Monday, September 02, 2013

Peter Brotzmann and Steve Noble - I Am Here Where Are You (Trost, 2013)

Peter Brotzmann makes many albums throughout any given year, but this is one that really stands out. For one the album cover which makes quite an impression and begs for an LP version, but the real impact is made by the musicians. Saxophonist Brotzmann and drummer Steve Noble make an almighty racket and they throttle this energy to create a powerful and consistently interesting album. The title performance "I Am Here Where Are You" opens that album in explosive fashion, developing a blistering tenor saxophone and drums collective improvisation, materializing out thin air like a conjured demon. Brotzmann switches from saxophone to torogato, which allows him o develop a pinched, nasal sound that is exotic and makes a fine foil for Noble's imaginative percussion. Brotzmann steps out unaccompanied on "Mouth On Moth" playing a heartbroken bluesy wail on tenor saxophone. The raw emotional quality that he is able to wring from the instrument is amazing in it's texture, stretching way back to the likes of Ben Webster and Albert Ayler. Noble slowly enters, low key at first, then the two meld together and raise the stakes to a towering conclusion. Raw cries of emotion also echo through "No Basis" where Brotzmann's peals of air combine with Noble's towering drumming to create a wild and manic improvisation. They close out this uniformly excellent album with "A Skin Falls Off" which is just a torrid, hell-for-leather improvisation of howling saxophone and punishing drums. Certainly not something you are likely to hear at Lincoln Center, but if you are a fan of the fire-music sub-genre of free jazz, this is a must hear. I Am Here Where Are You - amazon.com

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