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Peter Brötzmann, Peter Uuskyla & Peter Friis-Nielsen - Live at Nefertiti

Derek Taylor, One Final Note

Peter Brötzmann possesses a much-lauded musical versatility etched in the fleeting aural edifices of innumerable encounters. Sharing a preference for surprise similar to that of his early associate Derek Bailey, he has thrown his cap into dozens of diverse settings and seems just as at home blasting an excoriating barrage above the din of Japanese punk rock guitars as he is blowing jazz-grounded improv backed by acoustic bass and drums. Fortunately tape machines have been present and spooling amidst many of these meetings and his stylistic fluidity has been well documented. This live date committed to disc through the aid of the Swedish Broadcasting Company is yet another example of his seemingly unquenchable thirsts for new forums of expression.

Here are three players who from the opening staccato salvo of their set clearly share more than first names. Nielsen, the wildcard, is a comrade of Brötzmann's from another of the German's aggregations—the aptly titled 'Wild Man's Band'. Carrying the fraternal cord further Uuskyla shares ranks with the bass guitarist in the Biggi Vinkeloe Trio. All three men are steeped in the free jazz tenets of spontaneous creation and contempt for cliché and these beliefs are loosed full bore upon the attendant audience.

Brötzmann's four-part "Nidhog" series is broken up by a composition each from his partners. Uuskyla's "Third Sun", the set's lengthiest piece, suffers the most from its extended duration. A strong start advanced on the gusting florid swells of the German's tenor settles into a somewhat lax center section where Nielsen's bulbous lines loose definition in a rising wave of dissonance. A drum break by Uuskyla remarshals the trio's forces and points the track in the direction of a raucous and rejuvenated close. Over the course of the set Nielsen's gelatinous strings add an element of corpulence to the rhythmic end that spreads well-greased support even under the sonic weight of Brötzmann's most histrionic exclamations. His nimble Morse code patterns on "Nidhog 2" offer loose trampoline accompaniment to Brötzmann's twisting tarogato musings and open the group's rhythmic end up significantly. Uuskyla seems content most of the time to pummel the hell out of his kit, but even his most bombastic turns are tempered with traces of targeted trajectory. On Nielsen's "Off Sight" his snare and cymbal static serves as the rhythmic mortar to the German's bludgeoning tenor sax pestle. Brötzmann reads his partners responses with the kind of clairvoyant skill that comes from decades spent in the trenches. Spinning cogent and caustic tales off their varied locutions, he is a man possessed much of the time by the spirits of the moment. Shaven to a core thrust this date is pure, uncompromising Brötzmann. In the company of like-minded comrades he flays open the ears of a crowd of fortunate Swedes and in the process makes the need for recommendation hopelessly unnecessary.