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Paal Nilssen-Love/Peter Brötzmann: Woodcuts

Album Notes

Peter Brötzmann is a much more multifaceted player than most casual listeners give him credit for being. Unfortunately, labels tend to want him to play in the style for which he's best known -- full-throttle blare -- and he frequently obliges. It's only when he's paired with a genuinely sympathetic partner that he's able to reveal the subtleties in his saxophone concept. This is one of those times. As has happened other times the reed master has paired up with a drummer, be it Dutch prankster Han Bennink or Chicago-based polyrhythmatist Hamid Drake, he's dipping deep into his bag of tricks, switching back and forth between saxophone and clarinet, going bluesy sometimes, unleashing high-pitched overtones at other moments, and occasionally getting downright elegiac. His partner, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, is plenty aggressive, roaming all over the kit and subdividing time as finely as a chef chopping garlic with a razor blade, but never turning the disc into some kind of clichéd free jazz eruption. This disc fascinates from beginning to end, and rewards both close listening and basking in its gale force winds. ~ Phil Freeman



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