Brom & Toshinori Kondo "The Sea is Rough" EP (12",45RPM)

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The oddest thing about this record is that it is cut on 45 rpm, so it's rather a 12" maxi-single than an LP. It contains the two parts of 'The Sea Is Rough' and they are quite different. Both pieces were recorded in a single day in March 2019 in Moscow. The first one (I gather around ten minutes long) is, for the most part, a heavy free wailing blast with strong electronic undercurrents, but towards the end shifts back into a melodic touch. The other side also starts chaotic but throughout it seems there is a bit more organization here, and it is easier to follow individual instruments. There is a battle between trumpet and alto sax going on; bass and drums eventually roll out a majestic groove and the two wind instruments find routes through electronic mazes and reach for the sky. This too is probably around ten minutes and I think that is too short. I would not have minded all of this to be longer, or perhaps a different perspective or two and be a full-length album. On a hot day in August this is perhaps quite the drain of energy; or is it the extra kick. I should play it again and find out. (Vital Weekly, FdW)

Kurt Gottschalk on New York Jazz Record about Brom & Toshinori Kondo 12” Sea Is Rough: "Trumpeter Toshinori Kondo led a busy life, making music that even in its more meditative moments itself felt busy, and didn’t seem to have slowed when he died in October of 2020 at 71.(…) also during that time, the Polish label Bocian Records released a brief meeting between Kondo and the Russian sax/bass/drum trio Brom. Recorded in Moscow in March 2019, the album shows Kondo at full breath and energy, matching the younger players in 12 minutes of blast. The Sea is Rough is available as download (streaming at and 12” 45 rpm vinyl, a format most often used for dance music. Grooves do exist here, although they are rare. In your face, electric bass and effects-laden horns give a fullness of sound reminiscent of Peter Brötzmann’s Full Blast trio—hardly a surprise, as Kondo worked regularly with Brötzmann over the years. The A side hits full on, the flip lets off a little, a bit like a dub mix on one of those old max-singles. That wouldn’t have been a bad idea, in fact. The sea may be rough, but there’s not enough of it".

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