Sunday, March 5, 2017

Brotzmann, Mengelberg & Bennink - 1979 - 3 Points and a Mountain

Brotzmann, Mengelberg & Bennink
3 Points and a Mountain

01. Brötzmann 3:21
02. Gewidmet Frau Hauser 6:36
03. There Und Zurück 13:10
04. Met Wel Beleefde Groete Van De Kamel 5:17
05. 3 Points And A Mountain 12:40
06. Potzdausend, In's Blaue Hinein 5:07

Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet – Peter Brötzmann
Drums, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet – Han Bennink
Piano, Voice – Misha Mengelberg

Recorded at the Akademe der Künste, Berlin, 26th February 1979

A different sort of peak in Brötzmann's catalog, Three Points and a Mountain may be his must purely enjoyable album. It offers freewheeling dadaist humor, energetic pastiche, and joyful excursions through a variety of styles and tropes. The expert trio of Brötz, Mengelberg, and Bennink is both focused and gleeful.

Three Points and a Mountain is a surprisingly balanced meeting between hard-blowing reedsman Peter Brotzmann, pianist Misha Mengelberg, and percussionist Han Bennink, who also plays some clarinet and tenor here. Recorded over the course of two days in February, 1979 in Berlin, the results are all that you might hope for from these three, and even more light-hearted than you might expect. Brotzmann travels the range of dynamics (as opposed to his all-out, power-blowing sessions), and there are several duet sections, as well as solo moments for all. The three musicians take turns riling each other as the trio whips up engaging, lively music, and have a grand time doing it -- Mengelberg even lets out an occasional howl in the background. There are also odd moments of the trio swerving into early American piano jazz forms, but by the time this sinks in, Brotzmann, Mengelberg, and Bennink have taken it back out, wiping away the previous moment's impressions. Overall, this is a great and enjoyable session from three of the most creative and unique musicians in European avant-garde music.