A Celebration of Anthony Braxton 

Source: River Cities’ Reader.

On June 4, the iconoclastic composer, esteemed academic/pedagogical luminary, and free-jazz firebrand Anthony Braxton turned 75 years old. To trace the course of Braxton’s career, from its beginnings in the late-1960s with groundbreaking works such as 3 Compositions of New Jazz and the double-LP solo sax masterpiece For Alto, across over 100 recordings of his live horn/woodwind performances, small group jazz-orbiting sessions, and exhibitions of his compositions for all manner of large ensembles, is to witness far-flung threads of the 20th century avant-garde tradition improbably lace together into one fully synthesized oeuvre with virtually no touchstones for comparison. Braxton’s work long ago shattered the divide between the gritty, atonal language of improvised free jazz performance and the typically cloistered world of academic classical and minimalist composition, and he continues to expand in unexpected directions with new works that emerge to this day.