AMN Celebrates Braxton 75 : Part XIV

Headshot Anthony Braxton courtesy of the artistWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews, and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

We begin this week with Anthony Braxton in a spirited solo alto saxophone performance from 2017 at Fringe Arts, October Revolution in Philadelphia.

Here is a wonderful trio performance of Anthony Braxton with George Lewis on trombone and Mark Dresser on bass from Antwerpen in 1985 at Jazz Middleheim. While Braxton always forges deep musical connections with his collaborators, his work with George Lewis is very special as they seem to always be connected in ways that few musicians ever are.

We conclude this weeks post with an interview that Nate Wooley did with Anthony Braxton for BOMB in 2014. The interview was done just prior to the world premieres of Braxton’s “Trillium” opera. Braxton’s excitement leaps off the page. He also admits to watching ancient aliens. Me too.

Join us again next week for another post as AMN Celebrates Braxton 75

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Chris De Chiara

 

The Making of King Crimson’s Starless And Bible Black 

Source: Louder.

While Crimson may have been contemporaries of ELP, Genesis and Yes, as Fripp puts it: “King Crimson were nothing like the other bands of its generation. More accurately: the other bands, all more popular, liked and commercially successful, with their own triumphs and failures, were nothing like King Crimson.”

Back in the UK in January 1974, and with three new tracks in the can at George Martin’s AIR Studios, the band sifted through the many live multitracks from the tour, choosing the best improvisations and scrupulously editing the tapes to remove any hint of audience noise or applause. It was impossible to tell what had been improvised in concert and what had been recorded in the studio.

When it was released in that spring, not even the record company knew that Starless And Bible Black was essentially a live recording. Such secrecy by the band might have resulted from knowing that record labels paid a reduced royalty rate on live albums. The truth only emerged several years after Crimson had split up.

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XIII

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

This post begins with an Anthony Braxton interview from 1997 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. If you have been following this series and have read and listened to the interviews you may have noticed that Braxton is very consistent in his answers to some of the same interview questions he has received over and over again. But with each answer he sheds a little more light on what is at the heart of his work , his relationship to various traditions and his hope for what lies ahead.

A short excerpt from a London concert in 2007 by Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton.

The last entry this week features a full set from the Anthony Braxton ZIM Sextet + live at the Moers Festival in 2017.  The ensemble was Ingrid Laubrock – reeds,  Taylor Ho Bynum – brass, Shelley Burgon – harp, Jaqueline Kerrod – harp, Tomeka Reid – cello, Dan Peck – tuba and of course Anthony Braxton – reeds. Enjoy!

Join us again next week for another post as AMN Celebrates Braxton 75

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Chris De Chiara

The Story of Adrian Belew in King Crimson Retold

Source: Music Aficionado.

The European leg of the Talking Heads tour commenced on December 1st, 1980 in London. The night the band arrived in town the whole entourage went out to a dinner in a fancy Russian restaurant, wasting no time in consuming large amounts of vodka and engaging in food fights, like rock n roll bands do. Adrian Belew, not a hard drinker, crushed in his hotel room in the wee small hours, dead to the world. Not for long, though. A 9AM call woke him up: “Hello Adrian, I know you’re not one to go raving so I figured it was safe to call you early. Did I wake you up?” A groggy Belew uttered something incoherent, to which the caller replied: “Well look, Bill Bruford and I want to start a band with you.”

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XII

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

Anthony Braxton’s many awards include a 1981 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 1994 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2014 NEA Jazz Master Award, and honorary doctorates from Université de Liège (Belgium), New England Conservatory (USA) and the 2020 United States Artists Fellowship. Here is a short interview from 2014  for his NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Anthony Braxton’s  Diamond Curtain Wall Music is a combination of graphic notation, improvisation, and interactive electronics.  This particular sextet performance from 2015 includes many of his mainstays including: Taylor Ho Bynum -brass, Mary Halvorson – guitar, Ingrid Laubrock – reeds, Andrew Raffo Dewar – soprano saxophone and Carl Testa – bass. The recording is a bit low and boomy so give it a little volume.

One of the the web’s best magazine-style resources for creative music is Sound American.  Its issue archive is a wonderful resource. Sound American 16: The Anthony Braxton Issue contains articles on Braxton written by many of his collaborators including: Taylor Ho Bynum, Nate Wooley, Kyoko Kitamura, Anne Rhodes, Katherine Young, Carl Testa, Erica Dicker, and Graham Lock. The archive can be a little slow to load, so be patient because the articles are well worth the wait.

We end this week’s post with a short excerpt of a lyrical alto saxophone solo from 2012 at Amuz, in Antwerpen.

Join us again next week for another post as AMN Celebrates Braxton 75

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Chris De Chiara

10 Mind-Blowing Miles Davis Collaborations 

Source: Consequence of Sound.

In addition to being one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was a fountain of great quotes. Like Winston Churchill or Muhammad Ali, Davis had a lightning-quick wit that lent itself to hilarious boasts and withering put-downs alike. In more ways than one, he was gifted at blowing his own horn. As he memorably told off one naysayer at a White House dinner: “I changed music five or six times.”

Of course, he didn’t do it alone. In the studio and on the stage, Davis played with dozens, if not hundreds, of seasoned musicians, some of whom could even be regarded as artistic equals: Charlie Parker, the bebop trailblazer with whom Davis played some of his earliest professional gigs, and John Coltrane, whose rippling sheets of sound pushed jazz into the avant-garde, come to mind. But even if the vast majority of the trumpeter’s sidemen didn’t leave as deep an impact on jazz as Davis did, they certainly left an impact on Davis, who was constantly absorbing new sounds and influences throughout his five-decade career.

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XI

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

This is an audio-only telephone interview from 1996 for Harvard radio station WHRB. The interviewer, Eric Plaks, asks interesting questions that Braxton is excited to answer. Braxton gives long detailed answers that shed lots of light on multiple aspects of his work making this an essential listen for the friendly experiencer.

The Anthony Braxton Quartet performing two compositions in 1981 in Hamburg. The quartet was Anthony Braxton – Saxophones, Ray Anderson – Trombone, Hugh Ragin –  Trumpet, and Marilyn Crispell – Piano. The concert ends with a wonderful short solo encore from Braxton.

The famous Composition No. 19 for 100 Tubas by Anthony Braxton. Performed at the Blanton Museum of Art in 2013.  The sound and video varies as the ensemble and conductors move about the museum and its campus, but all in all this is a must-hear!

Join us again next week for another post as AMN Celebrates Braxton 75

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Chris De Chiara