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Album Review

Brotzmann, Van Hove, Bennink – “Tschus” – [Cien Fuegos]

abacus   2/8/2012   12-inch, Jazz

Tschus, meaning goodbye in German, is a reissue of a 1975 LP originally out on FMP of this trio of Euro jazz freaks that collaborated a lot at the time, carrying forward the legacy of free jazz on that side of the pond for decades. We see a rare playful side of Brotzmann (Germany), who doesn’t fall back on the caterwauling screams as much and delves into some twisted, smoky jazz melodies tethered by the textural sound sculptures of multi-faceted Bennink (Netherlands), who plays everything from drums to clarinets, toy noisemakers to the studio walls and floors, injecting a strange humor into everything he touches. Van Hove (Belgium) seems to embody the entire jazz idiom and beyond, filling all the spaces between with his unique sound, simultaneously chaotic and cerebral. The players freely drift away and together on their own listless trajectories anchored in on a single wave of consciousness. Each track has a distinct personality and the album has the momentum of a discordant cycle of dream sequences that evoke a confusing array of images that leave you emotionally squandered. Endless Jack-in-the-box spinning, whistling workers at a tiny toy factory, particulate deconstruction of cacophonous circus extravaganzas. The album ends with a painful rendition of the title, sung by Brotzmann in true sappy lounge form.

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