Recording Date: July 25, 1998
This version of the Die Like a Dog Quartet substitutes trumpeter Roy Campbell on trumpet. Otherwise, in addition to Bro"tzmann, the group includes percussionist Hamid Drake and bassist William Parker. From the perspective of free-style jazz, it does not get much better than this, the group totally in sync for three untitled pieces recorded live at the Fire in the Valley jazz festival in Amherst, Massachusetts. From any perspective, this very tight, highly disciplined unit is one of the leading ventures in the history of avant-garde jazz. On the second "tune, " they launch into a magnificent dialogue for forty minutes, rising and ebbing, with distinguished improvisations along the way. Campbell is a big plus, his clipped phrases, bold gestures, and confidant lines a welcome addition to the group sound. As to be expected, Bro"tzmann electrifies with never-ending torching, while Parker and Drake flow in and out with mesmerizing solidity.
All Music Guide
Die Like A Dog Quartet: From Valley To Valley Whenever Peter Bro"tzmann picks up a saxophone, he broadcasts a tremendous sense of urgency. He projects life experience with incredible emotional intensity-as freely and powerfully as a saxophonist has ever spoken. For some listeners, the force of his personal expression may be too much, so consider yourself warned. The fire here gets very hot.
Bro"tzmann's original Die Like A Dog Quartet, first recorded by FMP in '94, contained trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. The new quartet features trumpeter Roy Campbell instead. In many ways, the new recording improves on the old. From Valley to Valley documents a very urgent live performance from 1998's Fire in the Valley Festival in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Bro"tz's old comrades on this date include Hamid Drake on drums and William Parker on bass. These two have spent a lot of time working together, so they know how to tie down a groove. The relative tightness of the rhythm section helps anchor the wild, unrestrained freedom of the front line. Roy Campbell, who has his own records out as a leader on Delmark and Silkheart, stands aside Bro"tz without trying to step in front: playing witty contrapuntal lines and tugging the saxophone behemoth in new directions. As you might not expect, there is a wide variety of moods here, from exuberant to curious to contemplative. You might even have to turn up the volume in a couple of places.
- AAJ Staff,