(Brötzmann/Pliakas/Wertmüller) FULL BLAST
The mighty German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann hasn't had many standing groups. As is common in the world of free jazz, his long career has been filled with meetings of different friends from around the world in an endless variety of arrangements. But his trio with the rhythm section of Marino Pliakas and Michael Wertmüller seems to be becoming a worthy exception.

Electric bassist Pliakas and drummer Wertmüller are as much rockers as they are free improvisers; they have the rare dual gift of being loud and fast yet tight and precise. Their own projects (such as the excellent Steamboat Switzerland) fall somewhere between out rock and contemporary composition, but they have also backed extreme noisemaker K.K. Null and, at the Berlin JazzFest in November, 2008, played with Brötzmann, Keiji Haino, Peter Evans, and Mars Williams (a recording of the radio broadcast floats around the Internet). Their controlled chaos makes them something (in spirit if not sound) like Tatsuya Yoshida's drum and bass duo The Ruins, who were able to play taut riffs, yet open up enough to back Derek Bailey.

The trio was first heard on record on the 2006 Jazzwerkstatt release Full Blast and subsequently released a limited CDR of their 2007 appearance at Tonic two nights before the beloved New York venue closed. The two discs on Full Blast / Black Hole represent their earliest and most recent recordings to be released, and show the evolution of a singular vision. Disc one was recorded at the 2005 Tampere Jazz Happening in Finland, four months before the Koln concert on the Jazzwerkstatt CD. Already they are showing the elements that make them so great at backing Brötzmann: the rolling thunder, the loud snaps of strings and snare, and the frontman (heard on clarinet, tarogato and alto and tenor saxophones) is in his element, fired up and focused. But by the March 2008 studio session on the second disc, they've learned their ropes. The tracks are shorter and more textured, with Pliakas in particular creating dense, resonating beds — more like trampolines, really — for the group to bounce off of. The trio is truly something exciting in Brötzmann's already adrenaline-soaked discography.
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