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Album Review

This chapter in Atavistic's Unheard Music Series is the CD issue of a 1982 album by saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, and drummer Günter "Baby" Sommer. There is an interesting contrast of styles here, given the formalist tradition Mangelsdorff came from and the staunch vanguardism of Brötzmann and Sommer. Of course, this is a blowing session that took place at a German Jazzfest and those contrasts work here to the betterment of the music. As Brötzmann blows his guts out, he gets reined in over and again by the repetitive phrases, short lines and fills of the trombonist. He even feeds off of some of Mangelsdorff's melodic lines to move his harsh blowing somewhere else. This is most evident on the opening piece, "Instant Tears," where the saxophonist gets his way often, but he's made to work for it instead of just playing louder than anybody else. "Wie du Mir, So Ich Dir Noch Lange Nicht," begins withy a long, quiet cymbal whisper by Sommer that begins to pop and groove after a minute or so, rhythmically moving in a single direction: toward swinging. This becomes a full-fledged drum solo until about 3:22, when the trombonist enters with a smattering of notes that are rooted in blues phrasing, and continued as a duet until 7:10 or so when Brötzmann kicks back in wailing and shouting through the horn before Mangelsdorff reenters at about 7:50 or so. It becomes a full-blown improvising section to that point until some semblance of silence registers itself between the three with moaning by Mangelsdorff to carry it out and back with all three shouting like there is no tomorrow through their instruments. Brötzmann's title piece is a scant four minutes, but it's a fun four minutes. It's like a vanguard nursery rhyme ditty played by drunk men. Single line vamps, circular drumming, and even a theme. For those who need new infusions of this sort of thing, it's certainly for you,


Born: 05 September 1928 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff pioneered the art of jazz polyphonics, introducing to the avant-garde the symphonic tradition of playing multiple notes simultaneously. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 5, 1928, Mangelsdorff grew up enthralled by jazz, devouring his older brother Emil's record collection. His uncle, a professional violinist, gave him music lessons as a teen, but the rise of the Third Reich forced him to keep his passion for jazz in check. Over time Mangelsdorff taught himself...
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Pica Pica, Albert Mangelsdorff
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