Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

394

Anthony Braxton: 20 Standards

By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Braxton: 20 Standards 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.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Elegy CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
Read Red Nation "1" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
Read Pole Of Inaccessibility CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
Read Infinitude CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
Read Madjafalao CD/LP/Track Review Madjafalao
Read Playing the 60s CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
Read "Sektion 1-2" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 1-2
Read "Sets The Standard" CD/LP/Track Review Sets The Standard
Read "Funk 'n' Feathers" CD/LP/Track Review Funk 'n' Feathers

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!