Han Bennink / Peter Brötzmann / Fred Van Hove

Tschüs

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This cooperative trio released a number of albums for FMP in the late '60s and early '70s, and affords the listener a chance to hear a lighter, more playful side of Peter Brötzmann, whose reputation is derived from more extreme and assaultive sessions such as Machine Gun and Nipples. Surely part of this approach is due to the antic nature of percussionist Han Bennink, who, whether playing his drum set or the studio floor, accordions or clarinets, rarely fails to inject wit and sly humor into the proceedings. Tschus is arranged almost as a suite of shorter works, some having a relatively straight jazz and blues nature, others edging into the investigation of pure sound as championed by groups such as AMM. Van Hove's clear, supple piano playing often serves as the bridge between Brötzmann's wilder stylings and Bennink's (often literally) off-the-wall punctuations. Brötzmann's bass sax work on "Bierhaus Wendel" is lush and creamy, especially in conjunction with Van Hove's accordion. The album ends with a charmingly schmaltzy vocal rendition of the title cut, featuring Brötzmann's crooning over the strangled bird cries produced (who knows how?) by Bennink and Van Hove's cocktail piano. This alone is worth the price of admission.

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