Friday, March 07, 2008

Peter Brotzmann, et. al. - Pica Pica (Atavistic UMS, 2008)

Recorded during an early '80's jazz festival, this is a freely improvised collaboration between Peter Brotzmann on saxophones, Albert Manglelsdorff on trombone and Gunter Sommer on drums. The music ranges from the abstract and angular to fiery and free blowing. The opening track "Instant Tears" contains both of these moods, culminating in the three instrumentalists coming together for a frantic improvisatory conversation, but the majority of the music on this selection consists of slow paced probing and groundwork laying, which builds a foundation in riffs and slurs. "We du Mir" has an opening solo of percussion and drums, until trombone enters the fray, poking and prodding around the edges of the improvised drum work. Brotzmann swirls in at a little after the seven minute mark, adding high pitched saxophone to the dialogue. Things develop to a very impressive degree with squalls of saxophone over stuttering trombone and intense drumming. Things simmer down a little bit at the twelve minute mark, before ratcheting up the intensity and concluding the improvisation. "Pica Pica" is a short spontaneous encore, fun and encouraged by the insistent clapping of the audience. Short, intense spontaneity brings out some of the most focused playing of this set. Bursts of noise and clips of melodies are greeted rapturously by the audience. This live album will be a treat for fans of free improvisation, those with patience will be well rewarded by these improvisations.

Send comments to: Tim