Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

395

Anthony Braxton: 20 Standards

By

Sign in to view read count
By reputation, saxophonist Anthony Braxton may be most closely associated with the avant garde, but he is also firmly steeped in traditional jazz, and he has recorded a fair bit of it as well. 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 is a four-CD set of live performances of standards in a quartet setting; Braxton is joined by guitarist Kevin O'Neil, percussionist Kevin Norton, and bassist Andy Eulau. Much of the repertoire featured here was integral to the cool jazz of the fifties, but the quartet tears into it like it was written yesterday.



Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby" and the Kaper/Washington song "Green Dolphin Street" are presented in both faithful and visionary renditions, divesting the material of much of the sentimentality that has accrued from decades spent as cocktail performance fare. The latter tune is particularly stunning, with swirling soprano saxophone runs from Braxton and a dazzling solo from O'Neil.



A twenty-minute workout on the Kern chestnut "All the Things You Are"—which Braxton also recorded in a seemingly unlikely pairing with Dave Brubeck back in the seventies (on the album All the Things We Are)—points out the saxophonist's command of the changes. Braxton negotiates various twists and turns, substitutions and extensions, through an exciting and thoroughly fresh-sounding solo. Two Brubeck tunes are also included on the recording, "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "The Duke," as well as the DBQ's most famous composition, the Paul Desmond-penned "Take Five." Both Eulau and Norton excel in the alternate time signatures and complex structures of this material, playing with scintillating energy.

Even the venerable ballad "Moonlight in Vermont" is given an articulate and taut performance. Braxton plays its melody with a combination of poise and affecting (though restrained) lyricism. If you want to hear your favorite old standards sounding brand new again, this set fits the bill.


Track Listing: Disc One: All the Things You Are; Lines for Lyons; April in Paris; Green Dolphin Street; Blues for Alice. Disc Two: Alone Together; Waltz for Debbie; For Heaven's Sake; Freedom Jazz Dance; The Song is For You. Disc Three: The Duke; I Love You; Lonnie's Lament; Blue Rondo a la Turk; Invitation. Disc Four: Tune Up; Remember; Moonlight in Vermont; Take Five; Serenity

Personnel: Anthony Braxton: saxophones; Kevin O'Neil: guitars; Andy Eulau: bass; Kevin Norton: percussion.

Title: 20 Standards | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Leo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Snowmelt" CD/LP/Track Review Snowmelt
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "The Tronosonic Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Tronosonic Experience
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Pulse/Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Whose Feet are These That are Walking" CD/LP/Track Review Whose Feet are These That are Walking
by Mike Jacobs
Published: October 9, 2017