Don Cherry: Symphony for Improvisers from “Symphony for Improvisers” (1966) [19.44] – Peter Brötzmann, Fred Hopkins, Rashied Ali: No Messages from “Songlines” (1994) [12.38] – Sonny Rollins: Summertime from “Sonny Meets Hawk” (1963) [5.56] – Peter Brötzmann and Keiji Haino: excerpt from “Evolving Blush or Driving Original Sin” (1997) [10.15] – Marc Ribot Spiritual Unity: Spirits (live broadcast) [9.14] – Peter Brötzmann: Tell a Green Man from “Nipples” (1969) [15.32] – Henry Grimes Trio: Flowers for Albert from “Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival” (2004) [7.48]
Henry Grimes (born November 3, 1935,
is a jazz double bassist, violinist, and poet. After more than a decade of activity
and performance, notably as a leading bassist in free jazz, Grimes completely
disappeared from the music scene by 1970. Grimes was often presumed dead, but
he was rediscovered in 2002 and returned to performing. As a child, Grimes took
up violin, tuba, English horn, percussion, and finally the double bass at age
13 or 14. At Juilliard, established a reputation as a versatile bassist in the
mid 1950s. He recorded or performed with saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Sonny
Rollins, pianist Thelonious Monk, singer Anita O'Day, clarinetist Benny Goodman
and many others. When bassist Charles Mingus was experimenting with a second
bass player in his band, Grimes was the person he selected for the job. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Gradually growing interested in free jazz, Grimes performed with most of the music's important names, including pianist Cecil Taylor, trumpeter Don Cherry, saxophonists Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler. He released one album, The Call as a trio leader for the ESP-Disk record label in 1965.
In the late 1960s, Grimes career came to a halt after his move to
. It was commonly assumed Grimes
had died. Then Marshall Marrotte, a social worker and jazz fan, set out to
discover Grimes's fate once and for all. In 2003, he found Grimes alive but
nearly destitute, without a bass to play, renting a tiny apartment in California ,
writing poetry and doing odd jobs to support himself. He had fallen out of
touch with the jazz world and was unaware Albert Ayler had died, but was eager
to perform again. Word spread of Grimes's 'resurrection', and some musicians
and fans offered their help. Bassist William Parker donated a bass (nicknamed
"Olive Oil", for its distinctive greenish color) and with David
Gage's help had it shipped from Los Angeles, California New York to , and others
assisted with travel expenses and arranging performances. Grimes's return was
featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio. A documentary film
is planned, as is a biography. Los Angeles
Peter Brötzmann (born 6 March 1941) is a German artist and free jazz saxophonist and clarinetist.
Brötzmann is among the most important European free jazz musicians. His rough timbre is easily recognized on his many recordings. He studied painting in
involved with the Fluxus movement, but grew dissatisfied with art galleries and
exhibitions. He experienced his first real jazz concert when he saw American
jazz musician Sidney Bechet while still in school at Wuppertal , and it made a lasting impression. Brötzmann
has designed most of his own album covers. He first taught himself to play
various clarinets, then saxophones; he is also known for playing the tárogató.
Among his first musical partnerships was that with double bassist Peter Kowald. Wuppertal
For Adolphe Sax, Brötzmann's first recording, was released in 1967 and featured Kowald and drummer Sven-Åke Johansson.
1968, the year of political turmoil in
Europe, saw the
release of Machine Gun, an octet recording often listed among the most notable
free jazz albums. Originally the LP was self-produced (under his own
"BRO" record label imprint) and sold at gigs, but it was later
marketed by Free Music Production (FMP), In 2007, Chicago-based Atavistic
Records reissued the Machine Gun recording.
The album Nipples was recorded in 1969 with many of the Machine Gun musicians including drummer Han Bennink, pianist Fred Van Hove and tenor saxophonist Evan Parker, plus British free-improv guitarist Derek Bailey. The second set of takes from these sessions, appropriately called More Nipples, is more raucous. Fuck De Boere (Dedicated to Johnny Dyani) is a live album of free sessions from these early years, containing two long improvisations, a 1968 recording of "Machine Gun" live (earlier than the studio version) and a longer jam from 1970.
The logistical difficulties of touring with an octet resulted in Brötzmann eventually slimming the group to a trio with Han Bennink and Fred Van Hove. Larger groups were put together again later, for example in 1981 Brötzmann made a radio broadcast with Frank Wright and Willem Breuker (saxes), Toshinori Kondo (trumpet), Hannes Bauer and Alan Tomlinson (trombones), Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano), Louis Moholo (drums), Harry Miller (bass). This was released as the album Alarm. In the 1980s, Brötzmann flirted with heavy metal and noise rock, including a stint in Last Exit and subsequent recordings with Last Exit's bass guitarist and producer Bill Laswell.
Brötzmann has remained active, touring and recording regularly. He has released over fifty albums as a bandleader, and has appeared on dozens more. His "Die Like A Dog Quartet" (with Toshinori Kondo, William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake) is loosely inspired by saxophonist Albert Ayler, a prime influence on Brötzmann's music. Since 1997 he has toured and recorded regularly with the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet (initially an Octet).
To listen to the podcast, go to Podomatic website and search for 'completecommunion'.
To send me material to be featured on the podcast, email me at galasi.g [at] virgilio.it or gianpaolo.galasi [at] gmail.com