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Anthony Braxton: 19 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (2010)

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Anthony Braxton: 19 Standards (Quartet) 2003 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Innovative progressive-jazz and avant-gardist Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds
employs his arsenal of saxophones while covering gems from the past, evidenced by his smoothly swinging spin on Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
1905 - 1956
trombone
's "So Rare," amid a medley of jazz and pop standards. These four discs capture the quartet's 2003 European tour, enamored by the crystalline audio processing and a muse that transmits an antithesis to the musical roads often traversed.

Braxton's rippling notes generate a consortium of sublime and heated contrasts with the under-recorded and hugely talented guitarist Kevin O'Neil. The band swings and bops during the majority of the program; however, Braxton tosses a few curves into the mix, most notably on the ethereal and dark improvisational segment, "G. Petal (Improvisation)."

The soloists coalesce understated grooves while redefining a given melody. And they spiral into heated exchanges while tempering the various flows. Percussionist Kevin Norton
Kevin Norton
Kevin Norton

percussion
adds timber with his over-the-top vibes treatments. Nonetheless, the quartet generates a revved-up level of excitement via blistering exchanges, evidenced when Braxton and O'Neil launch an aerial assault, consisting of turbo-mode 16th notes and other components.

Braxton and O'Neil execute scat-like phrasings on Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "Half Nelson" and reconfigure Frank Loesser's "Inch Worm," by morphing free-form stylizations into a jazz-waltz groove. Here, the musicians intertwine the familiar hook into bustling and multidirectional movements, their progressive-jazz and avant tendencies offering more than just an album of retreads. Similar to the basic groundwork laid out by the quartet's previous efforts, they inject a modernist edge into the roads previously traveled. With sterling musicianship, the quartet expressively melds sheer firepower with elegance, and a persuasive mode of execution, which seeds a refreshing ambiance into these time-honored standards.

Track Listing: CD1: Four; Body and Soul; Petal (Improvisation); So Rare; It's You or No One. CD2: Half Nelson; Ruby My Dear; The Girl from Ipanema; Afternoon in Paris. CD3: East of the Sun' Afro-Blue; Nancy with the Laughing Face; Little Melonae; What's New. CD4: Minority; Inch Worm; Mr. P.C.; Dear Old Stockholm; Like Someone in Love.

Personnel: Kevin O'Neil: guitar; Kevin Norton: drums; Andy Eulau: bass; Anthony Braxton: saxophones.

Record Label: Leo Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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