Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A caveat in the midst of high praise
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 12/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first point that must be made is that there is something wrong w/ this listing. Performance (Quartet) 1979 is a Hat Hut CD from 1990 of an Anthony Braxton Quartet concert that took place at the Jazz Festival Willisau on September 1, 1979. So this listing either has the wrong personnel or the wrong title. I suspect the wrong personnel. I recommend highly that you communicate with the seller prior to purchase.
The good news is that Hat Hut has rereleased this CD recently as part of an ongoing rerelease of their Braxton titles that they seem to be doing. My advice is to snap it up. Hat Hat releases number usually a few thousand and the population of Braxtonia is large and maniacal. I should know.
The quartet on this release lasted only a short time. Besides AB on all things reed (he plays no flute on this one), the is a young Ray Anderson on the trombone, John Lindberg on bass and Thurman Barker on the drums.
During this period, AB was moving toward his collage musics (I am not sure that is the correct term but the basic idea was that any member(s) of the quartet could reference any Braxton composition within the body of any other piece). The most amazing facet of AB's work as a leader is how often he was able to put together and lead for a time fellow musicians who could actually pull this off. Who could know not only several hundred compositions but their components and know them well enough to understand how they related to each other. Not only that but musicians who, in the course of a performance, could creatively juxtapose one component of one composition against another composition or component. And who could do all of this within interchangeable understandings of quartet interactions ranging from Dixieland (simultaneous improvs) to bebop (soloist,rythym section) to modern classical (long written passages for the group or subgroupings). It is a remarkably high ideal for group/individual interaction and it is amazing how often AB was able to put together such groups.
It helped, of course, that he is such a mighty composer. I have said before that one of the great strengths of composers like AB and Henry Threadgill is that they love all musics. And they want to write within many of those traditions. AB composes marches, dirges, bebop melodies, modern classical compositions and trance music. Perhaps the most amazing thing about him is that he is both profuse and profound. Can you tell I am a fan?
And, for the record, the compositions include four from the 69 series (C,E,F, G), two from the 40 series (F and I) and 23G.
This is great music coming from a rich period of AB's career where he was about to achieve on some of his most remarkable accomplishments within the context of his 'classic' quartet w/ Hemingway, Dresser and Crispell. This grouping is not of that quality but they are close. It is worth the price of admission to hear what Ray Anderson does with some of these compositions. Any fan of AB should pick up this recording while it is still available.