Thursday, June 07, 2012

Peter Brotzmann, Massimo Pupillo and Paal Nilssen-Love - Roma (PNL, 2012)

This is a  trio of Peter Brötzmann on alto and tenor saxophones and tarogato, Massimo Pupillo on electric bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, recorded in a torrid performance at the Casa del Jazz in Rome in  December of 2008. “Roma 1” Comes storming out of the gate with a strong and fast trio improvisation. The electric bass and drums simply drive the music forward relentlessly with Brotzmann riding the wave with gales of saxophone. The trio develops passionate collective free improvisation with Last Exit style power. Overdriven bass and drums take center stage with heavy-metal panache, as Brotzmann takes a breather. He re-enters swirling out long wailing tones over the unrelenting bass and drum work. This thirty minute plus work is a powerfully grueling improvisation. Nilssen-Love takes a drum solo, strong on cymbals and quieting the tumult somewhat. Brotzmann switches to a different instrument (tarogato?) to continue a dialogue with Nilssen-Love. The trio comes back together at full throttle hitting the finish line with pile-driving sound. “Roma II” opens with skittish drums and haunted electric bass moans. Strong peals of saxophone add to the cacophony building into a torrid free collective improvisation. Brotzmann takes a snake-charming unaccompanied section, probing and swirling against the silence. The full band kicks in briefly before going to a bass and drums section, rampaging with prog rock meets free jazz energy, then developing a spacious and edgy nature. Everyone returns in a swirl of manic strength, invigorating, if a little frightening. There is a very interesting slower and rawer section, akin to the spiritual power of the final movement of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, but building in a pained and bruised fashion like low clouds forming before the storm. “Roma III” also opens with a drum solo, rolling and shifting rhythmic measures. Bass builds in with buzzing, gurgling exploration, and finally Brotzmann enters after several minutes of duo improvisation and things really kick into high gear. Building this excellent album to a powerful crescendo of noise and tension.