Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

494

Time and Anthony Braxton

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Time and Anthony Braxton
Stuart Broomer
Softcover; 146 pages
ISBN: 1551281449
Mercury Press
2009

The Anthony Braxton aesthetic is a lot to comprehend—the man has written pieces to be performed by orchestras on different planets, so it's understandable if the vision is a little daunting. And it's also understandable that the two primary works on the man's music should find ways to constrain their efforts: Graham Lock, in 1988's Forces in Motion, centered his study around an 11-day UK tour by Braxton's quartet. And in the new Time and Anthony Braxton, Stuart Broomer circumnavigates his subject, tearing at the veil of genius to give us glimpses of the methods and motivations within.

After a brief discussion on the nature of time and perception, complete with a complexity theory analysis of the musicianship of Art Tatum and Evan Parker, Broomer goes on to view Braxton through the separate lenses of solo performance, the bass register, jazz standards and 20th Century classical music, using the trees, in a sense, to get a view of the forest. The approach gives his slim volume (146 pages plus notes and appendices) a readable and easily digested structure. A conversational quality allows him to enter more easily into the headier waters, such as Braxton's systems for spontaneously combining and overlapping different compositions.

Following Broomer's storyline from the jazz tradition to orchestral music to Braxton's "Ghost Trance Music" period is a pretty full sweep and it's in the last two chapters that things start to unravel. A Q&A with Braxton helps to fill in some gaps, but there are opportunities missed and bridges unbuilt. Broomer has a keen understanding of jazz and classical traditions, as well as, of course, Braxton's music and he comes close to what would have been a fascinating discussion of the intermingling camps of composition and improvisation. As good as Broomer's book is, one can't help feeling it would be twice as good with double the pages. What Broomer hasn't done is to write a book about music theory. It's less about how Braxton's music is made than about why it should be loved. Which ultimately is for the better. There's a lot of heart in Braxton's four decades of innovation that too often is left unnoticed.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
General Articles
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
On and Off the Grid
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Sextet (Parker) 1993

Sextet (Parker) 1993

New Braxton House
2018

buy
3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011

3 Compositions...

Firehouse 12 Records
2016

buy
Trio and Duet

Trio and Duet

Sackville
2015

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Book Reviews
Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues
By Ian Patterson
January 16, 2019
Book Reviews
Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday
By Steve Provizer
January 8, 2019
Book Reviews
Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff
By Steve Provizer
December 31, 2018
Book Reviews
Dexter Gordon: Portrait of a Sophisticated Giant
By Steve Provizer
December 30, 2018
Book Reviews
Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams About Bob
By Doug Collette
December 23, 2018
Book Reviews
Tom Petty And Me: My Rock 'n' Roll Adventures with Tom Petty
By Doug Collette
December 23, 2018

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/chunks/overlay/aaj-sitemap.php on line 5