Thomas Borgmann/ Peter Brötzmann/ William Parker/ Rashied Bakr - Cooler Suite (05.2003)
What kind of sense does it make to release a five-year old recording? In addition, from musicians who release numerous new recordings year after year (the exception is Rashied Bakr, who mostly works a social worker in New York)? And above all, from a group that doesn't exist anymore, that never really existed and only performed once in an ad-hoc formation?
The reason is a banal as radical: it is the music. One evening both saxophonists Thomas Borgman (Ruf der Heimat, Boom Box, cooperation with Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Lol Coxhill, Borah Bergman, Heinz Sauer, among others) and Peter Brötzmann (no comment) played together with the New Yorker rhythm group William Parker and Rashied Bakr in the performance space Cooler, now long gone. It was moving and enthusiastic Free Jazz, as it was sublimely conservative and legendary. The music is so straight and uncomplicated as it can be: Parker plays a bass that nothing can shake, stable as the trunk of an old oak tree; Bakr plays the drums with a feathery pulse, but always wide awake and driving. Together this results in a foundation upon which the power players Borgmann and Brötzmann give each other their hand, as if dreamily in wedlock, the solos pass by, they allow themselves (and us) melodic flights, but above all they celebrate a powerplay as if free jazz had finally established itself as the folk music of the 21st century.
Of course, say the connoisseurs and concert goers, that's how it felt live in this bitter cold NY winter. But how can this sound be meditated on such a profane thing, on a CD? The point is that the concert was recorded on a cheap analogue cassette since other alternatives were lacking. The recording level was overloaded and, what's more, hissed a lot. Last but not least, the recording devise was connected directly to the mixing board such that the bass, recorded directly, was mixed far up front. Seldom has William Parker been so present on a recording.
And this is how it happened that the raw, crackling, lightly distorted sound perfectly reflects the euphoric, even psychedelic quality of the music. The somewhat poor recording quality (that thanks to the restoration of Thomas Borgmann and Markus Schmickler is really only slightly poor) can easily be exchanged, 2 to 1, for a kind of neo-authenticity. That's why we have released this recording, after it popped up in Thomas Borgmann's apartment in Kreuzberg, Berlin at the beginning of 2002.
Peter Brötzmann contributed the artwork, the liner notes were written by the well-known journalist Tobias Rapp.
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GROB540 Bosetti/ Krebs