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Bebop Spoken There

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Full Blast w. Peter Brötzmann @ the Lit & Phil - Oct. 6

Peter Brötzmann (reeds); Mario Pliakas (electric bass); Michael Wertümller (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Brötzmann is a big deal in European free jazz, maybe in jazz, and I suspect and hope he was, the reason this night was a sell-out.

Full blast it was, right from the off. Had Trane survived to use a bass guitar, he'd probably have done something like this. The bass player thumping his instrument percussively, relentlessly; the drummer clattering away like the proverbial bull; Brötzmann - like the guitarist and pianist before him - using his instrument to create sound; a noisy, raw, unbridled cacophony of unashamed power. 
There was no real melody to speak of; more a succession of crescendos, the dynamic created by the switching interplay of the three participants.  After fifteen minutes, it came to an end. A chance to catch our collective breath, to regroup before we were off again with more wailing sax in a bombardment of the senses which pinned you to the wall. 

Another break at thirty minutes while the bass player announced a third short piece; more of the same. Ideally, I'd have had more of this and either of the support acts doing half an hour, but most here seemed to think the whole night was some sort of second coming, and I'm left wondering what they considered the first. 
Photos.
Steve T


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