Peter Brötzmann

The Brain of the Dog in Section

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AllMusic Review by

For those who are familiar with the music of Peter Brötzmann, it should delight you that you already have an idea of what The Brain of the Dog in Section, the improvised duet album with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, sounds like. The latter also doubles on sundry electronics on this set, even as Brötzmann employs his trademark tenor, as well as alto saxophones, B flat clarinet, and taragato as well. Two long improvisations, and one very brief one by contrast, showcase a wealth of sonic textures and dynamics. That said, this duo also makes an excellent case for showcasing the importance of listening in free improvisation. In "Section One," the alto and tenor are placed in sharp juxtaposition to drawn out bowed tones, feedback, and very fast arco and fingerwork from Lonberg-Holm. The way electronics move toward the pitch of Brötzmann's horns and playfully engage them, elongating not only flurries and clusters of notes and sounds but also spaces, makes for real delight. The bass clarinet makes its first appearance on "Section Two." While the 19-plus-minute cut does begin with a fire storm, at around the ten-minute mark it transitions into a gorgeous, spacious, droning lull of modal and even lyric melody on each instrument. It's a moving interlude before the intensity, inevitably, ratchets up again. "Section Three" seems to be a study in elongated tones, and subsequent phrases constructed almost entirely from them reach for the scalar heights before moving back into the thick of entwining lines and arpeggios. The sparks on this set fly fast, but never loose. This is a deeply focused affair that gives listeners the best of both players on display at full-bore.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
13:52
2
19:39
3
04:22
blue highlight denotes track pick