For more than a decade and a half, Bruno Johnson's label Okkadisk has been of the most important labels to document the burgeoning free jazz scene of Chicago in the 90's and 00's. A lot of its releases contain music by people like Ken Vandermark (his Territory Bands, FME, DKV Trio, etc) and people connected to him (Dave Rempis, Mats Gustafsson, etc). It also was the main promoter behind Peter Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet, which brought together central payers of Chicago jazz/improv and European musicians.
Many projects involving Brötzmann appeared on the roster: besides the Tentet also Sonore, Hairy Bones and a quartet featuring Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler and Michael Zerang. Another notorious band spearheaded by the fiery German, is Full Blast. After having released two albums (on Jazzwerkstatt and Atavistic), there's now a third record on Okkadisk, the 'LP only' monster "Crumbling Brain". It's the trio of Brötz, Marino Pliakas (bass) and Michael Wertmuller (drums) in the context in which you need to experience them: live on stage.
It might be the fiercest band the saxwielder has been in since Last Exit, and definitely something the faint of heart should avoid. It is ultra-muscular and noisy, hardcore jazz that is all about intensity, velocity and freedom. The freedom to destroy barriers, mediocrity and good taste. While the torrential sax madness had its predecessors in many other bands, the rhythmic foundation is thunderously heavy, with thick layers of distorted bass and drumming that might please heavy metal fanatics: double bass drums galore!
The guests on this release: sax player Mars Williams (a member of the original tentet), trumpeter Peter Evans and guitar player Keiji Haino. Their presence only adds to the dense sound and hypercharged approach, which occasionally verges on extreme noise and creepy soundscapes. Those who saw them play live in Amsterdam a while ago (w/ Ken Vandermark) know what to expect: thrilling turbojazz destroying everything in its path. Available from Instant Jazz, of course: HERE
Read the Goddeau review (in Dutch) HERE