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Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (New Braxton House)

Few jazz musicians have inspired obsessive devotion like Charlie Parker. The masters, alternate takes and airchecks, not to mention Dean Benedetti’s raw but fascinating live recordings, all prove that Parker could constantly reinvent all manner of melody and harmony. That caliber of brain merits fanatical research. Anthony Braxton’s legion of devotees might not rival Parker’s, … Read More “Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (New Braxton House)”

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Live Review: October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music

In 1964, trumpeter Bill Dixon organized the October Revolution in Jazz, a four-day festival at New York’s Cellar Café intended to showcase the leading edge of free jazz and improvised music. Headliners included Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra and Paul Bley. Out of the public and private discussions at the festival ultimately grew the Jazz Composers … Read More “Live Review: October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music”

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Anthony Braxton: Quintet (Basel) 1977 (HatHut)

With reissues it is all about the package. This package is deficient. The verbal diarrhea of Art Lange’s uninformative liner essay fills three panels of the cover. And the sound sucks. Yet Lange is not wrong when he says that this “temporary, even fleeting ensemble” was one of Anthony Braxton’s strongest. On the evidence of … Read More “Anthony Braxton: Quintet (Basel) 1977 (HatHut)”

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Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011

Taken together, Anthony Braxton’s three new box sets comprise 14 discs and as many hours of music, each set using a different ensemble and taking a different musical approach. But any one of the releases is by itself overwhelming. The shortest, 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011, is by no means the most accessible. Patience, then, is … Read More “Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011”

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Anthony Braxton: Trio and Duet

Forty years later, 1974’s Trio and Duet remains one of Anthony Braxton’s best albums. If anything, it’s even more compelling today because of its weight in Braxtonian history. The trio (side one of the original album, and what would eventually become Braxton’s “Composition No. 36”) is the multireedist and composer’s first of many collaborations with … Read More “Anthony Braxton: Trio and Duet”

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