Machine Gun


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In May, 1968, the German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann brought together seven emerging European experimental musicians for what is now considered to be one of the most critical recording sessions in the history of improvised music.

The “Machine Gun Sessions” featured several improvisers whose soon-to-be-celebrated careers were just beginning: the British saxophonist Evan Parker, the Dutch reedsman Willem Breuker, the German bassists Peter Kowald and Buschi Niebergall, the Swedish drummer Sven-Åke Johansson, the Dutch drummer Han Bennink, and the Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove. Released in 1968 by Brötzmann's BRO label, and reissued three years later on FMP (the label founded by Brötzmann, Kowald and Alexander von Schlippenbach), Machine Gun is arguably the most brutal, beautiful and enlightened recording of the early Free-Jazz period.

In celebration of the 44th Anniversary of this legendary moment in the history of Free-Jazz, Ars Nova Workshop is excited to present several Machine Gun-related performances this Fall. (Prepare for another Philadelphia appearance by a Machine Gun musician next Spring. Hint: He's Dutch and he plays drums).

The season begins on Tuesday, September 4 at the International House, as Peter Brötzmann performs in duo with the Chicago vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz (with an opening set by the drummer Chris Corsano and the guitarist Bill Orcutt).

Then, on Tuesday, October 2, ANW presents the final Philadelphia performance by the Willem Breuker Kollektief. When Breuker, also a founding member of the Instant Composers Pool with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink, died in 2010, his will stated that this 10-piece ensemble he founded in 1974 could embark on only one more tour following his death. This is it.

Finally, on Saturday, November 10, ANW presents a very rare solo performance by the pianist Fred van Hove. Following his participation in the legendary “Machine Gun Sessions,” van Hove went on to create the renowned avant-garde musician collectives the Werkgroep Improviserende Musici, the Musica Libera Antverpiae and the Musica Libera Belgicae.

We look forward to seeing you on September 4! For more information about these events, and the rest of Ars Nova Workshop's Fall Season, please go to: www.arsnovaworkshop.org. For the latest news, follow ANW on Twitter and Facebook.

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This story appears courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.
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