Machine Gun [Second Take] - Peter Br?tzmann, Brotzmann, Peter
Machine Gun [Third Take] - Peter Br?tzmann, Brotzmann, Peter
Responsible [First Take] - Peter Br?tzmann, Van De Ven, Jan
Responsible [Second Take] - Peter Br?tzmann, Van De Ven, Jan
Music for Han Bennink - Peter Br?tzmann, Breuker, Willem
Classic 1968 Recording from the Avant Garde/Free Jazz Saxophonist that is Considered the Very First Actual all European Jazz Recording. It is Primal, Energetic, Powerful and Dissonant....not For the Faint of Heart. Decades... more » Later, it Still Packs the Punch of Its Initial Impact at the End of the 1960's and Serves as a Base Point for Many that Followed in Its Wake.« less
Classic 1968 Recording from the Avant Garde/Free Jazz Saxophonist that is Considered the Very First Actual all European Jazz Recording. It is Primal, Energetic, Powerful and Dissonant....not For the Faint of Heart. Decades Later, it Still Packs the Punch of Its Initial Impact at the End of the 1960's and Serves as a Base Point for Many that Followed in Its Wake.
A truly, truly unbeatable album.
C. Burkhalter | 11/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Machine Gun" is extreme jazz in the extreme. Here is an album to make not-for-the-weak precursors like Coltrane's "Meditations" or "Ascension," or Coleman's "Free Jazz" sound like "The Girl from Ipanema." "Machine Gun" even surpasses Ayler in terms of pure havoc (though obviously Ayler's goal was never really havoc). The sound is loose like I never believed music could be. "Machine Gun" is the appropriate title, as the music sounds more like out-and-out war than jazz. This is sincerely violent music. Like most free jazz albums, there are a number of solos amidst the chaos (and notable ones, too, as these musicians were many of the most substantial figures in jazz in the decade to follow), but on "Machine Gun" the solos seem to have to fight just to stay alive, and are always smashed to bits by the unstoppable percussion. The superlative double-drum sound Sven-Ake Johansson and Han Bennink (!!!) whip up really steals the show. No other recording I've ever heard sounds like this. This album goes well beyond the free jazz of "Free Jazz." Its truly unrelenting. Let's go to the liner notes: "The endless aspect of this piece comes from its lack of time reference points. No obvious beginning, middle and end.... The only facet of time recognized is velocity." Mostly what you'll get from "Machine Gun" is loud, brilliant, pulsing sounds going every which way. `Velocity' really is the operative word. But probably my favorite parts are the brief stretches where the band comes together for a unified effort in an actual `song' - kind of a high-school-football kind of big band romp, lifting the listener's head out of the soup until Brötzmann rips it all back up again. Hearing "Machine Gun" is exhilarating because you can hear the exhilaration the musicians feel, as though they're discovering for the first time truly new possibilities of group performance - and of course they are. After "Machine Gun," there won't be anything else out there that can shock you. This music came out of an extremely volatile period of Twentieth Century history - shortly after the widespread turmoil of May 1968. This music, though analogous to much of the stuff coming out of US labels like ESP Records, was of a thoroughly different breed. "Om" this was not. Let's go again to the liner notes: "`Machine Gun' is about machine-guns in a sense of word America does not yet know. Europe with its bomb-sights, concentration camp museums, war-scarred people and buildings and its Berlin wall and occupied Prague." Steve Lake wrote for The Wire Magazine (reprinted in the liner notes) that "Machine Gun" was "as earnest as a terrorist raid. It was that, really, a raid on established musical values.... The Octet was about power, sheer power in the here and now." In another article for The Wire (Issue 111, May 1993 - you can find it the mag's webpage, and I recommend you do so), Ben Watson has this to say about the album: "We can hear something bigger - the anguish and joy of May `68 unmediated by the cynicism of later commentaries.... It challenges you to like it, to choose sides, to participate." Amen to that.The sound hit big. Self-recorded and self-produced, "Machine Gun" was even originally sold independently by Brötzmann at shows. It wasn't long, though, before it went on to be a massive seller (relatively speaking, of course) for Free Music Production (or FMP Records). Later on many of these musicians would go on to much success on their own. Brötzmann has recorded tons of things, including a number of albums with free jazz giants Last Exit. Atavistic's Unheard Music Series has been steadily re-releasing a chunk of his early material finally. Bennink has put out solo albums, and recorded with Eric Dolphy, with members of The Ex and Sonic Youth, and collaborated on a number of albums with his Instant Composers Pool. Sven-Ake Johansson has done quite a bit with the Globe Unity Orchestra, whose long-lost material is slowly getting unearthed by labels like, again, Atavistic. And Even Parker is, well, Evan Parker. (I'm not brilliant enough to know what the other musicians are up to). I fall in love with albums every day. But rarely do I come across a true masterpiece of an album. A perfect record that never comes close to getting old, that I'm always excited to put on, and that I can't stop talking about. "Machine Gun" is all of that many times over. It is well worth the high price tag - WELL worth it."
