Peter Brötzmann

Medicina

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    8
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Recorded in Sweden in 2003, this free jazz power trio features three Peters: Brötzmann (saxophone, clarinet, and taragato), Friis Nielsen (electric bass), and Uuskyla (drums). Medicina contains all the excitement, creativity, and deep listening interplay that signifies why the free approach still has plenty to offer. There are eight cuts here, ranging from just over six minutes to over 13. Propulsion is the key here; everything is force, motion, and friction. Hearing Brötzmann play against an electric bass player who understands how to get under blasts of cacophony and keep it all gurgling forward in a snake-like fashion while giving Uuskyla plenty of counterforce. The high point of the session is the final cut, the lengthy "Hard Time Blues," which begins something like a conventional blues with Brötzmann playing a mournful solo before the rest of the band comes in, and swirls about the low end and "melody" for a few bars before beginning to build a tower of tension and energy. The movement of the piece ebbs and flows with a fine solo by Friis Nielsen before Brötzmann takes the blues line and turns it inside out, moving forward and back across three vamps and warping them enough to create a wall of fury. It's a hell of a finish to a very fine album. Medicina is modern free jazz at its best.

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