Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Quartet (Dortmund) 1976
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest
One of AB's great mid-70s quartet concerts
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 04/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a surprisingly good live recording that was made by WDR Cologne during a Braxton quartet concert at Dortmund on October 31, 1976. AB became aware of the taping years later (1991) and this hatOLOGY release is the result.
I recently finished a Listmania on Braxton and noticed that this CD has no reviews posted. Since this is one of AB's greatest groupings, I thought I should rectify that situation.
The foundation is his great 70s rhythm section of Dave Holland on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. The fourth member of the quartet was George Lewis on trombone. It is too bad that this grouping lasted only six months or so. The combination of AB and Lewis has always been explosive and Holland-Altschul were musical conceptualists to match the principals.
AB's compositions on this CD are a delight. The first piece is 40F combined with 23J (please don't ask me to pretend to know what AB's nomenclature means- I just roll with it). 40F is a delightful sequence of half-tone steps that are reconfigured in four sections before opening out into an improvisational space for the group. This is a great example(to my ears) of Braxton's wit- an underappreciated facet of his musical persona. He is as funny in his own way as Mingus was or as Zappa was. The soli on the 23J by AB, Lewis and Altschul are astonishing. Braxton is playing fairly straight largely eschewing extended techniques until the very end of his solo where the multiphonics get a little work out. But I challenge you to listen to the body of his solo and not admit that the man is a master of the hard-bop alto (admittedly adapted to Braxton's melodic sense). AB has always been able to flat out play.
I also wanted to mention Composition 6C. This is one of Braxton's march
compositions. He and Lewis have great fun with this one throwing off march phrases and then deconstructing the material like crazy. AB's appreciation of the tradition goes back to its historical roots. As proof of this I suggest a listen to his mid-90s duet CD with Stewart Gilmore.
And for all you more straight ahead jazz types, I recommend a listen to Composition 40B. This is like some alternate universe Blue Note tune.
All in all a great CD and an essential AB document. We can only hope that hatOLOGY does one of its occassional reissues. Keep an eye on the hathut site just in case. This is one you don't want to miss."