All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

394

Anthony Braxton / Joe Fonda: Duets 1995

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Originally released as 10 Compositions (Duets) 1995 on the Konnex label, this reissue is one of a series of duets with bass players recorded by multi-instrumentalist / composer Anthony Braxton in the early 1990s. Preceded by 8 Duets, Hamburg 1991 (Music & Arts), with the late Peter Niklas Wilson, and Duets 1993 (Music & Arts), with Mario Pavone, Braxton and bassist Joe Fonda follow a similar format on this intimate session.

Like Braxton's previous album with Pavone, Duets 1995 contains a selection of originals by both participants, as well as a pair of standards. Cole Porter's "All of You" and Vernon Duke's "Autumn In New York" are adventurous but respectful readings of classic American songbook tunes, a marked contrast to Braxton's own knotty compositions. Fonda's pieces blend turbulent angularity with lurching swing and dramatic pacing; a perfect complement to Braxton's esoteric writing.

Braxton's contributions, all drawn from his 100 series, are taut, jagged and rhythmically daunting; Fonda's adaptability to this material is itself an accomplishment. Pre-dating his droning Ghost Trance series, these invigorating compositions are comparatively brief. Each piece investigates a different musical scenario; "Composition No. 168(+147)" blends pregnant silences with sudden, frenetic interjections. "Composition No. 173" is punchy and linear, while "Composition No. 136" explores variations in pitch, from sub-harmonic bass rumblings to soaring harmonics.

Demonstrating restraint and reverence for tradition on the two standards, Braxton's often cited debt to Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz is apparent. His breathy flutter-tongue alto phrasing, always propulsive but never overbearing, is regally accompanied by Fonda.

On this meeting Braxton and Fonda share ample space. Each comments on the tunes in tandem without dominating the roiling, circuitous interplay. A brilliant program addressing all aspects of the jazz tradition, Duets 1995 is a solid representation of Braxton's all-encompassing aesthetic and a wonderful introduction to an enigmatic and often misunderstood genius.

Visit Anthony Braxton and Joe Fonda on the web.


Track Listing: All of You; Relentlessness; Out of the Cage; Something From the Past; Composition No. 168(+147); Composition No. 136; Composition No. 173; Autumn in New York.

Personnel: Anthony Braxton: alto saxophone, C melody saxophone, contrabass clarinet, B flat clarinet; Joe Fonda: bass.

Title: Duets 1995 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sextet (Parker) 1993

Sextet (Parker) 1993

New Braxton House
2018

buy
3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011

3 Compositions...

Firehouse 12 Records
2016

buy
Trio and Duet

Trio and Duet

Sackville
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Meander
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Last Things Last" CD/LP/Track Review Last Things Last
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Dissection Room" CD/LP/Track Review Dissection Room
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 27, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by John Sharpe
Published: December 29, 2017