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Anthony Braxton Quartet

Standards (Brussels) 2006 (6CD Box set)

Label: Amirani Records

Format: 6CD Box set

Genre: Jazz

In process of stocking


"Packaged in an elegant cartboard box (a decca style) which includes a 26 page booklet with three little essays (Positions for listening, Real space and dislocation, A possible anthropogony) by Italian poet and writer Erika Dagnino. Featuring Anthony Braxton on alto sax, Alessandro Giachero on piano, Antonio Borghini on double bass and Cristiano Calcagnile on drums. Recorded live November 23-26 2006 at P P Cafe in Brussels, Belgium. Although I didn't initially recognize the names of the three Italian musicians that Mr. Braxton has chosen to play with, each comes from a diverse background of collaborations. Pianist Alessandro Giachero is a member of William Parker's Italian Qt with Hamid Drake. Bassist Antonio Borghini is a member of the Bassesfere collective, as well as working with David Murray, Butch Morris, Ab Baars and Mary Halvorson. Drummer, Cristiano Calcagnile, is also a member of Bassesfere and has played with Damo Suzuki, Daniee D'Agaro, Rova Sax Qt and Tristan Honsinger.

This fine quartet covers some 34 standards, as well as a couple of group improvisations. The selection of standards runs from Broadway show tunes like "I'm Old Fashioned", to "These Foolish Things" to "It's You or No One" to more modern gems by Monk, "Monk's Mood" and "Ruby My Dear", Wayne Shorter, "Night Dreamer" and "Virgo" and even Eric Dolphy "Out to Lunch". All composers that cast a long shadow of influence on modern jazz and certainly not east songs to cover. The first discs opens with Charles Lloyd's "Forest Flower" from perhaps the most popular of Charles Lloyd's sixties albums. It is a lovely song and Braxton makes it his own with a long, distinctive and spirited alto sax solo while Alessandro plays some exquisite piano.

The rhythm team is consistently creative, swings hard and keeping a buoyant balance underneath each soloist. Alessandro Giachero is a fabulous pianist and takes one great solo after another on every one of these tunes he is featured on. I dig the way the rhythm team keeps Mr. Braxton on his toes by tightly supporting him wherever he goes. Even on the ballads, which Braxton often plays with in a straight forward fashion, he also injects subtle and sly twists to keeps things interesting. There are three group improvisations which are all great and show another, freer side to this amazing quartet. So far, I've listened to three of the six discs and will check out the last three tonight." - Bruce Lee Gallanter

Cat. number: AMRN014
Year: 2008
Recorded live at PP Café, Brussels on 23-26 November 2006

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