AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XVI

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 the Ensemble Dal Niente performing some of Anthony Braxton’s works inspired by Native American musics. The “Ghost Trance Music” – Composition Nos. 193 + 228.

Here is a 2014 interview that was part of WKCR’s coverage of the 2014 TriCentric Festival, centered around the premiere of Braxton’s opera, Trillium J. Braxton dives deep in describing the work. He also explains some of the background on his development of the Ghost Trance Musics. We also occasionally hear from collaborator and TriCentric Executive Director Kyoko Kitamura.

Anthony Braxton in the recording studio with Brandon Evans  recording Evans’s composition “Elliptical Axis 15”,  at Wesleyan University in 2000.  They both perform on a wide array of wind instruments and I believe the entire recording session was videotaped and can be seen on YouTube.

If you have not already read “Forces in Motion” then perhaps this wonderful article by Hank Shteamer will convince you to do so!  Anthony Braxton’s Big Ideas: Why ‘Forces in Motion’ Is an Essential American Music Book .

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Chris De Chiara

 

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.

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Chris De Chiara

 

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!

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Chris De Chiara

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

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!

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Chris De Chiara

 

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.

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

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Chris De Chiara

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part IX

1_braxton_0Welcome 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 excerpt from a 1994 concert of Anthony Braxton and Richard Titielbaum. Unfortunately, it never shows Titielbaum and misspells his name in the credits.  But the music is great!

“What I Call a Sound”: Anthony Braxton’s Synaesthetic Ideal and Notations for Improvisers by Graham Locke is an article that dives deeply into Braxton’s use of graphics and graphic notation in his musical compositions. Locke is a very knowledgeable Braxton scholar who has written a great book about Braxton, “Forces in Motion”.  If you have been following this series and haven’t read it, you may want to check it out.

Here is Anthony Braxton’s Composition no. 151 performed by a large ensemble of teen musicians at Face the Music at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on June 10th, 2019. Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center’s contemporary music program for teens. These teens do a great job!

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Chris De Chiara

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part VIII

1_braxton_0Welcome 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 1988, when Anthony Braxton was teaching at Mills College, he wrote his “Introduction to Catalog of Works “ so that musicians and musicologists could better understand how to approach the study and performance of his music. This is well worth the read because it explains what Braxton considers fundamentally important to his music and to his creative esthetic.

A wonderful excerpt of the Anthony Braxton Falling River Quartet Live at Marta in 2010. This quartet is one of many different ensemble formations that Braxton has assembled to perform the largely abstract and mostly graphic scores of the Falling River series.

Here is a photo of  a score from the Falling River series

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Anthony Braxton interviewed by his old friend and bandmate Gerry Hemingway in 2013.  The interview runs about an hour and was filmed just prior to their trio performance at the 2013 Willisau Festival with Taylor Ho Bynum. Braxton reflects on topics ranging from Cecil Taylor to education to opera to women in music and so much more.

An excerpt from the Wet Ink Ensemble Portrait Concert of Anthony Braxton in 2016.

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Chris De Chiara

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part VI

1_braxton_0Welcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, whom 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.

Despite the graphic for this video this is an audio only interview of Anthony Braxton in 1985. The interview runs about 30 minutes and covers topics ranging from Frankie Lymon to John Coltrane to Paul Desmond and so much more. An interesting listen.

This clip is from a series of clips featuring Walter Thompson and his orchestra with Anthony Braxton from 2009. Braxton participates as both a “sound painter” through his conduction of the ensemble and as an instrumentalist within the ensemble.

The final clip this week is a short excerpt from Braxton’s quintet in 1977 at the Moers Jazz Festival.  The group was Braxton with George Lewis – trombone, Muhal Richard Abrams – piano, Mark Helias – bass, and Charles “Bobo” Shaw on drums. They are on fire but unfortunately we only get to hear Braxton’s solo in this nine-minute excerpt.

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Chris De Chiara

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