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Friday, May 3, 2013

KonstruKt feat. Peter Brötzmann: Eklisia Sunday (Not Two, 2013) ****

By Martin Schray

For an article in The Wire in December 2012 David Keenan asked Peter Brötzmann about his interest in world music. Brötzmann looked at him like he was “about to puke up his meat balls” and gagged. He said that he did not like the term at all, that he was not interested in the mixing-up of things and styles. What he was interested in were people, in musicians, in respect. So on the one hand world music in a pejorative sense tends to display obvious folkloristic influences, but on the other hand it can mean that people no matter where they come from can find a common ground, a common language beyond firmly established structures. Isn’t that what jazz is actually about?

Thus, it might be surprising that Brötzmann keeps on teaming up with “world musicians” like on his Yemen project “A Night in Sana’a” (ARM) or “China Live 2011” (Jazzhuis) but it is also logical for a man “who is full of contradictions” that he is looking for new possibilities in the jazz idiom.

For this album he has joined the Turkish free jazz collective KonstruKt again (something he has done before for their album Dolunay in 2008), which is Korhan Futaci (tenor & soprano saxophones), Umut Çağlar (electric guitar), Özün Usta (double bass, djembe, gong, bells) and Korhan Argüden (drums). But it is not only Brötzmann on tenor, alto and clarinet who is KonstruKt’s guest here, the band is also augmented by Hüseyin Ertunç (acoustic piano, küstüfon, gong), Doğan Doğusel (double bass, küstüfon) and Barlas Tan Özemek (electric guitar).

And while I have problems with Brötzmann’s Yemen and China albums this one is absolutely marvelous because Brötzmann adds his unique sound to a well-coordinated collective, him just being the icing on the cake. His phrases are perfectly integrated in the overall evolving group sound, where each piece unfolds light-footed because these guys are such great musicians. As an example serves “Track 3”, the longest piece on the album, with its conversations of percussion, bass and slide guitar, its almost spiritual character and its duel of three reeds. My favorite piece is the last one, “Track 4”. It starts with a piano/clarinet duo before all the others join in to soar in a frantic blow-out.

The album was recorded at Eklisia (an old chapel built in the 17th century) in Gümüşlük, a small village near Bodrum on the 15th of May, 2011, in front of a small but enthusiastic audience. The sound is sometimes a bit dry and reverberating but it does not affect the music in a negative way.

Listen to a sample of KonstruKt with Brötzmann at the Krakow Jazz Autumn in 2011: