292

Anthony Braxton Quintet: (Basel) 1977

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
One might wonder why this release took so along to resurface from the tape archives, yet this 1977 live recording of the “Anthony Braxton Quintet” - (Basel) 1977 looms as a significant entry into the modern jazz legacy and one that reemphasizes the leader’s often brilliant compositional approach. Here, Braxton supplements his woodwind attack with the equally influential pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams, bassist Mark Helias, trombonist George Lewis and drummer Charles “Bobo” Shaw. And while Braxton has performed with several pianists over the years, the instrument has never been a staple within the his various aggregations with the exception being Marilyn Crispell and/or sporadic guest spots and collaborations by others of note.

Basically, this presentation sounds as cutting edge as it may have appeared over twenty-four years ago! With “Composition 69 J”, the quintet investigates circular movements amid recurring themes and staggered choruses as the telepathic group interaction provides the listener with an exhibition that resides upon lofty heights, almost as if these musicians were under the watchful eye of the modern jazz gods.. On this piece, the band maintains a staggering pulse, marked by Braxton’s burning lines performed on sopranino sax, counterbalanced by Abrams’ swirling clusters and probing statements, although at times, the musicians’ regenerate the primary theme in somewhat of a subliminal manner. Hence, Braxton’s noticeably complex thought processes implicate various formulations and suggestions within the context of the group improvisations, soloing and incredibly difficult to perform unison lines atop odd-metered time signatures.

The quintet gravitates towards a fiery swing motif on “Composition 69 N/G”, featuring crisply stated and simmering unison lines of a bop-ish nature. Once again, the ensemble instills a cosmic process, as blistering soloing coalesces with a predominately urgent pace, while Lewis and Braxton engage in a bit of cat and mouse towards the coda. However, Lewis’ wah-wah trombone diatribe on “Composition 69 M” sets a pattern for the musicians’ four-way dialogue, supplemented by Braxton’s darting notes and often linear thematic inventions on clarinet, augmented by the soloist’s endearing melodies, weaving textures, and the rhythm section’s propulsive momentum. Overall, these amazingly fresh and novel performances serve as a testament to a musician who, over the last three decades, has almost single-handedly altered the course of modern jazz and composition. Highly recommended! hatOLOGY


Track Listing: Composition 69 J, Composition 69 N/G, Composition 69 M, Composition 40 B

Personnel: Anthony Braxton; alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone & clarinet: George Lewis; trombone: Muhal Richard Abrams; piano: Mark Helias; double bass: Charles "Bobo

| Record Label: Hat Hut Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Samba Gostoso" CD/LP/Track Review Samba Gostoso
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "The Long Good Friday OST" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Good Friday OST
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Voyage Home" CD/LP/Track Review Voyage Home
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!