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

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 VII

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.

The Anthony Braxton Quartet, Montreux 1975 performing  Composition 40M.  This quartet was Braxton – Reeds, Dave Holland – Bass, Barry Altschul – Drums and Kenny Wheeler – Trumpet and Flugelhorn.  This was a tremendous group I’m so glad that there is video of this group floating around for all us to enjoy.

This is a transcript of an interview with Anthony Braxton at WKCR FM by Ted Panken. In this interview from 1995 Braxton discusses the forming of the Tri-Centric Foundation, his friendship with Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams, the early days of the AACM, among many other topics. Panken also gets Braxton to explain some of his terminology so it is a very interesting read.

This is a wonderful excerpt from a live concert Of the Dave Holland Quartet at the Festival de Jazz d’Antibes Juan-les-Pins, Pinède Gould, July 25, 1974.  The group was Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul and Anthony Braxton.

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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

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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

AMN Reviews: Brian Groder Trio – Luminous Arcs [Latham Records]

One of the traditional attractions of the pianoless jazz trio is the room it allows for harmonic and melodic inventiveness, absent a chording instrument. The Brian Groder Trio, a trio of trumpet/flugelhorn, double bass, and drums, is no traditional jazz trio, but it does take advantage of the format in ways that both recall and go beyond the harmonic freedom of other pianoless trios.

Luminous Arcs is the third release for the group, which in addition to Groder includes double bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen. Their experience together tells, as the tightly integrated playing on display on all eleven tracks gives evidence of a well-developed chemistry. Groder and Bisio work particularly well together and provide fine contrapuntal playing on Spanglin, on the free-fugue introduction to the moody ballad Until Eyes Met, and throughout Smoored. On Bonds of Now, a duet for trumpet and drums, Rosen’s relentless, free-pulse drumming coils tautly around Groder’s line until Groder drops out to let Rosen finish alone. Bisio gets a brief solo piece with Pirr, which balances on strummed chords and tart harmonies.

Adding to the album’s audio pleasure is the verbal pleasure of the vivid imagery and wryly kaleidoscopic observations of poet Randee Silv’s Wordslabs, which serve as an appropriate liner note to this ultimately poetic music.

http://briangroder.com/

Daniel Barbiero