THE HISTORICAL CONCERTS:
In July 2005, the Irtijal festival proposed two concerts(*) of the Brötzmann / Zerang duo in Beirut. This first appearance of German Free Jazz and Improv legend Peter Brötzmann on the middle-eastern/arabic underground scene definitely left a mark on both the players and the audience.
Brötzmann's raw energy found in Beirut "naturally" trained ears to react to his music. The intensity of his playing surprised at first an audience new to this kind of music, then drowned everybody in its tornado.
Zerang's performance is not a usual drummer's one. Not even in Brötzmann's standards. Rarely in the role of the accompanying rythmic partner, he is the perfect match to engage a dialog with the sax player. Passing from complex and intense rhythms to a minimalist/reductionist solo, Zerang ensorcelled the crowd, especially when he played hard-core rhythms and extended techniques on the lebanese national percussion instrument, the darbuka (or debakeh).
THE HISTORICAL CD:
Besides the encounter with a new audience, these concerts were also the occasion for the first duo between Brötzmann and Zerang who share a decade of strong musicianship in groups like the Brötzmann/McPhee/Kessler/Zerang quartet or the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet. The complicity between the musicians is evident from the first to the last sound, and the result is a CD that will definitely have a prominent place in the long Brötzmann history of sax/drums duos started in the seventies with Dutch drummer Han Bennink.
Mazen Kerbaj, march 2006
(*) this CD documents the second concert.
1. Illusion Of Progress
2. Yalla Kholoud
3. A Daytime Nightmare
4. Banyan Revolution