Peter Brötzmann & Nasheet Waits

Live at the 'Bottle' Fest 2005

Brö Records Brö-A CD

Out of print

Brötzmann alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, tarogato
Waits drums

Track Listing:
  1. alto/drums (13:07)
  2. cl-tenor/drums (19:48)
  3. tarogato/drums (09:23)
  4. alto/drums (07:54)

recorded 16 June, 2005, Empty Bottle, Chicago
producers: Michael Ehlers & Brötzmann
engineer: Lou Malozzi
design:  Brötzmann

Peter Brötzmann & Nasheet Waits: Live at the 'Bottle' Fest 2005

brö-a is the first release in the c/d format on brötzmann's private 'brö' imprint. produced in an edition of 400 copies to sell exclusively at concerts on the fall 2005 u.s.a. tour by brötzmann/waits, the disc is available here at while supplies last. the package consists of a heavyweight cardstock gatefold-style sleeve (re-cycled paper), artwork by brötzmann, with the c/d mounted on a foam "hub" on the right inside panel. a handsome & unusual piece, & the music is a strictly killer representation of the brötzmann/waits dialectic.

The pairing of German saxophone titan Peter Brötzmann & American drummer Nasheet Waits isn't an obvious one. They're both adventurous musicians who play deeply in the jazz tradition - but that gentle vacuity aside, Brötzmann is a fire-breathing free improviser whose work is usually measured in volume & intensity, while Waits has been associated with some of the most cerebral & subtle pianists around - Fred Hersch, Andrew Hill, & Jason Moran. Well, drop any assumptions based on associations (& maybe recall that subtle pianists can embrace tumultuous drummers - e.g. witness the special affinity between Bill Evans & Philly Joe Jones), for Brötzmann & Waits are an extraordinary duo, able to vindicate an instrumental pairing that can run quickly to bombast. The two invoke some of the best reed-drum dialogues i've heard, like the signal meetings of Coltrane & Rashied Ali (Interstellar Space) & Jimmy Lyons & Andrew Cyrille (Burnt Offerings). Waits plays in the same polyrhythmic tradition as Ali &  Cyrille (directly from the Joneses - Philly Joe & Elvin), & he creates a constantly shifting field, rolling & roiling around the kit with a consistent & internally cool barrage of great density & subtlety, accents shifting & flying off. Brötzmann engages this stream of detail directly, often creating the kind of internally-multiplying runs (interlocking scales & harmonics) that match up with the myriad details of the drumming. There are four pieces here - just numbered 1-4 - with Brötzmann opening & on closing on alto with a huge sound (it's interesting how tenor players make altos sound like tenors) & quantum velocity. The internal pieces change the pace. "nr. 2." - the longest outing - begins slowly with darkly introspective clarinet; after a subtle drum passage, Brötzmann picks up his tenor & plays some deep free-jazz blues against Waits' ever-expanding march rhythms, gradually pressing intensity until it takes flight, & ending in some gorgeous Ayler-like major-scale melody. "Nr. 3" has Brötzmann on tarogato with the emphasis on microtones & a drum solo that lays bare the music's compound rhythmic underpinnings. Recorded in june 2005, this is the first c/d release on brötzmann's own Brö label. Produced in an edition of 400 copies for sale at performances by the duo during the fall of 2005, any copies still remaining are available at

-- Stuart Broomer, Signal To Noise