The Wire reports that Peter Brötzmann has decided to retire his Chicago Tentet, having come to the decision that the group has peaked creatively. He has written an open letter which reads as follows:
14 years… The Chicago Tentet
That’s a long time for a 10/11 piece band. Time to say goodbye? Time to stop? For sure time to think about the future!
There are a couple of reasons why I decided to stop it, at least for the moment. The first one is the everlasting critical economic situation, actually with no expectation for better times – we Germans and Americans can’t count on support from our cultural departments.
The second, much more important, is the music. Hanging together for such a long time – with just a couple of small changes – automatically brings a lot of routine. In general nothing against, you need it sometimes to survive, but if it gets so far that one can’t exist without the other – music is over.
In 2011 with the weekends in London and Wuppertal we have reached the peak of what is possible in improvisation and communication with an immense input from all of us. For my taste it is better to stop on the peak and look around than gliding down in the mediocre fields of ‘nothing more to say’ bands.
I love to work with larger ensembles and I won’t say, ‘That’s it,’ but I need a bit of time to think about some changes, the financial situation is important and in a way the financial situation forms and builds sometimes the music. Who can afford to travel with a quintet nowadays, you see what I mean?
I think the next fall will answer the question about the future of a NEW tentet.
Tokyo, 17th of November 2012
WE NEED AGAIN AND AGAIN A MORE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT
Excuse my language A KICK IN THE ASS and what we call in German VERUNSICHERUNG
The group, which at various times included Johannes Bauer, Jeb Bishop, Hamid Drake, Mats Gustafsson, Kent Kessler, Toshinori Kondo, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, William Parker, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams, and Michael Zerang, among others, made its first appearance on a three-CD set on Okka Disk, released in 1998. They released several sets of paired albums on that label over their 14-year history: Broken English and Short Visit to Nowhere in 2002, Images and Signs in 2004, and American Landscapes 1 and 2 in 2007. In recent years, the ensemble put out the two-CD Walk, Love, Sleep and the five-CD 3 Nights in Oslo box, which also included performances by smaller subgroups, on Smalltown Superjazz.
Here’s a 57-minute performance by the group as it existed in 2004: