“What impresses in Brotzmann’s playing isn’t the execution so much as the force of presence. He recently turned 70, and he sounds almost invincible.”
New York Times
You’ve heard it a thousand times: Free jazz is uncompromising. But isn’t all great music, by necessity, uncompromising? And in a world of music too often compromised by the stultifying impact of consumer culture, why not connect with artists who refuse to submit to its ever narrowing definition of what we might want, what we might need?
Saturday 6th April 8.30pm | Kevin Barry Room, NCH | €18/15
Step forward Peter Brötzmann and Paal Nilssen-Love. Making his first Irish appearance at the tender age of 72, Brötzmann shows no sign of going gently into the good night. Four decades on from the seismic statement of 1968’s Machine Gun recorded in the turbulence of his native Berlin, his tenor saxophone remains the ne plus ultra of liberated free jazz expression, powerful and life affirming, and a distillation of his single minded application to the volatile elements of the jazz periodic table. PNV has been a more familiar presence here, as one third of regular Irish visitors The Thing, everyone’s favourite Scandinavian noise trio, drawing on sources as diverse as PJ Harvey, The White Stripes and Ornette Coleman. The jazz groove has seldom sounded as exhilarating as within the maelstrom of sonic energy this Norwegian drummer unleashes, and open ears will find a plentiful strata of rhythmic invention and subtlety lying just beneath the undeniable storm that rages on the surface.
Brötzmann and Nilssen-Love have been playing together since the late 90’s, sometimes in groups like Hairy Bones and The Chicago Tentet, more often in duo. Woodcuts (Republic of Music) is their latest release, and confirms that this is a pairing that echoes down the generations, making music of extraordinary vitality. Uncompromising? Possibly. Worth experiencing? Definitely.