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Multi-reed artist and modern visionary, Anthony Braxton's output for the Swiss record label symbolizes his influential methodologies while residing as some of his finest work ever. This reissue of the 1990 Hat Hut Records release is a tour de force featuring British free-jazz drummer Tony Oxley's distinct mode of attack and Austrian bassist Adelhard Roidinger. The program is a study in geometrically designed jazz frameworks, spanning linear and spherical movements, augmented by intersecting sub-themes.
Braxton's spiraling passages consist of variances in pitch, tone and metrics, while Oxley jabs, spars and provides accents atop Roidinger's booming bass parts. On the standard "All The Things You Are," the trio generates pop, sizzle and blistering trajectories of sound, accelerated by Braxton's ricocheting alto sax statements. Yet the seven compositions are woven into three primary parts, where mini-motifs intersect amid free-form breakouts and torrid bop phrasings.
The band's innumerable thematic developments spawn a hodgepodge of mood-evoking exchanges. Oxley is a supreme colorist, whether the musicians temper the storm via introspective and somber narratives, or when they reheat matters into a stewing boil. At times, Braxton whips matters into an exhilarating frenzy with his arsenal of woodwinds, but adds a whimsical element on "Composition 40J," due to his endearing and wily clarinet lines.
The trio's masterful improvisation is marked by a highly-entertaining and rather scholarly slant, as the best of many worlds coalesce into a cohesive entity. Moreover, previously undetected musings breathe life on subsequent spins. Braxton is at the pinnacle of his artistry throughout this mesmeric program.
Track Listing: Composition 40D/Composition 40G (+63); All The Things You Are/The Angular Apron/Composition 6A; Composition 40J/Composition 110A (+108B+69J).
Personnel: Anthony Braxton: alto, C-melody, soprano and sopranino saxophones, clarinet, flute; Adelhard Roidinger: double-bass; Tony Oxley: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.