It occurred to me last year when I wrote an article for Spex magazine. I had picked two albums by German free jazz saxophone player and band leader Peter Brötzmann, Ein halber Hund kann nicht pinkeln (1977) and Tschüs (1970), to feature in my reissues column Bessere Zeiten klingt gut. Listening to Brötzmann’s collaboration with improv drummer Han Bennink, I was immediately lost in their powerful vision of sound, and I wanted to know more about them. But well-written articles about Brötzmann (and Bennink) are hard to find. In its November issue, London-based magazine The Wire publishes a 16-page feature by David Keenan. Writing about Ein halber Hund kann nicht pinkeln Keenan states: “In the sparse vulnerability of the duo setting, we can hear him thinking with his breath, through the pipes and valves of his horns. Here, overblowing ceases to be a route to volume and intensity, but becomes a means to generate new textures: in an instant, the bass clarinet can flick from chocolatey-smooth to sandpaper-rough, with a hint of humming, semi-vocalised song.” That’s quite an accurate description of a sound that’s hard to articulate through words. Whoever sees music as an adventure should check out the new November 2012 issue of The Wire. A single copy costs £4 in the UK. However, the cover price varies outside the UK, so why not subscribe?~ Photo: Max Dax
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