Source: The Shfl.
Understanding the conceptual underpinnings of Braxton’s music is key to wrestling with his massive discography. His work can be grouped under a few umbrellas, though there are outlier albums in every era. In the 1970s, he first led a group with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, violinist Leroy Jenkins, and percussionist Steve McCall; pianist and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams occasionally joined them. He later formed a quartet with bassist Dave Holland, drummer Barry Altschul, and various front-line instrumentalists, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and trombonist George Lewis most prominent among them. Braxton, Holland and Altschul were joined by saxophonist Sam Rivers for the bassist’s classic 1973 album Conference Of The Birds.