Peter Brötzmann

In a State of Undress

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Until he makes his solo entrance midway through the first piece, many an unmindful listener would have been hard pressed to identify this as a Peter Brötzmann album. Up to that point, Manfred Schoof's "Certainly," with the composer on flügelhorn, had sounded more like a breezy, loosely swinging Kenny Wheeler composition, with none of the incendiary eruptions and semi-controlled chaos of a typical session by this master. The next couple of tracks range a bit closer to "normal" Brötzmann territory, but are still relatively straightforward, with identifiable thematic material and a rhythmic push more bebop than free in nature. Bassist Jay Oliver's "Berlin Grey for a Rainy Day" is a moody dirge where the more subtle, understated aspects of both Brötzmann's and Schoof's character are shown to good effect. The concluding title piece sounds remarkably like a lost late-'60s Ornette Coleman piece, with Schoof firmly in the Don Cherry pocket and the rhythm team pulling off a fine Izenzon/Moffett imitation. Arguably the "straightest" date in Brötzmann's discography, In a State of Undress is also a solid, enjoyable session on its own.

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