Tune in to Full Blast themed around the artistry of Peter Brötzmann on his 80th birthday today.
Broadcast by Stuttgart station Südwestrundfunk, the SWR2 programme, presented in German by Thomas Loewner, offers plenty of listening examples of one of Europe's most globally influential jazz saxophonists who changed the history of jazz with Machine Gun (1968) via the prism of new ideas and thinking surrounding free, collective, improvisation. Of Brötzmann's recent work check out 2019 Trost album I Surrender Dear.
Also celebrating the Remscheid-born player's 80th is the former director of the Berlin Jazz Festival and jazz writer doyen of the Leipzig scene Bert Noglik who presents his own tribute on the Hamburg NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) station during the regular Round Midnight show linked to here.
Additionally Wolke Verlag have just published Brötzmann: Along the Way featuring Brötzmann artwork from 2010-2020 with text contributions by Brötzmann, Thomas Millroth, John Corbett, Markus Müller, Sotiris Kontos, Stephen O´Malley, Heather Leigh and Karl Lippegaus. Link to order.
I've only managed to see Brötzmann in the flesh once, in the early-1990s, in an Elton Dean presentation at the Rumours pub on Stoke Newington Road in north London reviewing for a Soho-based magazine Jazz Express now sadly no longer published. That night changed the way I knew how to listen and burns on my memory. Brötzmann remains to this day hugely influential on the London fiercely hardcore free-improv scene and one of the city's most distinctive contributions in its numerous variants to the music globally yet that crucially share common ground with an international movement that Brötzmann and Evan Parker have done so much to spearhead. (Further reading: Harald Kisiedu's interesting European Echoes: Jazz Experimentalism in Germany 1950-1975 published last year offers an illuminating overview.) SG