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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Braxton galore ... HELP!

I got a copy today of a the 9-CD piano solo release of Braxton compositions, played by my compatriot Geneviève Foccroulle, and called "Piano Music (1968-2000)". I have listened only to pieces of it, marveling at Braxton's music and Foccroule's great interpretations, yet at the same time wondering who in the world manages to keep track of all these records that come out, day after day after day, while at the same time finding sufficient time to listen several times to the new releases, and with some luck moving back to them after a while. This year alone, no less than 7 Braxton albums were released, containing an even more stunning 14 discs, not counting the 9 by Foccroule. True, there are some re-releases but still, it's quite a task.

Here is this year's overview :

Anthony Braxton Quartet - Ghost Trance Music (Important) - 4 CDs
Anthony Braxton Quartet - Moscow (Leo)
Anthony Braxton Live At Yoshi's, Oakland 1993 (Music & Arts)
Anthony Braxton & Joe Morris - Four Duo Improvisations (Clean Feed) 4 CDs
Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Milford Graves - Beyond Quantum (Tzadik) 1 CD
Ninetet (Yoshi's) Vol. 4 (Leo) - 2 CDs
12+1 Tet (Victoriaville) 2007 (Victo)

Next to the ones already reviewed earlier, the GTM is also recommended, but again 4 CDs, and more abstract, with Anthony Braxton on reeds, Max Heath on piano, Carl Testa on bass, and Aaron Siegel on drums. The music is has the distant floating feel of most of his compositions, restrained, poignant and vulnerable at the same time.

Yet at the same time, you cannot but marvel at the man's prolific output, and also of the quality of the work he delivers. Not everything is brilliant, but to have already two albums in my list with five stars this year, is not a bad result. Would quality indeed be a function of quantity? Whatever it is, from the look on Braxton's face, he's still enjoying it.

Listen, buy or download "Piano Music", "Ninetet at Yoshi's" or "Moscow" from Leo Records.

© stef


Anonymous said...

It's only October,but three others:


Nine Compositions 2003(6+ hour music DVD on Rastacan)

Creative Orchestra(Guelph)2007(Spool)

Glad you posted this;I've been following Braxton since 1974,and this has been and incredibly wonderful/frustrating year.

I wish Anthony would write an essay about his fans' mind/money/time continuum.


Anonymous said...

TORONTO (duets) 2007 (barnyard)

Anthony Braxton/Kyle Brenders

Disc one, Composition 199 (47:55)
Disc two, Composition 356 (45:47)

Anonymous said...

I've seen one short mention of "Nine Compositions 2003" in Point Of Departure.This 6 hour music-DVD is one of the most incredible documents in Braxton's discography.

"Album" of the year.An absolute masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Braxton & Italian Instabile Orchestra
Creative Orchestra (Bolzano) 2007