Review

Peter Brötzmann, Majid Bekkas & Hamid Drake

Catching Ghosts

ACT • 2023

No matter which Brötzmann you listened to playing, there was always something there. This also had a lot to do with the people who worked on their own instrumental range alongside the recently deceased free jazz musician. At the end of 2022, Peter Brötzmann improvised with lute player Majid Bekkas and drummer Hamid Drake in his preferred formation, the trio. The fact that there was little rehearsal beforehand was due to Brötzmann’s purity rule, but also to his state of health – the 81-year-old had contracted Corona, his recovery was lengthy and not easily brushed aside, even with the steely lungs of an old master. Brötzmann was Brötzmann. It shouldn’t have mattered. He huffed to the lament of Bekkas and puffed to the rumble of Drake. His energy, who knows where it came from that night. Perhaps he was simply chasing his own spirit. Those in the audience at the Berlin Jazz Festival that night certainly captured it – his performance was followed by a long round of applause. ACT is now releasing the recording of the gig and all the applause under the title »Catching Ghosts«. If you listen, you will experience Peter Brötzmann during his final musical breaths – and there was always something there.