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Kevin Norton

Kevin Norton

As a teenager in the early ’70s, when rock ‘n’ roll musicians ruled, percussionist-composer Kevin Norton made an unusual choice for his own personal music of the moment-one that probably suggested to his buddies that he had lost all purchase on pop culture.

“Anthony Braxton. He was a hero to me,” Norton says. He wasn’t just in awe of the reedman, but also Braxton’s then-drummer, Barry Altschul. “The drumming on some of those records-Barry Altschul plays like Art Blakey but also like a classical percussionist. The isolated percussion sounds on those recordings. What sounds like free music to a lot of people-to me, it was putting a lot of things together, a lot of different music, classical and jazz, on a spiritual level.”

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