Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh
A co-presentation with Ars Nova Workshop
Wed, May 25 2016
“Mr. Brötzmann is famous for a hardheaded, fulminating style devoid of any trace of bathos. Trying to describe it sends you grasping for overheated metaphors: blowtorches, hellfires, certain Congressional libidos.” Nate Chinen, The New York Times
A rare meeting between saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and pedal steel guitarist Heather Leigh.
Peter Brötzmann has been a trailblazing figure in global free jazz since his 1968 landmark album Machine Gun. A painter by trade, Brötzmann applied lessons learned from Sidney Bechet, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Albert Ayler—and Fluxus (he was a card-carrying member)—to a primordial tenor sax caterwaul.
Heather Leigh is a Houston-bred coal miner’s daughter equally informed by her Appalachian roots, Albert Ayler, and Harry Pussy. Leigh’s approach to the pedal steel guitar is like a fractured survey of American culture’s deeply troubled heritage. Leigh’s past collaborations include Charalambides, Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore, and Smegma.
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Photo by Matías Corral
About Peter Brötzmann
Peter Brötzmann is a giant of European free jazz, and indeed avant-garde jazz and free improvisation in general. His legendary second album, Machine Gun, remains a ferocious and imposing work and essentially stands as a document of the formation of the European free improvisation scene. He has led and collaborated with others on numerous influential recordings, including Schwarzwaldfahrt which was recorded outside Germany’s Black Forest and found him playing sax while Han Bennink drummed on trees and other objects. He has served as a member of such blistering groups as the noise rock and heavy metal influenced Last Exit (with Sonny Sharrock, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Bill Laswell) and the Albert Ayler indebted Die Like a Dog Quartet (with Toshinori Kondo, William Parker, and Hamid Drake). He has remained active, tirelessly recording and touring, since his 1967 debut For Adolphe Sax.
About Heather Leigh
Heather Leigh wields the pedal steel guitar like no one else. With echoes of American folk traditions, avant-garde jazz, and the furthest extremes of noise experimentation present, she renders her instrument’s voice into expressive wails and lilts that belie its oft-typecast laid back country image. She has collaborated with such peerless music luminaries as Jandek, Charalambides, Richard Youngs, MV & EE, Stefan Jaworzyn, Chris Corsano, Smegma, and many more. Her latest album, I Abused Animal, is her first proper studio release and was met with universal acclaim. The Quietus wrote, “Even hundreds of listens in, I can’t quite put my finger on why ‘I Abuse Animal’ is so wondrous, but it is, and Heather Leigh has emerged from centuries of tradition and the improv world she is most closely associated with, to deliver a work of art that exists in a world all of its own.”