The Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake & William Parker Trio played Friday night at Constellation — one of the first concerts this improvisational powerhouse has played together since 2004. And it was the first time I had ever seen Brötzmann, a German free-jazz saxophonist. After the band took the stage without uttering a word, and after the welcoming applause died down, Brötzmann paused at his table of reed instruments, as if wondering which one to play. Once he’d strapped a sax around his neck, he silently stood a moment, poised to blow. It was so quiet that I expected the music to begin quietly, but Brötzmann did not ease us into things. He suddenly blurted out a cacophonous blast, pulling us into a complex string of notes in what seemed like midstream. That was just the beginning of a piece that stretched on for something like 40 minutes. Throughout the concert — which the trio performed without taking a set break — Drake’s percussion and Parker’s bass lines gracefully danced around Brötzmann’s forceful, inventive improvisations. It was bracing and dazzling.
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