Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Anthony Braxton Quintet: Basel 1977

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, chess grandmaster and occasional author Anthony Braxton once drew as much criticism and ridicule as Wynton Marsalis. Despite being a champion of experimental material in both the improvising and classical traditions, Braxton has been blistered for every sin, from having a cold, soulless style to being overly infatuated with Stockhausen and Dave Brubeck. When Braxton’s pioneering, and recently reissued, solo-sax session For Alto was issued in 1968, the results were labeled either revolutionary or disgraceful depending on the perspective. Almost 33 years and multiple albums later, Braxton has been proved neither fraud nor seer. He was and is a fine player, especially on the cumbersome twins-bass and contrabass clarinets-and his compositions have become less pretentious and more engaging.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.