Haazz and Company – Unlawful Noise – Unheard Music Series

Haazz and Company
Unlawful Noise – Unheard Music Series

Currently the curator of ornithology at the National Museum of Natural History in Lisbon, Kees Hazevoet has completely distanced himself from his previous life as one of the prominent figures of the early European free jazz scene. On this reissue of a 1976 session (featuring, in addition to Hazevoet, Peter Brotzmann, Han Bennink, and several other illustrious individuals), Atavistic’s Unheard Music Series shines, if not a spotlight, then maybe a key-chain flashlight, or perhaps a laser pointer, on the importance and abilities of this reasonably obscure Dutch improvisational pianist.
Split into two pieces, titled “Unlawful Noise” and “Agitprop Bounce,” this record features Hazevoet leading a crew of accomplished professionals cranking out a fantastic racket, in the process boiling “music” down to its sweaty, barbaric essentials, the triad of noise, passion, and pure, undistilled, consciousness-piercing sound. Some highlights: about 15 minutes into “Unlawful Noise,” the horns and winds slowly trail off, and, for the fist time, the listener can really hear Hazevoet’s sterling keysmanship. Seven or so minutes later, a ghostly, other-than-human shriek of a horn-blow (or something) can be heard in the background three or four times. Peter Bennink’s bagpipes, always a welcome sound to these ears, buzz ominously around the end of “Unlawful Noise,” adding interesting and, for this type of stuff, unexpected textures. And when the interplay between piano, percussion, and Johnny Dyani’s bass in the first few minutes of “Agitprop Bounce” gives way to a drum-less three-way dance between bass, piano, and suddenly assertive winds, you realize that sometimes music that sounds completely wrong can actually be one of the most god-damned right things you’ve ever heard.
Sure, maybe it sounds like a herd of buffalo bashing away with nary a plan or sense of direction, but if anyone ever recorded something like that, I’d want to listen to it, too. And since a buffalo can’t really play a clarinet, much less a B-flat clarinet, this has gotta be the next best thing, honey, so who are we to deny it our love and attention?