Peter Brotzmann and Heather Leigh Credit: Frederike Helwig

Peter Brötzmann justified the crude nomenclature of early recordings like Machine Gun, Nipples, and Balls with the coarse tone and pugilistic phrasing of his saxophone playing. So the vulgar cover image of his latest album, Sex Tape, which depicts a crucified man getting a blow job from a viper, looks like a roots move. But the music that he and American-born, Scotland-based steel guitarist Heather Leigh make can hardly be said to fall back on old habits. There’s no mistaking Brötzmann’s rasping, insistent sound on each of the four woodwinds (alto and tenor saxophones, B-flat clarinet, and the Middle-European tárogató) he plays over the 48-minute-long concert album. But instead of ripping through the action or driving home rhythms, he drops straight into Leigh’s undulating squalls and falls like a skydiver bent on keeping his rip cord untugged until the last possible second. If you’re looking for Brötzmann to rehash glories of yore, you might just stay home with your old records. If you want to hear the fearlessness that’s made him a force to be reckoned with for his more than 50 years in action, come on down. This concert is part of EB25, the Empty Bottle’s yearlong series of concerts celebrating its 25th year of operation.   v

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