Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - August 22/07


I'm tempted to leave it at that when discussing the legendary, just-reissued Machine Gun.

This recording blew the lid offa European jazz. Alex Von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra (which included future Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit) had been making some serious rumblings before captivated audiences for a couple of years. But this recording by Brotzmann's group, featuring 3 tenor saxes (incl. Evan Parker and Willem Breuker!!!) throttling out at 110% is about as perfect a free jazz workout as it comes.

I hardly ever use the word "perfect" when describing freely improvised music (which this is not, BTW) but this is one of those rare occasions where everyone is on fire, and not a note is wasted. In the 'head' sections, the band plays with frightening unison, or at least unity of purpose. The crescendos and turnarounds are masterfully executed - the liner notes by Atavistic curator John Corbett namecheck Lionel Hampton's band and Illinois Jacquet as forbears, and at times this is quite apparent, but not at all in a traditional sense. Perhaps the closing groove section strays closest into something approaching 'soulfulness'. But throughout, everyone's playing their asses off, especially the literally feverish Han Bennink on drums, thus 'soul' is hardly in question. The unbearably fierce proto-punk energy is complemented by the clattery recording, expanded only slightly in the sensitive remastering job.

This will be the best chance for a mass audience to access this landmark recording, together with alternate takes and live material.

The Peter Brotzmann Octet - The Complete Machine Gun Sessions

machine gun - peter brotzmann (unheard music series)
ilme - aygul ulkenbaeva (smithsonian folkways)
tumbao - mofungo (aagoo)
crowding into the behavioral space - a_dontigny (no type)
under siege - nublu orchestra feat butch morris (nublu)
remove ya - nudge (kranky)
apache - 17 hippies (tyfoo)
el balaju - mona bell (vampisoul)
el guapo - los diablos rojos (barbes)
si para usted - grupo monumental (waxing deep)
we know we have to live together - eugene blacknell (luv and haight)
yellow ribbon - atons (numero)
baba - oumou sangare (world circuit)
voice of chunk - lounge lizards (milan)
dagmar nao tova nao - wax poetic feat. otto (nublu)
maresia - monica freire (audiogram)
no government - nicolette rmx. by plaid (talkin loud)
linda munequita - los hijos del sol (barbes)
want not - ticklah feat. tamar-kali (easy star)
give another israel a try - barry brown (greensleeves)
ethiopia - jah beng (indie)
i'll be around version - sound dimension (soul jazz)
zimbabwe - soul syndicate (heartbeat)

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