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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.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.