Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Full Blast - Rio (Trost Records, 2018)

Full Blast is the powerhouse trio of Peter Brötzmann on multiple reed instruments, Marino Pliakas on electric bass and Michael Wertmüller on drums. This band is an absolute free jazz juggernaut which takes no prisoners, they have been playing together for nearly fifteen years and this shows in their nearly telepathic interplay on this record. "Rio One" opens the album at full roar with the scouring tenor saxophone plowing the earth and elastic bass guitar and frenetic drumming hot on its heels. The collective improvisation between the musicians is very powerful and one can imagine the audience being knocked back in their seats by the auditory onslaught. The speed that the sound is presenting is astonishing, with gales of saxophone, notes of bass that become a blur and lightning fast drumming. Brotzmann lays out for some mighty bass and percussion interplay before charging back into the fray and driving the track to its conclusion. Powerful drumming ushers in "Rio Two," before the other shoe drops and the remained of group joins with absolute squalls of electric bass and Brotzmann overpowering his  instrument, creating a flying edifice of sound that destroys all that comes before it. The music is more than raw noise however, there is depth and breadth to it and it exists in three dimensions plus time, enveloping the stage with its relentless power and glory. "Rio Three" has the bass and drums supplying an ominous opening feeling, pouring on the speed and energy until they burst forth as Brotzmann joins them on a sharper pitched saxophone or clarinet. He is driving right into the center of your skull on this track (wear headphones for the full effect) and the power and righteousness that he achieves is very impressive. The band coalesces for a molten collective improvisation, leading one to wonder how they didn't spontaneously combust on the stage, with the relentless bass playing and great bursts of drumming, including a great slashing solo, in addition to Brotzmann's extraordinary flights of imagination. There is a little more space available to the drummer's opening of "Rio Four" which builds into a towering solo statement which invites the bass guitar and saxophone to add their own input in a scouring spontaneous improvisation. As we see on "Rio Five," Brotzmann uses different reeds as the drummer pummels relentlessly and the bassist adds feedback and other asides, pushing the music over the top toward madness. The never succumb, however, pulling back from the void at the last second to deliver a lashing and thrilling trio improvisation. Far more than Peter Brotzmann with a rhythm section, this is a fully functioning band that is a group of equals, they play together as comrades without ego and as such produce one of the best albums of the year. Rio - amazon.com

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