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Anthony Braxton

2 Compositions (Jarvenpaa) 1988

Label: LEO RECORDS

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

How will Anthony Braxton be regarded 50 years from now, after the polemicists of today are dead and/or no longer interested, when something like an objective and knowledgeable evaluation of his work becomes possible? For all his undeniable brilliance as a composer, Braxton's seeming indifference toward the craft of composition will undermine his reputation to a significant degree. Which might not be fair, actually. Perhaps Braxton's problem is that he suffers from a condition virtually unprecedented in the history of Western art music -- he writes music for a type of musician that does not exist. Braxton writes the most technically demanding music of any composer working in a jazz-related idiom. His written lines are often incredibly difficult to play; their serial-like contours do not fall naturally under the fingers. His rhythms are irregular in the extreme and presumably very elaborately notated. Braxton's music calls for players who can read and interpret the written note in a manner of the very finest classical players, yet who can also improvise in a free jazz vernacular on a very high level. Such players are very rare, to say the least; improvisers rarely read especially well, and good readers rarely improvise, so Braxton is inevitably required to strike a balance. For obvious reasons, he almost always leans toward the improvisers when forming his large groups. Occasionally, he catches lightning in a bottle, and manages to harness a team of good free improvisers who can also read down his difficult written passages. This album is a fairly good example of that.
Details
Cat. number: CD LR 233
Year: 1996

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