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Composer/percussionist, Kevin Norton has spent a lot of quality time with the estimable saxophonist/composer, Anthony Braxton. On this production, recorded live at “Roulette” in New York City, Norton and classically trained pianist, Haewon Min, reinterpret or perhaps personalize, five of Braxton’s works.
Norton utilizes small percussion instruments, vibes, and marimba as contrapuntal and exploratory devices throughout his quaintly organized and cleverly arranged passages with Ms. Min. On this release, Braxton’s geometrically inclined – new music type works are radiantly enacted. However, the twosome often embarks upon a chamber-esque sound and style amid linear movements, sharp angles, neo-classical overtones, and rhythmically inclined patterns.
“Composition No. 23h” (dedicated to Burckhard Hennen) features a simple yet altogether memorable chorus. Whereas, Ms. Min employs climactically driven harmonics, block chords and flailing arpeggios atop vertical progressions during, “Composition No. 6n (dedicated to Jerome Cooper)”. Here, the listener might sense or visualize someone climbing a spiral staircase.
The storyline continues on “Composition No.62” where the musicians’ render call and response style dialogue and interleaving melodies while demonstrating a bit of playfulness in spots. Overall, the artists’ reverent spin on Braxton’s music yields bountiful dividends. Recommended.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!