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Boomkat Product Review:
Free improv legend Peter Brötzmann turns 80 in fine style, partying with Heather Leigh (on pedal steel) and cellist Fred Lonberg Holm. If you know...
This one's special. If you've come across Brötzmann before you'll already know that there are few players that know how to match his energy. When he turned 80, he brought in two of his favorite collaborators, the unmatched Heather Leigh and Valentine Trio's Fred Lonberg-Holm. Anyone expecting the German original's usual frenetic skronk might be shocked to hear that there's a level of restraint and romance on show that's both surprising and incredibly rewarding. Leigh's heart-wrenching pedal steel thrums are crucial here, anchoring the mood to give Brötzmann a virtual shoulder to cry on while Lonberg-Holm pierces the dense clouds of sound. She teeters between stadium rock grandiosity and tearjerking folk whimsy, allowing Brötzmann the room to express frustration and passion with his fluttering squeals.
Lonberg-Holm comes into his own on 'Flower Flaps' powering thru the track with staccato plucks that echo eerily next to Brötzmann's runs and Leigh's woozy swells. 'Johnny Anaconda' then is a coda, offering a farewell that wavers off key and out of sight - a fitting end to an electrifying set. Happy birthday pal.