophone; tenor saxophone; bass saxophone; piano.

Title: Wolk In Hosen | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: FMP Records

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