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 Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz...
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Strunkin'" CD/LP/Track Review Strunkin'
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Plays New Zealand" CD/LP/Track Review Plays New Zealand
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.