Peter Brötzmann & Jason Adasiewicz
Going All Fancy
Brö Records Brö-E CD
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Brötzmann alto & tenor saxophones, b-flat clarinet, tarogato
1. Going All Fancy (09:03)
2. Left Luggage (18:11)
3. Singing to the Leaf (14:40)
08 June 2011, Abrons Art Center, NYC
producers: Ehlers & Brötzmann
engineer: Stefan Heger
silkscreens: Alan Sherry/Siwa
brö-e is available exclusively at concerts on the 2012 u.s.a.brötzmann/adasiewicz tour, & here at eremite.com while supplies last. packaged in a chipboard sleeve with hand pulled screen printed covers by alan sherry/siwa. edition of 550.
review of 05 september 2012 brötzmann/adasiewicz le poisson rouge concert
“You take when a high note comes through, lifting and going and then stopping because there’s no place else for it to go,” the saxophonist Sidney Bechet explained some time in the 1950s. “That’s stepping music — it’s got to rush itself right off your voice or your horn because it’s so excited.”
It’s still near the beginning of the relationship between the German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, an elder of free jazz at 71, and the Chicago vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, who at 34 is not even half that age. But pretty early in this set of free improvisations on Wednesday night at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, they dived into a system, with intuitive dimensions of tone, rhythm, energy and narrative, in which it seemed that nothing could possibly go wrong. They were rough bosses of their own sound, attacking their instruments, almost extorting music out of them. They were making their own kind of stepping music.
This was the fourth time they’ve played together. The first was in New York, too, at last year’s Vision Festival. It went well: they’re touring the country for a bit more than two weeks, and the small label Eremite has just released a recording of their initial meeting, “Going All Fancy.” (Their set was preceded by another duo with a new record on Eremite: the bassist Joshua Abrams and the drummer Chad Taylor.) If they repeated some of their strategies from that first night, what they played on Wednesday was also rich, complete and urgent.
For a while Mr. Adasiewicz, instead of mallets, used cello bows. He drew them up and down along the edges of the bars of the vibraphone, making an icy, chordal, planing sound; he ended the down strokes with a bump, falling on the bars, smacking them with the heels of his hands. Then he held the bow horizontally and began to mash it on the instrument, fiberglass on aluminum, straight across the row of bars or at angles to it, producing clattery tone clusters of different sizes. (He kept the sustain pedal down almost the entire time: in his playing, all sorts of dissonance rings out unapologetically and sticks around for a while.)
It was convincing and strangely beautiful. I’ve never heard those sounds from that instrument, and never seen anybody sweat on it that much.
Mr. Brötzmann played tenor and alto saxophone, but he was best on the tarogato, the clarinetlike Hungarian instrument with a timbre more like a soprano saxophone. He blows hard and makes notes distort and whinny; he made the tarogato sound taut, narrow and ready to explode. But his sound had great control too, as he played long, high notes and restless flutters, even as he clamped the instrument’s upper joint in his fist, pressing down many keys at once. He ended many of his phrases with a strong vibrato shake, like refinement on violence.
His performance was powerful, bitter and centered; the gruff tone and iron vibrato seemed a direct link to Bechet — who, Mr. Brötzmann has often said, was the first jazz musician he heard perform live.
Mr. Adasiewicz did a broader job. He met and equaled all that gustiness as a soloist, but he also created the set’s dimensions of harmony and rhythm. He used two mallets in each hand and made shifting blocks of chordal backgrounds, softly or loudly, in rough, accented patterns. And for a little while, when Mr. Brötzmann was changing a reed, he played an improvisation in deep, medium-slow swing fractured by rests — jazz, as most of us know it.
-- Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
review of 08 June 2011 abrons art center concert
A more accommodating rapport emerged in the second set, featuring Mr. Brötzmann with the versatile young vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. Beginning in anxious clangor — alto saxophone blare, wood mallets jack-hammered sideways along the metal bars — their duologue gradually softened and ripened, occasionally flirting with outright beauty. Mr. Adasiewicz was the agent of that flirtation, but his approach was hardly typical. At one point he created a glowing drone from the vibraphone with two violin bows, clutching them like ski poles. Mr. Brötzmann responded with a stretch of unusually songlike playing, one long tone after another, before resuming his eruptive norm.
-- Nate Chinen, The New York Times