190

Anthony Braxton (Splasc: Small Ensemble Music (Wesleyan) 1994

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Braxton’s Small Ensemble Music (Wesleyan) 1994 was recorded at “Wesleyan University’s - Center for The Arts - as the great saxophonist unearths some of his older compositions and partakes in a series of “Duo and Trio based improvisations along with the extended piece titled, “Three Compositions For Sextet”. On “Trio Improvisation” we hear Braxton toggle between five different woodwind instruments along with saxophonist Andre’ Vida and Brandon Evans who performs on oboe, shenai and bass clarinet. Here, the musicians weave distinct fabrics of sound augmented by chamber-esque characteristics and explicit yet at times delicate lines that perhaps indicate spontaneous conversation accented by various levels of intensity and emotion.

Braxton utilizes his sopranino saxophone on “Duo Improvisation” with drummer/percussionist Eric Rosenthal as the drummer expounds upon a horizontal plane with spurious inventions amid his – snap, crackle and pop style of execution. With this piece, Braxton pursues linear and at times fragmented lines yet it is “Three Compositions for Sextet” that is the showstopper! Along with veterans such as bassist Joe Fonda, drummer/vibraphonist Kevin Norton and others, the saxophonist steers the band through multihued themes and textures surrounded by complex and hypnotic choruses yet an underlying sense of continuity prevails. During these three compositions, i.e. N 44 (1080+96) + 168, N 136 and N 43 + (96) + 168, we hear microtonal passages, mood shifts and heated flurries yet on the final sequence (N 43...) the band coalesces for punctual unison choruses and modern classical style motifs. Throughout, the musicians spew forth-fascinating themes that often convey a sense of fragility or innocence yet with Braxton, we tend to gaze in wonderment at the end results.

* * * * (out of * * * * *)

Personnel:

Anthony Braxton; Woodwinds: Brandon Evans; Bass Clarinet, Oboe & Shenai (Track 1): Andre Vida; Baritone & Tenor Sax (Track 1): Jeanne Chloe; Piano (Track 2): Roland Dahinden; Trombone (Track 2): Eric Rosenthal; Percussion (Track 3): Jason Wong; Violin (Track 4): Ted Reichman; Accordion (Track 4): Mike Heffley; Trombone (Track 4): Joe Fonda; Bass (Track 4): Kevin Norton; Drums & Vibes (Track 4).

Cadence North Country distributes

| Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Neko CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read Alcanza CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read New Life CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read A Social Call CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "@etude" CD/LP/Track Review @etude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Spaces
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 5, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!