The Complete Machine Gun Sessions cover

The Complete Machine Gun Sessions

Released

Peter Brötzmann’s Machine Gun is his second album, but it’s such an emphatic, line-in-the-sand gesture, it feels like a debut. The horns come out blasting, but the more you listen the more you realize how structured and disciplined the music is. It owes a surprising amount to the hard-riffing blues of Illinois Jacquet, Big Jay McNeely and other bar-walking saxophonists of the 1940s. And it’s not a constant hurricane of sax-on-sax violence, either; pianist Fred Van Hove and the two bassists get plenty of spotlight time. This disc includes the album, the two alternate takes that exist, and a live version of the title track that predates the studio session.

Phil Freeman

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