Peter Brötzmann chicago tentet



Peter Brotzmann has led a number of internationally renowned large ensembles since the late 1960s. The latest, called the Chicago Tentet, is one of the best. It was first organized by Brotzmann with the assistance of writer/presenter John Corbett in January, 1997 as an idea for a one-time octet performance that included Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang (drums), Kent Kessler (bass) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams (reeds), and Jeb Bishop (trombone). The first concert was extremely strong and warranted making the group an ongoing concern. In September of that same year the band was expanded to include Mats Gustafsson (reeds) and Joe McPhee (brass) as permanent members for more work in Chicago [there have also been guest appearances by William Parker (bass), Toshinori Kondo (trumpet/electronics), and Roy Campbell (trumpet) during the bands tenure] all in all the ensemble is a veritable who's who of the contemporary improvising scenes cutting edge.

Though the Chicago Tentet is clearly led by Brotzmann and guided by his aesthetics, he has been committed to utilizing the compositions of other members in the ensemble since the beginning. This has allowed the band to explore an exceptional range of structural and improvising tactics: from the conductions of Mats Gustafsson and Fred Lonberg-Holm, to the vamp pieces of Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake, to compositions using conventional notation by Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams, to Brotzmann's graphic scores – the group employs almost every contemporary approach to composing for an improvising unit. This diversity in compositional style, plus the variety in individual approaches to improvisation, has allowed the Tentet to play extremely multifaceted music. As the band moves from piece to piece it explores intensities that range from spare introspection to all out walls of sound, and rhythms that are open or free from a steady pulse to those of a hard hitting groove.

The ensembles work has been documented on a series of recordings released by Okka Disk. These started with a three cd box set in 1998; followed by Stone/Water in 2000 (picked as one of the top ten albums of the year in the New York Times, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2000); and in May of 2002 the two volume set Short Visit To Nowhere and Broken English (recorded after their North American tour in the Summer of 2000) was added to the list. However, the main work of the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet has been done in concert, on the road in both Europe and in North America over the last few years. Its second North American tour begins in June of 2002, and this new work will be documented by another recording in Chicago and will be followed by a series of festival performances in Europe.

It's clear that the difficult economics of running a large band hasn't prevented the group from continuing to work together since its first meeting in Winter of 1997. Through their effort they've been able to develop an ensemble sound and depth of communication hard to find in a band of any size or style currently playing on the contemporary music scene.

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Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet

Be Music, Be Night

Okkadisk OD 12059



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