Brötzmann has been a significant force on the free jazz and creative music scene in Europe since the late 1960s, winning a small but enthusiastic following in the USA as well. In recent years, he's been a frequent visitor to Chicago, where he has a ten-piece band featuring musicians from that city's burgeoning improv scene. Influenced by Albert Ayler and other "New Thing" players of the 1960s, Brötzmann is known for a high energy approach to improvisation; a forceful, even aggressive sound; and for working with musicians from all over the globe on a variety of projects, ranging from spare, basic duos and trios to more elaborate settings like his Chicago tentet. Remarkably, next week's gig with his Full Blast trio at the LNAC will be his first St. Louis appearance ever, and so today we offer some brief video samples of his playing in small group settings.
Up top, there's a clip from 2006 that shows Brötzmann and his longtime collaborator, drummer Han Bennink, in a duo performance in Amherst, MA. Down below, there's a video from 2005 of Brötzmann with two more frequent playing parners, bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. The final clip is from an October 2006 performance in Copenhagen, and shows Brötzmann in a quartet with (according to the YouTube comments) Peter Friis Nielsen (bass), Peter Ole Jørgensen (drums) and Mikołaj Trzaska (alto sax).