Peter Brötzmann

No Nothing

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Listeners who only know Brotzmann through his early Sturm und Drang masterworks like Machine Gun and Nipples or with his full-throttle contributions to the free/metal band Last Exit might be surprised at the reticence displayed on much of this solo recording. Most assuredly, there's some fire breathing to be found, but there are also more deep and thoughtful ruminations than one might expect. For example, the piece "It Is Growing Dark" has strong echoes of Coltrane's "Naima," while "Magogagog" is a bass clarinet workout redolent with the blues. Though freely improvising, Brotzmann does not simply play in stream of consciousness fashion. Rather, each performance on the disc is concerned with a certain "sound territory" which is explored with probity and passion. If that exploration calls for unbridled screaming, so be it. But if it calls for a nod to Eric Dolphy as on the vibrant, occasionally boppish "Cold Moon," no problem. One aspect this album shares with all of Brotzmann's work is a deeply sincere baring of the soul with no artificial guises and no self-pity. Recommended for the adventurous listener.

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