Well, yes, here is some Braxton again. Prolific as ever, open-minded as ever, creative as ever, adventurous as ever, ranging from traditional quartet to pieces for his Ghost Trance Music (GTM), duets with vocals and sax, and a trio with sax and vocals.
Anthony Braxton - 19 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (Leo Records, 2010) ****
The quartet is Anthony Braxton on saxophones, Kevin O'Neil on guitar, Kevin Norton on percussion, and Andy Eulau on bass. This great box brings you four CDs, the recording of a European concert in 2003, with gigs in Italy, Spain, Belgium, France and Portugal.
The "standards" they play, are wide in range, in terms of style and moment in jazz history : you get "Body and Soul", "Ruby My Dear", but also Miles Davis "Half Nelson" and Coltrane's "Mr. PC".
It's not free jazz, far from it, but the approach of the four musicians, though quite respectful for the original, usually includes some deconstruction and adventurous moves.
Anthony Braxton & Ann Rhodes - GTM (Syntax) 2003 (Leo Records, 2010) ****
The second CD is more intimate, with unison delivery of a typical Braxton composition full of high intervallic jumps, not really the kind of theme that will stick in your memory. The atmosphere has now become lighter, more playful, yet Rhodes, especially at the end, falls back into the kind of singing this guy hates.
Anthony Braxton - GTM (Outpost) 2003 (Leo Records, 2010) ***
The second CD is again one long composition consisting of eleven pieces. The inclusion of Molly Sturges on voice works well on some parts, yet not always. This composition is without a doubt the most avant-garde of all the music reviewed in this article. It has its nice moments, yet I often wondered where it was going to. A little less captivating, or in the meantime a little too much of the same.