Timucua White House
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True story: There was a bar frequented by this friendly Selections correspondent during his college years that, when closing time rolled around, would cue up the 1968 Peter Brötzmann Octet album Machine Gun. The blasting, skronking, free-jazz assault of the album’s first few seconds were usually enough to hasten most folks to the exits, and it was rare that even the tipsiest of frat boys would be left in the bar by the time the album had ended. Brötzmann’s long and storied career in the world of European improvisational music will leave a much more lasting and meaningful legacy than as a crowd-dispersal device, as the bracing, fuck-all freedom of Machine Gun represented an important pivot from the historical Afrocentrism of the U.S. free jazz scene. Of course, there were considerable interplay and overlap between the Germans and New York, and few artists represent that crossover better than saxophonist Joe McPhee, whose impact was such that an entire label (the Swiss imprint Hat Hut) was founded to showcase his work to European audiences. Now, more than 40 years after these two made their first forays into the free jazz scene, they are both still going strong, and while this duo show (hopefully) won’t clear the room, it will doubtless still challenge listeners in new ways. – Jason Ferguson
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