Thursday, June 29, 2023

Blast Exit

Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart - First Attack

I've been slacking, but I'm backloading June with two consecutive posts.

The first is this memorial to a saxophone destroyer who passed away last week, after a decades-deep career leveling recording studios and live venues armed only with several horn cases.

Probably one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices to come out of the 1960s Free Jazz explosion, it only takes one foghorn blast from the baritone to know who is doing the honking.

He began as a painter in the art collective Fluxus in the early 1960s, but once he got a tenor sax in his mouth there was no looking back.

Well past 50 albums later, he finally left this plane a week ago at the age of 82.

He's perhaps best known as 1/4 of the skronk-jazz supergroup Last Exit, alongside Bill Laswell, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the late great artillery-guitar molester Sonny Sharrock.

What I've always loved about him is the fact that like Sonny Sharrock, he was able to weave a whole tapestry of emotions into a very aggressive playing style, and still get the subtler shades of meaning across.

This ability to veer from the lyrical to the thermonuclear -- sometimes within a single passage -- are what made Peter Brötzmann as venerated and as imitated a saxophonist as almost any of our era.

Let's feature him in one of the innumerable ensembles of which he was a part, this time in a truly-all star conglomeration with trombone visionary Albert Mangelsdorff, Et Cetera piano deity Wolfgang Dauner and percussion wizard Han Bennink, all of whom would be worthy of being featured on this page in and of themselves.

Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart
Villa Berg
Stuttgart, Germany

01 First Attack
02 Sticks to Come
03 Dropsticks
04 Jetzt Stürzen Wir Wieder Ab

Total time: 57:49

Peter Brötzmann - baritone & tenor saxophones, clarinet & tarogato
Albert Mangelsdorff - trombone
Wolfgang Dauner - piano
Han Bennink - drums & percussion

pre-broadcast recording of indeterminate origin
400 MB FLAC/direct link

We did the requisite AI design to memorialize the man, which can be found over at the Teespring page.

I'll return within the next 24 hours to wrap up the June swoon with a spectacular 40th anniversary show from one of the few bands named after a US state.... and this one is named for the state in which I live.

But don't sleep on getting your honk on with Brötzmann, certainly one of the all-time flamethrowers no one could ever forget.--J.

3.6.1941 - 6.22.2023

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