Driven by my recent Brotzmann (re)discovery, I bought this double live album sometime before writing my review of Peter and Hamid Drake's Dried Rat Dog. Here we have the Unholy Trinity scouring our minds in search of any cell that has yet to witness... I don't know... something to which words don't do justice... something that just has to be witnessed... felt. Recorded on 4/10/01 with Hamid on traps, Peter on tenor sax, tarogato and a-clarinet, and William on bass (upright acoustic, of course) and doussin gouni, I was ready to give this one 5 stars before I was even halfway through the first disc on the first time I listened to it.
Brotzmann is a force of sub-atomic micro-nature. I don't mean "a force" in a blistering squealy "free-jazz" cliches way, though. Honestly, I can't decide what I think of him here. At times he's an army of robotic nano insects coursing through your DNA, somehow searching for the key to the secrets of humanity. Other times he's a flock of nitrous chickens speaking in tongues only they can decipher. Either way, he is a tone and sound master. Can anyone else say so much with color, shading and texture, yet actually blow so few "notes"?
If you're like me and believe William & Hamid to be the most nimble, capable, imaginative rhythm duo of my lifetime, just stop reading and buy this now. I've been listening to these guys for a long time (for my age), and this is easily one of the best examples of their brand of glorious, high improvisation I've ever heard. If you, me and anyone else who's read this review had been at this concert, we'd still be blathering on about it to our friends and neighbors. Heck I blather on about this cd to someone after every time I listen to it again. These guys are the premier groove unit of the western hemisphere as far as I'm concerned. They can freely scatter dust into the rings of saturn but then just as easily discover a murderous groove that has me dancing in the living room by myself.
Listen to atoms being split, hear the lonely yearnings of a baby elephant lost in a dust storm, lose yourself in this masterpiece. The only reason I give it 4 stars rather than 5 is that in headphones I wish William's bass were louder. To get him where I want him to be, Brotz is too loud for me. It's no biggie, though. I just thought maybe a super audiophile type might read this, buy it, and somehow be depressed that this isn't the single most perfect audio quality of all time. I play this on the open-air speakers and it basically makes me hallucinate. I can't begin to complain about anything as great as this.