Five Stars and Possibly More! Required Listening!
x | USA | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Brotzmann's "Machine Gun" is a classic that is indispensable to any avant-garde jazz fan's collection. There is nothing quite like it, before or since, and it remains one of the most profound documents produced in the European jazz tradition. While it cannot be disputed that Brotzmann's octet is working with the sonic framework previously laid out by such American masters as Coltrane, Ayler, and Coleman, there is also little doubt that Brotzmann's group infuses the music with their own conceptual reality, articulating their own aesthetic truth. It is a truth that is entirely and beautifully original, and should be required listening for anyone interested in jazz. The European musicians on this album (e.g., Brotzmann, Parker, Breuker, Bennink et al.), far from living in the shadows of their American counterparts, prove with "Machine Gun" that the entire world jazz community has much to learn from the Europeans. This was true when the album was recorded in 1968, and it remains true today. Buy this album not only for yourself but also for everyone you know-it is truly music for the mind and soul."
Noisy free jazz
x | 08/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded in 1968, this has to be one of the most psychotic, violent jazz albums of all time. Even the loudest of rock bands can't match the energy level on this disc...it's almost too intense to listen to. A true classic."
Benjamin Reid | Brooklyn, NY United States | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll rhapsodize much less than other reviewers. But I will say that I own quite a bit of music and to some degree have become jaded to new sounds/ideas. Boy, when I heard this, I was knocked back on my heels. For a non-electric group, this is some of the densest, aggressive, confounding music I've ever heard. And it's not all bluster either - there are moments of humor and real beauty. Not for the faint of heart but soooo rewarding for those that find these things intriguing. A MUST buy."
An amazing and intense record
Dan | Ohio | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the loud and rapid-fire saxophone honks that begin Machine Gun until the last beaten piano key of Music for Han Bennink, this album is simply incredible. I bought this cd thinking that it would definitely take me a while to get used to it and understand it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found it was actually enjoyable.
While this album is indeed free jazz, for some reason it seems to have a less noisy quality than other free jazz i've heard. Don't get me wrong, it is mostly noise. But something in the way the instruments are used and the interaction between them really makes this cd amazing. The noise of the saxophones and other instruments take on different harmonic meanings. By that i mean there are multiple different tones that appear seemingly out of nowhere.
Another thing that makes this album amazing is that its very, very complicated. It's hard to tell what was planned and what wasnt, and there are constant changes of style and instrumentation. I tend to think of it as a Naked City predecessor in that aspect. Probably the most shocking but pleasing parts of the album are the instances when the musicians actually start to sound like they are playing... well... jazz.
If you are at all interested in the avant-garde, improvisation, whatever, you need this. It's a very interesting experience to hear what these minds created in about an hour-long time frame. Brilliance."