Montag, 3. Juli 2017

Willem Breuker - Baal Brecht Breuker (1973)

The Willem Breuker Kollektief is a musical snake that can shed its skin at the drop of a hat. The group moves effortlessly from swing rhythms reminiscent of Stan Kenton, to tributes to spaghetti western composer Ennio Morricone, to stately tangos by Kurt Weill, to Philip Glass-style minimalist pieces, to arrangements worthy of 1930s musicals sung by Breuker himself, into honkin’ free jazz improvisations. All the Kollektief’s records are full of such musical surprises. But throughout its explorations, the group maintains its own musical personality. Part of that personality is its sense of humor. You never know when a solemn Glass ostinato will be interrupted by the burp of a tuba or an aria by a gargling diva.

Tenor saxophonist Willem Breuker was born in Amsterdam, Holland on November 4, 1944, during the last days of the Second World War. As a school boy he took up the clarinet, then the soprano sax, and in the early 1960s fell under the spell of Ornette Coleman’s music. He achieved a small measure of notoriety in the Netherlands in 1966 while he was leading a 23 piece ensemble at the Loosdrecht Jazz Competition. During the performance he pointedly dedicated one of his compositions to a student who had been killed not long before in a demonstration. The gesture came at a time when lines were being drawn increasingly between old and young, and between conservative, liberal and radical. It was also shocking because until then, no Dutch musician had overtly aligned his art with politics.

Social upheaval was sweeping Europe like the rest of the world. At the same time a remarkable flowering was occurring in European jazz. Among the musicians getting started then were saxist Evan Parker and guitarist Derek Bailey in Britain, saxist Peter Brötzmann and pianist Alex von Schlippenbach in Germany, drummer Han Bennink in Holland. And the music was often fierce, in your face jazz, like nothing ever heard before, fired on by the student protests sweeping the continent, that reached a high point when Brötzmann’s earth-shattering improv LP Machine Gun was recorded in the revolutionary month of May 1968.

Willem Breuker was a member of the all-star ensemble that played on Machine Gun, and he composed one of the three pieces that appeared on the album. Although he proved himself a formidable improviser, Breuker soon began moving away from free jazz to concentrate on composing and playing in a more structured accessible framework. Not that he ever gave up improvisational playing; but henceforth his outpourings would take pla”ce against the backdrop of carefully arranged charts written for the Kollektief.

Breuker met Han Bennink in 1966 and together with pianist Misha Mengelberg, they formed the Instant Composer’s Pool (ICP). It was with the ICP that Breuker’s ideas about doing music collectively began. The ICP fell apart in 1973 following disagreements between members. Breuker left and formed the Kollektief. “It’s pretty an achronistic,” Breuker told Mike Zwerin of the International Herald Tribune, “a holdover from my socialist days in Amsterdam in the ’60s and ’70s.” Whatever its roots, the Kollektief served a number of purposes. For one thing it suited Breuker’s style of composition. As he developed, he found his music becoming more complex than the average jazz combo could handle. “I write too many notes,” Breuker explained to Greg Baise of the Metro Times, “I cannot play my music with three or four musicians. I need more musicians."

This album features music from the play "Baal" by Bertold Brecht, it was recorded October 15, 16, 17 & 23, 1973 in Baarn, Holland. The LP was packed in a jute-bag with a 'BVHaast' tag.        

A1Ouverture : Het Koraal Van Baal4:21
A3Als De Zachte Bleke Zomer2:09
A6De Spaanse Vlieg1:30
B1Evelyn Roe I / Heeft Een Meisje Blanke Dijen / Evelyn Roe II5:57
B2Ik Begin Een Nieuw Leven2:43
B3Lied Van Het Verdronken Meisje2:55
B4Pas Heb Ik Nog Een Meisje Ontmoet0:50
B5Mijn Hart Is Troebel1:15
B6Ziek Van De Zon1:39

Willem Breuker - Baal Brecht Breuker (1973)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

4 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

More Breuker please :-)

zero hat gesagt…

Glad you like it. Will post more Breuker when i find it on the hard drive. Greetings!

Anonym hat gesagt…

Thanks! ...and, likewise, greetings :-)

Alexander Schmidt hat gesagt…

Could you re-up, please! Looking forward to more WBK! I am just listening to the excellent "In Holland", which is still available online @ differentperspectivesinmyroom blog. Thanks a lot for keeping your brilliant blog alive!
Check out my Masekela tribute on

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