Brötzmann/Bennink/Van Hove FMP 0130

Originally released in 1973 on FMP Records, this free jazz monster-piece was untitled and subsequently referred to by its catalogue title only: FMP 0130. In reissue for Atavistic’s Unheard Music series, the label was unlikely to find a title that would, in a few words, condense the meaning behind this rich and terrifying album. This trio brought vibrant energy and precision of improvisation into the studio setting that few contemporary or current jazz outfits could match even in a live performance. Peter Brötzmann’s clarinet and saxophone attack notes like they were threatening his family. The second track, "Konzert Für 2 Klarinetten,” is the sound of sultry sirens turned into banshees then turned into fireworks. Han Bennink, credited for "Drums/Etc.,” sounds like he is frantically destroying the contents of a pawn shop. And Fred Van Hove’s keyboards range from manic to achingly expressive. On "Paukenhändschen Im Blaubeerenwald” his toy-like Celeste sits innocently on the knee of Brötzmann’s growling bass clarinet like some fairytale figure until Van Hove’s woodcutter percussion comes to cut them both to ribbons/rhythms. The diversity of sounds, including birdsong, accordion, miniature xylophone, rasping breath and something approaching Tuvan throat singing, make the relative brevity of the pieces logical. Paired with this panoply of sounds is the exactness of each musician’s choices; no hint of hesitation or backward glancing ever enters play. A definite high watermark for all involved. (Atavistic)