Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Anthony Braxton: Six Compositions (GTM) 2001

497

Anthony Braxton: Six Compositions (GTM) 2001

By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Braxton: Six Compositions (GTM) 2001
It's never clear how to approach the music of Anthony Braxton. His intellectual compositions with their "numbered" names and mechanical drawings often call for Graham Lock's Forces In Motion book (Da Capo 1988) in one hand and a Ouija board in the other. But then Braxton comes at you playing furious piano (in a similar manner as fellow saxophonist Charles Gayle) and logic falls under waves of pure adrenaline. Digging into liner notes penned by the man himself reminds me of my attempts to get through James Joyce's Ulysses.

The best approach is to eschew intellectualism: just let it play, digest what you can, and let the rest wash over you. This lastest 4-disc release, a joint project between Rastascan, Limited Sedition, and Barely Auditable Records documents Braxton's further investigation of Ghost Trance Music. Broken into tentet, quintet, quartet, trio, and duo configurations, the music reveals itself like an onion (actually more like an artichoke), as players are peeled away the essence of GTM comes to light.

And what exactly, you ask, is that essence? Don't ask. I don't know. GTM's theory and application is "revealed" in the liner notes. You figure them out. The simple take on this curious approach is that it sounds like the music played in Bugs Bunny cartoons as characters are sneaking down hallways and up/down stairways. With that basis, the tentet applies differing compositions (like numbers 147, 20, 69D, 256, 173, 6J, A62, and 23A) in and around this theme. The 90-minute first track takes up two discs and features some stellar soloing by Gino Robair and Greg Kelley.

Had enough? Actually before tackling the tentet, smaller bites of Braxton's GTM, by way of his saxophone quartet of Jesse Gilbert, Dan Plonsey, Justin Yang and AB, is the way to go. You can groove throughout the theme and swallow some exacting yet outrageous solos. Then there are trio and quintet versions to draw you even closer. Paring the music down even further to a duet between Braxton and guitarist John Shiurba is nothing but delightful.

The only way to explain Braxton's theory of Ghost Trance Music is to paraphrase ;what the US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said about pornography "I can't tell you what it is, but I'll know it when I see it."

Track Listing

Composition No. 286 (Tentet) Parts 1-4; Composition No. 277 (Quintet); Composition No. 287 (Quintet); Composition No. 287 (Trio); Composition No. 289 (Quartet); Composition No.195 (duo).

Personnel

Anthony Braxton
woodwinds

Anthony Braxton: Sopranino Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, F Alto Saxophone, Eb Alro Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Saxophone, Contrabass Saxophone; Jesse Gilbert: lto Saxophone, Soprano Recorder, Marimba; Dan Plonsey: C Melody Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Oboe, Clarinet, Turkish G Clarinet, Soprano Recorder, Marimba Vibraphone; Scott Rosenberg: Sopranino Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Contrabass Clainet, Flute, Voice; Justin Yang: Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Violin, Viola; Greg Kelley: Trumpet, Voice; Taylor Ho Bynum: Trumpet, Pocket trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trumphone, Shell, Tenor Recorder, Marimba; John Shiurba: Guitar, Voice; Matthew Sperry: Contrabass; Gino Robair: Drums, Marimba, Vibraphone, Percussion, Piano, Synth/Electronics, Bowed Metals.

Album information

Title: Six Compositions (GTM) 2001 | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Rastascan Records


< Previous
Nice One Ted!

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Where Did You Go?
Sandman Project
Traumsequenz
Moritz Stahl
The Cold Arrow
Gregorio / Smith / Bryerton
Mosaic
Nicole McCabe

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.