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Anthony Braxton / Jerry Hemmingway: Old Dogs (2007)

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Anthony Braxton / Jerry Hemmingway: Old Dogs How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

It is very difficult to separate the music of saxophonist Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds
and percussionist Gerry Hemingway
Gerry Hemingway
Gerry Hemingway
b.1955
percussion
from the actual experience of listening to four-disc, four-plus hour Old Dogs (2007). Each disc represents a morning or afternoon's work, recorded at Wesleyan University in early August, 2007, requiring almost complete immersion—letting go each moment, as it passes. There is little possibility of consuming this music in one sitting; it requires listening in either small bites, or an unfettered approach of allowing the music to flow through.

Hemmingway was a member of Braxton's quartet from 1983-1994 (one of the saxophonist's most successful groups), along with bassist Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
b.1952
bass, acoustic
and pianist Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
Marilyn Crispell
b.1947
piano
. Braxton's past history with Hemingway paved the way for these inspired sessions; the two reuniting twelve years after the end of the quartet.

Braxton has recorded many duo outings with a wide variety of players, including Joe Morris
Joe Morris
Joe Morris
b.1955
guitar
, Fred Frith
Fred Frith
Fred Frith
b.1949
guitar
, Taylor Ho Bynum
Taylor Ho Bynum
Taylor Ho Bynum
b.1975
cornet
, Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Evan Parker
b.1944
sax, tenor
, Andrew Cyrille
Andrew Cyrille
Andrew Cyrille
b.1939
drums
, and Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey
1932 - 2005
guitar
. Here, he plays seven different saxophones (his tenor had been stolen), while Hemmingway often steps away from his drum kit to take up various instrument he found at the Wesleyan facility, including marimba and vibraphone—both of which he has played on other recordings.

The variety and diversification of sound heard here is staggering. Without dividing each hour-long disc into tracks, the pair seamlessly knits the different improvisations together. The overall interplay or conversation between Braxton and Hemingway can be the emphasis, or smaller parts of the whole can be encountered and treasured. In 100 years of recorded jazz music, early recordings by artists like Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
were limited to but three short minutes; with Old Dogs (2007)<./em>, the outstanding Braxton and Hemmingway were granted a full hour at a time, and they provide a total experience of sound.

Track Listing: Invention 8107AM; Invention 8107PM; Invention 8207AM; Invention 8207PM.

Personnel: Anthony Braxton: Eb sopranino saxophone, Bb saxophone, Eb alto saxophone, C melody saxophone, Eb baritone saxophone, Bb bass saxophone, Bb contrabass saxophone; Gerry Hemingway: drums, marimba, vibraphone, steel drums, wood blocks, triggered and non- triggered samplers, harmonica, voice, percussion.

Record Label: Mode Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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