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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

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Artist Profile General Interviews Performances

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.

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Chris De Chiara

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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

 

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Artist Profile General Performances

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part X

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.

An intense 70 minute live performance of Anthony Braxton’s Composition 355 at the Venice Biennale Musica in 2012 by the Anthony Braxton 12+1Tet.

An Anthony Braxton interview by Ken Weiss from Jazz Inside Magazine in 2010. This is a great read where Braxton reflects deeply on topics from musical identity to music history to his work over the last forty years. As a bonus, it also includes an interview with Gerry Hemingway on Braxton’s music.

This week’s final link is a great audio-only performance of the Anthony Braxton Trio live at the Immanuel Chapel, Boston in 1982. The trio was with Dave Holland – bass and Marilyn Crispell on piano.

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Chris De Chiara

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AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part V

Braxton_anthony_moers_260507Welcome 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 Unwaveringly Creative is a recent essay by Timo Hoyer for the 2019 Berlin Jazz Festival.  It provides very informative program notes for the performances of Braxton’s Sonic Genome and ZIM Music. Here are the entire five-plus hours of the Berlin performance of Anthony Braxton’s Sonic Genome.

This is an absolutely burning clip (audio only) of Braxton in a trio with Dave Holland – Bass and Phillip Wilson –  drums from Town Hall in NYC in 1972. It features the trio in a very unusual and original performance of the jazz standard “All The Things You Are”.

An hour of the Anthony Braxton Sextet performing Composition 348 in Spain, 2008.

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Chris De Chiara

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AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part IV

Braxton_anthony_moers_260507Welcome 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.

The Sounds of Now, Part Three: Anthony Braxton and the Ethics of Improvisation by Chadwick Jenkins from 2007 is a very insightful essay that digs into Braxton’s musical philosophy. Jenkins very clearly explains his interpretation of some of the ideas found in Braxton’s Tri-Axium Writings. It is very well written and should be read carefully, and maybe more than once in order to digest Jenkin’s interpretation of Braxton’s writings.

This is a recent performance of Braxton’s Composition No. 1 (1968) for solo piano performed by Brett Carson.

A short interview from 2008 where Anthony Braxton discusses chess, math & music.

A set of the Anthony Braxton Quartet performing in East Berlin in 1985. The group for this concert is Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell – piano, Gerry Hemingway – drums and Jens Saleh – bass. You can hear the magic that Hemingway, Crispell, and Braxton have together.

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Chris De Chiara

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AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part III

Braxton_anthony_moers_260507Welcome 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.

In 1973 Bill Smith interviewed Anthony Braxton for Coda Magazine.  Smith removed the questions from the interview so that it reads like an essay.  The interview offers some insight into Braxton’s development as a musician and his determination to be true to himself and his vision, despite the potential consequences. “Anthony Braxton Interview 1973” by Bill Smith.

This is a very good recording of the first set at The Kitchen in 1977 of three of the AACM’s titans – Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, and Joseph Jarman.  There is no video but the performance is astounding! The second set is also floating around and worth checking out.

The Instant Composers Pool (ICP) is an independent Dutch jazz and improvised music label and orchestra founded in 1967.  In this short excerpt of a 2005 performance at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, they are joined by Anthony Braxton.

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Chris De Chiara

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Artist Profile General Interviews Performances

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part II

Braxton_anthony_moers_260507Welcome 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 a short promotional video from 2006 of the Anthony Braxton 12+1tet for the release of a 9-CD + DVD box set. The video mixes a Braxton lecture on his Ghost Trance Music with live performances of the ensemble illustrating his words. The clip reveals how interactive the ensemble can be in the direction the piece takes and how much this ensemble really enjoys performing Braxton’s music.

“A Renewed Spotlight on Anthony Braxton” by Robert Ham is a recent interview from 2019 in which Braxton talks a little bit about his spiritual beliefs and his approach to composition.

