Short Visit to Nowhere

Peter Brötzmann Tentet

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Short Visit to Nowhere Review

by Brian Olewnick

Short Visit to Nowhere is the companion disc to Broken English, recorded by Peter Brötzmann's tentet on the same dates in 2000. This release contains four pieces, more or less alternating between riff-oriented, driving works and more abstract pieces. Mars Williams' "Hold That Thought" has a North African feel in its sinuous primary theme before giving way to a wonderfully driving secondary structure that serves as a fine underpinning for some raucous free soloing. It's rather reminiscent of Willem Breuker's band at their wildest, but with fiercer soloists. The band switches gears entirely for the wryly titled "Ellington," a composition by Mats Gustafsson that begins in a flurry of key clickings and breath sounds before exploding into various areas, including percussion duets and massed reed formations. Brötzmann's title track is a brutish, lumbering thing, very dark and harsh but powerful for all that. Lonberg-Holm has a strong turn on electrified cello, summoning Hendrix-like ghosts, but the piece sputters a bit out of breath to its conclusion. "Lightbox," the Lonberg-Holm conduction that closes the disc, begins as a well-measured and almost delicate affair before giving way to some amazing work by Mats Gustafsson on baritone and extreme blowing by the entire wind section. Capturing all the brilliance and ferocity of the Brötzmann tentet in the studio and on disc is a thankless task. That this album comes within shouting distance is reason enough to recommend hearing it.

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