Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
545

Anthony Braxton Quartet: Standards (Brussels) 2006

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count Views
Anthony Braxton Quartet: Standards (Brussels) 2006 The jazz canon and Anthony Braxton have been companions throughout his entire career. His admiration for innovators like Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, and Paul Desmond has been documented in interviews and music. Beginning with What's New In The Tradition (SteepleChase, 1974) to his "piano" recordings at New York's Knitting Factory in the '90s, Braxton has kept his listeners reminded of his jazz roots without imitating the style of other players.

Assembled here are nearly six hours of music from the Anthony Braxton Quartet, recorded over four nights at PP Cafe in Brussels. The Belgian outing finds Braxton in good company with an adventurous Italian trio of pianist Alessandro Giachero (William Parker Italian Quartet), bassist Antonio Borghini (Bassesfere Collective, Memorial Barbecue Octet) and drummer Cristiano Calcagnile (Bassesfere Collective and his Chant Trio).

Where jazz standards recorded by Braxton once expanded tradition, as with The Charlie Parker Project (HatART, 1993) or Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 (HatART, 1989), these discs are more like Braxton's Standards Quartet circa 2003 with Kevin O'Neil, Kevin Norton and Andy Eulau, heard on Leo Records. The outward bound turns inward. The quartet pays deference to the tradition in the way the music is presented. Much like later period John Coltrane recording his Ballads (Impulse!, 1962) and Johnny Hartman (Impulse!, 1963), these tracks communicate that the great innovator of our times is indeed at peace with standards, while he remains forging new pathways like his Ghost Trance Music.

The music chosen by the quartet is never repetitive (except for Wayne Shorter's "Virgo") and like any quality band, it gets better as the gig progresses. The band stretches out each track further and further as the days go on. By disc six they are in full swing, Braxton yielding plenty of space for his companions to play. These three are adept at improvisation, based upon coherent structure and inherent swing. Disciplined by the familiar and the revered, their departures or journeys tastefully reference the whole; certainly that is at Braxton's pleasure. Long beyond having anything to prove, his playing is as relaxed as can be.

No one is phoning their performance in here. They tear both Gershwin's "Strike Up The Band" and George Russell's "Ezz-Tethics" into frenetic pieces and the three group improvised pieces are outstanding.

The six discs are beautifully packaged in a box with thoughtful liner notes from Erika Dasgnino and Amirani Records chief Gianni Mimmo.


Track Listing: CD1: Forest Flower; It's You or No One; Darn That Dream; Improvisation n.1; Very Early; If I Should Lose You. CD2: Virgo (take 2); Embarcadero; Night Dreamer; It Never Entered My Mind; Fine and Dandy; Monk's Mood. CD3: Three Little Words; Wave; Ruby My Dear; Mean to Me; Afternoon in Paris; What's New.CD4: Alice in Wonderland; Ah Leu Cha; For All We Know; Improvisation n.2; Tadd's Delight; All of You. CD5: I'm Old Fashioned; Ezz-thetics; How Little We Know; Out to Lunch; Early Autumn; Star Eyes. CD6: Israel; These Foolish Things; Improvisation n.3; Strike Up the Band; You're My Thrill; Virgo (take 1).

Personnel: Anthony Braxton: saxophones; Alessandro Giachero: piano; Antonio Borghini: bass; Cristiano Calcagnile: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Amirani Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
First Duo Concert
First Duo Concert
Emanem
2016
buy
Trio and Duet
Trio and Duet
Sackville
2015
buy
Trio (New Haven) 2013
Trio (New Haven) 2013
Braxton House
2015
buy
(Santa Cruz) 1991 1st Set
(Santa Cruz) 1991 1st...
Hatology
2015
buy
Composition No. 146 (Moogie And Stetson)
Composition No. 146...
New Braxton House
2014
buy
Composition No. 46 (+168 And Language Music)
Composition No. 46...
New Braxton House
2014
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
Sun Ra Sun Ra
keyboard
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
Paul Bley Paul Bley
piano
Egberto Gismonti Egberto Gismonti
guitar, acoustic

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.