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Peter Brötzmann and Hamid Drake

Hallwall’s The Art of the Improvisers series is underway and this weekend presents a great one. If improvised music (or free jazz as it is often called, to the dismay of some) has a sax-wielding colossus – ever the vanguard and continually taking chances and pushing forward – it’s got to be Peter Brötzmann. Born in Remscheid, Germany in 1941 the self-taught saxophonist/clarinetist was a driving force in Europe’s free jazz scene with a string of recordings in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s—including Machine Gun, Nipples and Fuck de Boere: Dedicated to Johnny Dyani—that remain benchmarks to this day. In addition to long-standing creative partnerships with the late double bassist Peter Kowald, along the way Brötzmann has played and recorded with Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Fred Hopkins, Rashied Ali, Keiji Haino, Anthony Braxton and Bill Laswell to name just a small few. Chicago-based drummer Hamid Drake – a gifted player known for incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban, Indian and African rhythms in his playing – has been a regular part of Brötzmann’s orbit as well and the two musicians will perform together on Hallwall’s stage this Saturday. The Art of the Improvisers then continues at Hallwalls on Wednesday, April 21 with a performance by William Parker Trance Quartet.

—donny kutzbach

8pm. Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / hallwalls.org). $15 general admission, $10 Hallwalls members/students/seniors.