Legendary German improvisational saxophonist Peter Brötzmann returns Friday to Dreamland with a different lineup than his 2014 Louisville premiere, bringing with him this time a quartet rather than a trio, with Steve Noble on drums, John Edwards on bass, and Jason Adasiewicz on vibes. He has a remarkably broad discography, going back to the 1960s, with recordings ranging from unaccompanied solos to the large ensemble the Globe Unity Orchestra. It is rare to see someone of Brötzmann’s stature and reputation come to town. The avant-garde branch of jazz is rarely featured in concert here, so the opportunity to experience Brötzmann’s unique and provocative music in such an intimate setting should be relished by all who seek something different in their listening.
At 75, his quest for exploration and spontaneity remains a major motivation. While his impassioned and sometimes freeform playing may sound worlds away from mainstream jazz, he actually began by playing traditional, swing and bop before finding his own vocabulary. Although categorized by some as a “free jazz” artist, Brötzmann told LEO: “I never liked the term: Nothing in this world and in the arts is free.” A visual artist as well as a musician, he continued: “if ‘form und inhalt’ (a Bauhaus term) means form and content — if that comes together, then you can call it art.”
Discussing his fellow musicians, Brötzmann said that he had known Noble since the 1980s, and Edwards more recently, and that they had worked together for five years. He performed with Adasiewicz for the first time as a duo four years ago. “All of them are sensitive but strong players, and, for me, it was no question that we all are fitting well together; their individual abilities open a wide range for the music.” Asked why he chose to add vibraphone to the trio setting, he replied that “Any new player I work with usually will change my own playing too. The vibraphone is a special instrument. My favorite always was [Louisville native] Lionel Hampton, and Jason has a lot of him.”
Brötzmann said he is concerned with making music in and of the moment, and that there is no need for written music, and that there will be no formal rehearsals before the tour begins. “We all are experienced enough to jump on stage and get the best out of the situation.” As an improvising musician, he is affected by the venue, the audience and surroundings. “Everything counts, is important [and] gives feedback.” He closed saying that even after a hard travel day, once the musicians are on stage, that’s forgotten and then “then wonder starts.” Dreamland’s director, Tim Barnes, is excited about bringing Brötzmann back, “because he embodies so much of what Dreamland is about. His music is incredibly robust, and deeply powerful on many levels.” He added that our city is in for such a wonderful show. This particular quartet are top notch players from all over. They will certainly blow many minds.”
Friday, May 13
Peter Brötzmann Quartet
810 E. Market St.
$25/35; 9 p.m.
Advance tickets available here: http://dreamlandislouisville.org/calendars/peter-brotzmann/