Music and More – Black Bombaim and Peter Brotzmann (Shhpuma)

By Tim Niland

Black Bombaim is a Portuguese psychedelic trio featuring Ricardo Miranda on electric guitar, Tojo (Vitor Rodrigues) on electric bass, and Senra (Paulo Gonçalves) on drums. They truly reap the whirlwind on this album, adding the mighty free jazz titan Peter Brotzmann, whose “have reeds will travel” mindset makes him open for any kind of setting whether acoustic jazz with William Parker and Hamid Drake or blasting post-everything with the Japanese noise masters Fushitsusha. This five-part suite is definitely not for the faint of heart as Brotzmann comes roaring right out of the gate on “BB and PB Pt. 1” playing unaccompanied tenor saxophone in his patented caustic and up front manner before being prodded by the band to even greater heights, rending and tearing the very air around him. Towering electric bass and taut drumming initially provide the power for “BB and PB Pt. 2” which Brotzmann taps into by probing his accompaniment and then taking flight with some torrid saxophone. When mixed with the trio makes for a very imposing and thrilling improvisation. There is a slight dynamic downshift to strong electric bass led music that Brotzmann can parley with before the guitar and drums rise up and there is a full bore quartet improvisation. “BB and PB Pt. 3” opens in a more plodding fashion, recalling heavy metal behemoths like Black Sabbath. Brotzmann responds with some of his most raw playing, crying out like an animal in its death throws. Combining this with the rhythmically pounding bass and drums makes for a very imposing experience. The group comes together as one force to drive the music forward relentlessly, uniting to belay any questions about age or generation, since everyone is locked in and laser focused about the music at hand. Rodrigues adds smears and squalls of guitar to the proceedings, and everybody goes over the top with scalding noise to the finish line. Tojo’s monstrous bass leads the group into “BB and PB Pt. 4” where the riff he builds creates heavy tension and Brotzmann responds with long peals of saxophone arcing across the backdrop. Drums crash and guitar snarls as everyone comes together in a massive edifice of pure sound. The collective improvisation is raucous and invigorating and just epic in its scope and scale, bordering on sensory overload. Muscular bass and drums and echoing guitar lay the foundation for the concluding “BB and PB Pt. 5” and Brotzmann is soon into the breach once again with an enormous sound that seeks to devour all in its path. The muscularity of the bass and drums and Brotzmann’s guttural responses allows Rodrigues’ guitar to fly over and around the core of the music adding splashes of color and zings of electricity as the music reaches it apocalyptic peak. This is truly an epic album, and kudos to Black Bombaim for having the stamina and cojones to play with a titan like Peter Brotzmann. They work together beautifully and the music is reminiscent of John Zorn’s excellent group Simulacrum that mines a similar vein.


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