German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann (b. 1941), one of those guys who could make you a straight soprano sax by blowing on a curved one, is one of the stalwarts of European free improvisation. He came up at the end of the 1960s and, while he might be expected to have drawn inspiration for similarly-minded American players, this is what he says about the his seminal, groundbreaking, even violent Machine Gun (1968) and his unlikely model.
"I wanted to sound like four tenor saxophonists, that's the sound that I wanted... I got the idea from the Lionel Hampton band, the big band he had, with four really heavy saxophonists in the front line and they played unison. That's the sound I've been trying to get, that's what I was attempting with Machine Gun and that's what I'm still chasing"
Peter Brötzmann, interviewed in the November issue of Wire magazine.
Brötzmann will be, with his Chicago Tentet at London's Cafe Oto on November 9-10, as part of the London Jazz Festival.
Lionel Hampton: "Flying Home" (1967)
Peter Brötzmann: "Machine Gun" (1968)