PETER BRÖTZMANN – Lost & Found

FMP

The three-note call that opens and, as a recurring theme, informs “Internal Rotation” – first of the five tracks that constitute the program of Peter Brötzmann’s newest solo offering – sound like a signal to the doubters. “I’m not only a spitfire machine, not a furious babbler exclusively. I can sing”.

And sing the man does throughout Lost & Found indeed, albeit not in the way a regular listener would anticipate. There are no cost-cutting procedures for the soul in this superb album, which sees the German saxophonist fighting silence – but also listening to it – armed with alto and tenor, b-flat clarinet (masterfully utilized in the title track, among the most melodically refined, dolorously intense pieces I’ve heard from him) and the spectacularly garrulous tarogato, perhaps the instrument that better defines Brötzmann’s unique style, made of drunken loquaciousness, raucous permanence, exalting invocations to some mysterious god of undernourished, ever-raging incomparability.

Still, a significant dose of poetry lies behind what we hear. It might be traced in certain minute details – the artist’s emissions resonating from his chest into the tubes while he blows, for example; it could be individuated in the sense of articulation one identifies even in supposedly discomposed segments, right there where the lone wolf looks for a hypothetical moon to howl at without success, instead deciding to dedicate the fruits of his inner denudation to the scarce quantity of by-passers that chose to stop and listen to those wonderful rants, so absurdly lyrical, so outrageously touching.

Those who disparage the carnality of this expressive method, who find its odour of sweat and blood repulsive, those – in essence – who define this level of improvisation as “noise” need a serious reassessment of their capacity of detecting feelings. This music is achingly stunning, never really hostile despite an often confrontational appearance, a sensitively portrayed rebellion against the concealment of pain, which – thanks to Brötzmann’s magnanimous lungs – becomes as beautiful as love itself.

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