The März Combo Live in Wuppertal

by THE PETER BRÖTZMANN TENTET

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John Cratchley
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John Cratchley This sounds like it was recorded yesterday and not in 1992...PB ahead of the game, as usual...absolutely stellar line-up (an early tentet incarnation); we need to dispel the myth that Brotzmann is a "hard listen"...not so; just "listen harder"...
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    Assembled to celebrate Peter Brötzmann's 50th Birthday, this special 10-tet is comprised of jazz luminaries and several players better known in avant-rock circles. The März Combo adds new colors and nuances to Brötzmann's combustive sound. Recommended.

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Composition by Peter Brötzmann.

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released April 5, 1993

REVIEWS

"German saxophone behemoth Peter Brötzmann had always had great success with mid-size ensembles, from his protean Machine Gun octet in 1968 to the Chicago Tentet of the late '90s. His März Combo seems to have been a one-shot venture. An all-star cast to be sure, the band had a bit of a rockish tinge with his son Caspar and Nicky Skopelitis aboard on guitars and Golden Palominos founder Anton Fier on drums. But, as in Last Exit, that rock energy is harnessed in the service of a greater strength — inspired free improvisation on rough-hewn structures. The music begins quietly enough with a moody dialogue between Brötzmann on bass clarinet and bassist William Parker, but this is not a group that was going to remain docile for long. The brief "Part 2" appears to have been intended as a respite from the onslaught but it doesn't hold and the band surges into the final section with guns ablaze. There's a brief moment where Kondo's electronically enhanced trumpet in tandem with the guitars evokes Miles Davis from his Agharta period. Overall, the März Combo is about no-holds-barred, soul-baring improvisation of the type long championed by Brötzmann. Recommended."
- All Music Guide

"Recorded at a concert celebrating the saxophonist’s 50th birthday, this is remarkably different from what might be expected. Rather than the all-out ferocious assault of one of his earliest signposts, this recording is far more spacious and episodic, slowly gathering force with an almost symphonic scope. Brötzmann assembled this group from his disparate associations through the years. Parker proves himself an invaluable asset as he offers a fluid free flowing anchor to the music. The guitar players almost cautiously color the first half of the music with jangled overtones and harmonics. There are many segments of bracing collective interplay. Brötzmann clearly thought about this group and it marks an ambitious endeavor. He consistently challenges himself with a multitude of contexts and this recording documents one of the more intriguing sessions."
- Cadence

"Peter Brötzmann has been an incredibly sustaining and constant force in free music for over three decades, and continues to create white-hot improvisation on saxophone and clarinet at torrentially fervid intensity. The März Combo assembled in early '92 to celebrate Brötzmann’s fiftieth birthday and his exceptional life in music. Featuring some great improvisation stalwarts such as Paul Rutherford and younger players like Nicky Skopelitis, the Tentet rants and howls its way like a band of pilgrims on the road to a destination of its own design. William Parker's bass sets the combo out on its journey on the three sections which build up to a raging intensity. At the centre of the fireball stands Brotzmann, burning unholy and bright. It's another cathartic blowout from the Colossus of Wuppertal.....Fantastic."
- Adelaide Jazz Reviews

The Peter Brötzmann Tentet
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet
Hannes Bauer: trombone
Paul Rutherford: trombone
Werner Lüdi: alto & baritone saxophone
Larry Stabbins: soprano & tenor saxophone
Peter Brötzmann: alto & tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Nicky Scopelitis: guitar
Caspar Brötzmann: guitar
William Parker: double bass
Anton Fier: drums

Recorded live by Sascha Stiefeling and Willi Buschmann on February 18th, 1992, at the Börse in Wuppertal.

Mixed by Jost Gebers.
Mastered by Jonas Bergler.
Produced by Peter Brötzmann, Jost Gebers and Uli Armbruster.

Booklet artwork/design/layout: Peter Brötzmann.
Photos: Heinze & Bolesch.

"Many thanks to Jochen Strieth"

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