Peter Brötzmann

Hairy Bones

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German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann started his career in the 1960s and early '70s performing frequently with a core group of collaborators, notably bassists Peter Kowald and Buschi Niebergall, drummers Han Bennink and Sven-Åke Johansson, pianists Misha Mengelberg and Fred Van Hove, and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, and with these players and others he was part of the Globe Unity Orchestra. His circle of musical associates has expanded and expanded throughout his career, though, and in recent years he's begun working with some of the most ferocious players on the current European scene. This album, which documents a September 2008 concert at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, features an all-star band of sorts. Trumpeter Toshinori Kondo was Brötzmann's front-line partner in the 1990s quartet Die Like a Dog; bassist Massimo Pupillo comes from the Italian jazz-noise-metal group Zu; and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, a Swede, seems to work with as many people as Brötzmann himself. This combination of players, none of whom is particularly known for subtlety, creates a highly combustible sound on the two long tracks that make up the show, and the disc. Pupillo's highly amplified, distorted bass and Nilssen-Love's maniacal drumming recall Bill Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson's work with Brötzmann in the 1980s group Last Exit, while Kondo's ribbons of electronically warped trumpet will be more of the same for any listener who's heard Die Like a Dog. The saxophonist, of course, is up to his usual reed-splintering, lung-bursting tricks throughout, screeching and roaring without letup despite switching between tenor and alto saxophone, bass clarinet and tarogato as the show progresses. The music is exhilarating on first listen, as it doubtless was for the audience in attendance; whether this kind of relentless blowing rewards repeated listening, or adds anything to one's preexisting impression of Brötzmann's art, will be up to the individual listener to decide.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 31:45
2 37:32
blue highlight denotes track pick