Anthony Braxton Interview

Source: burning ambulance.

He’s put out two mega releases just this month. The first is that audio Blu-Ray, which is called 12 Comp (ZIM) 2017 and features several different ensembles of between six and nine musicians including harp, cello, accordion, and horns, playing as I said long single pieces composed and then improvised upon using a highly specific and codified musical language of Braxton’s own devising.

The second is Quartet (Standards) 2020, the 13CD collection of live recordings from January 2020, when he played nine concerts in three cities: Warsaw, Poland; London, England; and Wels, Austria, with a conventionally structured quartet: saxophone, piano, bass, drums. As its title suggests, they played standards. There are 67 songs on the box, with no repeats. There are tunes by Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and Andrew Hill, but there are also several songs by Paul Simon, including a really excellent version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” that if I’m being honest reminds me of Aretha Franklin’s version.