Little Birds Have Fast Hearts, No. 2

Die Like a Dog Quartet

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Little Birds Have Fast Hearts, No. 2 Review

by Joslyn Layne

This second installment of the Die Like a Dog Quartet's live performances at the 30th Total Music Meeting in Berlin picks up right where the first volume (with two long cuts, "Part 1" and "Part 2") left off, with a first track entitled "Part 3." Leader Peter Brotzmann signals the beginning with a clarinet call, soon answered by trumpeter Toshinori Kondo (who often utilizes electronic effects), and it's not too long before bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake come rolling in. The quartet warms up slowly during this opening number, giving themselves plenty of space between the colors and shading for the first many minutes before things start to heat up and really get going for a few minutes until the quartet drops back into an unhurried, exploratory mode. The second half of this 20-minute improvisation finds them intensifying, with solos from both Kondo and Brotzmann (still on clarinet) during the tail end. "Part 4" matches the first track in both length and dynamics, finds Brotzmann on tarogato and tenor sax, and includes two brief sections where Parker and Drake go it alone. "Part 5" actually opens with a fragment of a bluesy melody from Kondo and Parker has his bow in hand for this number that stays, for the most part, whispery and abstract. The short "Part 6" is a finale during which the quartet plays full force. Little Birds Have Fast Hearts, No. 2 complements the first volume, including more of this quartet's excellent interplay and self-feeding energy.

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