Anthony Braxton & Fred Frith: Duo (Victoriaville) (2006)
Over just under an hour's time, Braxton and Frith show more than anything else what it means to be a master improviser: not quoting past masters, not riffing off each other, but simply playing with conviction and having the patience, fortitude, technique and vision to stick with and develop ideas without inflating egos. Braxton's saxophones tend to stand out front, if only for the nature of the loud, monophonic instruments, while Frith loops and manipulates his electric guitar, creating multiple beds and often sounding like an entire backup band for his partner's solos.
The things that could be remarkable about this discthe crossing of the players' backgrounds (jazz/rock-improv), heritage (Chicago/England) and race; the improv meeting of two accomplished composers; the chance to hear two professors (Wesleyan University/Mills College) roll up their sleevesaren't. Nor does the recording beg for the promise of an ongoing collaboration. It is what it is, a chance encounter that paid off royally.
Track Listing: Improvisation No 1; Improvisation No 2; Improvisation No 3; Improvisation No 4; Improvisation No 5.
Personnel: Anthony Braxton: saxophones; Fred Frith: guitar.
Record Label: Victo
Style: Modern Jazz