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A legendary and intense album of European Free Improvising masters recorded in 1969 from a band led by saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, with Evan Parker on tenor sax; Derek Bailey on guitar; Fred van Hove on piano; Buschi Niebergall on bass; and Han Bennink on drums.

Brotzmann, Peter Sextet/ Quartet
Nipples [VINYL]

Brotzmann, Peter Sextet/ Quartet: Nipples [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

Label: Cien Fuegos    
Released in: Austria    

"Nipples is a 1969 album by free jazz saxophonist Peter Brštzmann, originally released on the Calig record label. The title track is performed by a sextet comprising Brštzmann (tenor saxophone), Evan Parker (also on tenor saxophone), Derek Bailey (guitar), Fred Van Hove (piano), Han Bennink (drums), and Buschi Niebergall (bass). The other track featured, "Tell a Green Man", is performed by a quartet made up of Brštzmann, Van Hove, Niebergall, and Bennink.

The album was reissued on CD by Atavistic Records as part of their Unheard Music Series in 2000. The label also released a second CD in 2003 titled More Nipples, featuring three further recordings from the same sessions: an alternate take of "Nipples", performed by the sextet, and two further recordings by the quartet."-Wikipedia

" [...] Nipples is a 1969 recording, freshly re-released by Atavistic, of a famous session featuring some of the biggest names in European free jazz. The creature I thought was going to take my life, the title track, is nearly 20 minutes of amorphous noise recorded by a sextet consisting of piano, double-bass, drums, guitar and two saxes. The second track is slightly shorter and slimmed down: fifteen minutes of sax, piano, double-bass and drums. The entire album clocks in at just over 33 minutes, but they're some of the most frenetic and alien minutes you may ever live through.

Initially, Nipples seems like the work of a sextet of toddlers who have been unleashed in a room full of musical instruments. It's grating and frustrating, and seems to exhibit a lack of structure surprising even for free jazz. After the third or fourth time through, though, a logic begins to present itself. Blocks of instruments drop in and out to highlight the tensions between the various sounds with a bowed double-bass and sax often serving as a foundation for the movements of other instruments. These six people listen to each other, coordinating their movements over a framework that remains invisible throughout. Stereo effects are used to enforce a sort of organization, marking out the individual territories of the various instruments.

The first of the two tracks is the most rewarding, and achieves an almost mesmeric effect that the second track never gets close to. The presence of two saxes contributes quite a bit to this: they carry on a conversation of sorts that makes the 20 minutes of noise slide by quicker than seems possible. At points, it becomes difficult to believe that this music was recorded live in the studio-- these people make noises with their instruments and construct a layered sound that eludes most players with walls of effects at their disposal.

There's a point about two-thirds of the way through Nipples where all the instruments-- with the exception of Peter Brotzmann's tenor sax-- stop playing. For about one minute, the sax emits long, almost toneless keenings. The sound just doesn't make sense. Then, you realize that Peter Brotzman has stopped playing his saxophone, and Papa Legba has taken over instead. Papa Legba is riding this man's sax-- a human being could not possibly be responsible for a noise like this.

Today's musical landscape is marred by the footprints of lightweights and the layabouts who write about them. Emo-rockers who record albums while cramming for the SATs? So-called Latin superstars who have to see a tutor before recording a song in Spanish? Überhip geeks who spend less time and energy on their music than on installing home theaters in the mansions of famous murder victims? Forget it. Nipples may be by turns aggravating, inscrutable, cacophonous and soulless, but sitting next to today's crop on the New Release rack of your local Sam Goody, it seems the work of giants. Crazy, strung-out, Teutonic giants, but giants nonetheless."- Zach Hooker, Pitchfork Media

180 gram vinyl, raised image on cover. Limited edition of 1000 copies.

See all items in the Vinyl Recordings category

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Free Improvisation
Peter Brotzmann
Bailey, Derek
Parker, Evan
Sextet Recordings
Quartet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Jazz Reissues
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Get additional information at Pitchfork Media

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Product Information:

180 gram vinyl, raised image on cover. Limited edition of 1000 copies.

UPC: 9120036682115

Label: Cien Fuegos
Catalog ID: CF 013LP
Squidco Product Code: 21482

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Austria
Packaging: LP
SIDE A recorded Tonstudio Bauer/Ludwigsburg/April 18th, 1969

SIDE B recorded Rhenus Studio/Godorf/April 24th, 1969


Peter Brotzmann-tenor saxophone

Evan Parker-tenor saxophone

Derek Bailey-guitar

Fred van Hove-piano

Buschi Niebergall-bass

Han Bennink-drums

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Track Listing:


1. Nipples (17:45)


1. Tell a Green Man (15:32)