Brötzmann Clarinet Project Berlin Djungle

For 1984’s JazzFest in Berlin, reed giant and band leader extraordinaire Peter Brötzmann assembled a motherfucker of a band. The eleven-piece ensemble included Toshinori Kondo, Louis Sclavis, William Parker, Tony Oxley and, in his only recorded appearance with Brötzmann, John Zorn. The recording of their performance was originally released as a single track split over two sides of an FMP vinyl record, reissued here by Atavistic’s ongoing Unheard Music Series. Sadly the energy and mayhem of the show is not effectively captured on the muddy master recording. With the lion’s share of the reedsmen playing clarinet the dynamic range is already narrow, but what suffers most is the Parker/Oxley rhythm section, reduced to sounding like a shaken cardboard box full of pennies. While the album is undeniably important as an extant document, it disappoints on the level of listening enjoyment. (Atavistic)