In the new issue of Vibe, Barack “B-Rock” Obama names John Coltrane as one of his musical faves. Which is cool. But not as cool as when Bill Clinton told the Oxford American that Peter Brotzmann is “one of the greatest [tenor players] alive.”
A German free jazz musician who has remained underground for the entirety of his career, Brotzmann is best known for his 1968 recording Machine Gun, which was just reissued domestically on Tuesday.
That album, which is more extreme than what came before and much of what happened since, is one of the few records from that era that makes chaos and liberality seem efficient and well-conceived. In other words, it’s a punch in the gut.
Will “B-Rock” ever have the kind of Balls that it takes to name-drop someone like Brotzmann? Probably not. But I’ll take Coltrane over whatever it is Giuliani listens to.