Thursday, November 12, 2015

Peter Brotzmann and Peter Uuskyla - Red Cloud on Silver

The legendary German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brotzmann has had a fruitful relationship with the Swedish drummer Peter Uuskyla for years, with a number of excellent albums and concert appearances under their belts. This album is both, having been recorded live at the Club Nefertiti in Gothenburg, Sweden on February 6, 2014. “Red Cloud on Silver Parts One and Two” are a massive blowout (split for the original LP release, but together for the digital version) and shows the empathetic nature that these two musicians have developed over the years. Brotzmann is playing tenor saxophone, with the wonderful raw and blustery tone he is known for, and Uuskyla makes full use of all of the aspects of his drum kit whether conversing or soloing. The music moves in waves through gales of full force free jazz and subtler more abstract moments, like the drummer’s solo in “Part One.” Brotzmann’s excoriating tone on tenor saxophone is thrilling especially when he is goaded along by a sympathetic ally, as shown on “Part Two” when they really open up and let fly. They switch to bass clarinet and brushes on “Home of the Snake” with Brotzmann drawing pinched peals of air juxtaposed by hollow tones on his clarinet. There is a very patient and well thought out drum solo to open “Thistles and Thorns” with an excellent rolling sound, before Brotzmann enters on his exotic Tarogato, giving the music a unique and powerful sound. “Mind is a Monkey” returns to the powerful reed and drums free jazz that is their bread and butter. Monkey mind in Buddhism refers to the unsettled or easily distracted mind, but this is clearly not the case here as both of the musicians are laser focused on their improvisation and their interaction with each other. A cymbal smash and somber drums leads into the finale, “Striding Along,” and it is a fine way to wrap up the concert and the album as both musicians are going for broke and making their final stand by creating incredibly powerful music. This worked very well, Brotzmann and Uuskyla make for an excellent team, which can explore all facets of free improvisation and make the music continuously exciting and memorable. Red Cloud On Silver -

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