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På skive



When the killer rhythm section of Belgian bassist Farida Amadou and British drummer Steve Noble (that worked before in trio formats with Alex Ward, Chris Pitsiokis and Yoni Silver) was asked if it would like to perform at the 2019 edition of the Summer Bummer Festival with German reeds titan Peter Brötzmann, both Amadou and Noble replied with a quick and definite ‘yes’. To show the extreme musical diversity of Noble and Amadou, the Summer Bummer Festival added another trio on the 2nd day of the festival, one that already shook things up twice earlier at London’s Cafe Oto, with American Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth fame). These energetic and ferocious, free improvised performances of these heavyweights musicians from August 2019 in Antwerp, Belgium, were recorded and released as a limited edition double of 300 vinyls (coming with download codes), as «M.A.N.» – «B.A.N.»

The first album, «M.A.N.», captures the second night of the festival when Moore, Amadou, and Noble took the stage for a wild and nervous set. Moore’s long-toned and distorted wails, Amadou’s inventive and frenetic bass manipulations and Noble’s pulse-free, ultra-propulsive and super-percussive assaults crisscrossed each other and pushed the sonic envelope further and deeper into dense, psychedelic sonic storms. The second part of this improvisation offered more open and spacious dynamics, still intensified by propulsive, tribal drumming of Noble, as the trio’s obsessive grind lifted the music into oblivion again and again.

Brötzmann played at the festival with an old comrade, Belgian master pianist Fred Van Hove (check «Front to Front», Dropa Disc, 2020). The «B.A.N.» album, the first meeting of Amadou and Brötzmann on stage (Noble Played with him before), tells, obviously, a completely different story. It opened with a familiar and reassuring wail of the 78-years lion that immediately ignited a tight and aggressive rhythmic response of Amadou and Noble, in a way that brings to mind Brötzmann’s work with his Full Blast trio. Patiently and wisely Brötzmann introduced heavy yet soulful bluesy veins into the fiery dynamics, while Amadou and Noble abstracted his shouts and cries with fast-shifting, propulsive rhythmic patterns. The second part of this improvisation, with Brötzmann on clarinet, began with an emotional jazz theme before all went wild and transformed the nostalgic theme into a series of brutal but still soulful collisions, fed by the massive tsunamis of Amadou and Noble, and it ended with a touching, poetic coda that calls for more live meetings of this trio.

Eyal Hareuveni    

Thurston Moore (g), Peter Brötzmann (s, cl), Farida Amadou (b), Steve Noble (dr)

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