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Peter Brötzmann (born March 6, 1941) is a German free jazz saxophonist.

Brötzmann is among the most important European free jazz musicians. His rough, lyrical timbre is easily recognized on his many recordings.

He studied painting in Wuppertal, but grew dissatisfied with art galleries and exhibitions. He has not abandoned his art training, however: Brötzmann has designed most of his own album covers. He first taught himself to play various clarinets, then saxophones, and began playing with double bassist Peter Kowald.

For Adolphe Sax, Brötzmann's first recording, was released in 1967 and featured Kowald, drummer Sven-Ake Johansson and pianist Fred Van Hove.

1968 saw the release of "Machine Gun", an octet recording often listed among the most notable free jazz albums. One critic has written "Machine Gun" offers "a heavy-impact sonic assault so aggressive it still knocks listeners back on their heels decades later." [1] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDSUB020405201225411692&sql=A3b7tk6kxlkrk)

The logistical difficulties of touring with an octet resulted in Brötzmann eventually slimming the group to a trio with Han Bennink and Van Hove.

In the 1980s, Brötzmann flirted with heavy metal and noise rock, including a stint in Last Exit.

Brötzmann has remained active, touring and recording regularly. He has released over thirty albums as a bandleader, and has appeared on dozens more. His "Die Like A Dog Quartet" (with Toshinori Kondo, William Parker and Hamid Drake) is loosely inspired by saxophonist Albert Ayler, a prime influence on Brötzmann's music.

Brötzmann has since recorded or performed with many musicians, including Cecil Taylor, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Bill Laswell, William Parker, Willem Breuker, Ken Vandermark, Conny Bauer and Brötzmann's son, Caspar Brötzmann, a notable guitarist in his own right.

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