Circle was Anthony Braxton – reeds, Chick Corea – piano, Dave Holland – Bass and Barry Altschul – drums. The group was active from 1970 -71. They released two studio albums and three live albums. This is a live recording (no video) of Circle from 1971. Despite the roughness of this recording, the music is quite powerful and well worth the listen.

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Chris De Chiara

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Artist Profile General Interviews Performances

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part I

Braxton_anthony_moers_260507Welcome 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.

In the last fifty years or so Anthony Braxton has composed hundreds of pieces and recorded well over one hundred albums. Navigating this vast amount of material can be a little bit intimidating. Seth Colter Walls’s article “Anthony Braxton: Ghost Trance Music” is a great place for all to start. This article is an excellent guide that provides a nice overview of Braxton’s work with clear high-level explanations of some of Braxton’s most prominent musical concepts and structures. It also includes links to suggested listening examples.

Among Braxton’s many innovations is his extensive work for solo saxophone such as his landmark 1969 LP “For Alto”.  Here is a short but excellent example of Braxton’s solo saxophone music. The clip is from Hamburg in 1981.

This thirty-minute clip features a 1973 performance from one of Braxton’s many quartets. This may be the first live performances of his compositions 23B and 23D. The quartet is Kenny Wheeler – trumpet and flugelhorn, Jean-François Jenny-Clark on Bass, Charles “Bobo” Shaw on drums and of course Anthony Braxton – flute, contrabass clarinet, and alto saxophone.

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

Chris De Chiara

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Performances

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS AND FRED ANDERSON/MARK TAYLOR QUARTET (Friday) In addition to being a venerable pianist and composer, Mr. Abrams is an architect of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which presents one of its periodic New York concerts here. Performing with Mr. Abrams is the saxophonist Fred Anderson, a peerless veteran of the Chicago jazz scene; also on the program is a quartet led by the French horn and mellophone player Mark Taylor. At 8 p.m., Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan , aacm-newyork.com; $25, students $12. (Nate Chinen)20091015

BLUIETT (Saturday) This veteran baritone saxophonist — also known by his full name, Hamiet Bluiett — has always advanced an agenda of blustery incantation. His presence in a small combo like the one heard here, with Kahil El’Zabar on percussion, is heavily, intensely physical. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Sista’s Place, 456 Nostrand Avenue, at Jefferson Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn , (718) 398-1766, sistasplace.org; cover, $20. (Chinen)20091015

? BROOKLYN BIG BAND BONANZA (Monday) Organized by the composer Darcy James Argue and presented by the upstart promoters Search and Restore, this Monday showcase includes three ambitious young groups working with the palette (but not the parameters) of the traditional big band: Mr. Argue’s Secret Society, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra. Pound for pound, it’s the bargain of the week. At 7:30 p.m., Bell House, 149 Seventh Street, Gowanus , (718) 643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; $15. (Chinen)20091015

BROOKLYN EXPERIMENTS (Sunday) This relatively new series shines a spotlight on left-of-center jazz groups, like those featured here: the Mike Baggetta Quartet, led by its namesake guitarist and featuring Jason Rigby on saxophones, Eivind Opsvik on bass and George Schuller on drums (at 9 p.m.); and the Nate Radley Trio, another guitar-led enterprise, with the bassist Matt Pavolka and the drummer Dan Weiss (at 10:30). Rose Live Music, 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg , (718) 599-0069, roselivemusic.com; $10. (Chinen)20091015

EVAN PARKER (Friday) Mr. Parker, a titan of the British jazz avant-garde and one of the leading saxophonists in his idiom anywhere, has been in residence at the Stone every night this month so far. He closes shop with two characteristic sets: performing first at 8 p.m. with Tim Berne and Earl Howard on alto saxophones, and then at 10 with the electronics artist Ikue Mori. The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; $10 for the first set, $20 for the second set. (Chinen)20091015

TYSHAWN SOREY (Friday) Mr. Sorey can play the drums with an almost brutish physicality, but also with a sense of scale and equipoise. And he has lately been producing serious results as a composer, a side of his personality that figures most prominently here. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village , (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; $15, members $10. (Chinen)

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