Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Erin McDougald New York City- July 6th- Go hear her !

- - ~ ~ My talented and beautiful friend Erin McDougald is one of the most talented jazz singers today.She is performing a show in NYC on Saturday July 6 at 9:30pm. If you're in NyC..go! Go to it- be there.This lady has a voice and a command of the music that is beyond words.She is totally INCREDIBLE.As great as it gets and more. Get my drift? I'll go further- Her talent, conception, command of the music, no BS vibe she means business, song choice and pitch. This Chi town jazz lady is ultra-stylish, confident and striking both vocally and personally.In hearing her music, and watching her on you tube Erin McDougald manages to capture and so completely dominate the stage that one hardly cares which tunes she is doing,or how. As I said- Erin got bandstand command.Thus adding even more interest and variety to the inherently intriguing entity that is Erin McDougald. NOW- Please do this...GO buy tickets ASAP... link is attached.... Also- check out - -! got to hear her and HEAR why. Her agenda is deep- she's spent time honing and shaping her "craft" and what it means. I'm impressed by her commitment but also her hard work. To sing like this is an art form. You don't just wake up and it's there. I've worked with many singers in my life from Astrud Gilberto,ARETHA,Ester Phillips, Chris Conner, Helen Forrest and Al Hibbler. To name a few, I know of what I speak on her talents and abilities. This is the real deal right in your face now. - - MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW ON LINE. The music needs this voice worldwide.No jazz singer has swung harder or scatted with more infectious enthusiasm than Erin McDougald in this era.She has a deep original energy, and creates a driving groove in any tempo or idiom. Her vocal style can't be beat. Every song she sings is forever more her own, beautiful and moving. You can just feel the magic of the moment she is describing.Hearing her voice always makes me smile. Bottom line, hear her July 6th in NYC. - - - Tim Price

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds - Homage to oboe master Ray Still, beauty is a rare thing.

What distinguishes Ray Still from other oboists is his incredible expressiveness and rock-solid rhythm.Much like a jazz player, Mr. Still has a _time feel_that is totally his own, awesome feel, phrasing and brings a beauty to each note and phrase. I was not surprised through the years to occasionally talk to one of Ray Stills students and find out he was also a jazz fan, enjoying the music of greats like Lester Young, Louie Armstrong and vocalists like Billie Holiday. Not surprising but also very inspiring too. - Ray Still was with the Chicago Symphony for 40 years, during which time he made hundreds of orchestral recordings, many solo appearances and some solo recordings with the orchestra. His favorite solo recordings with the Chicago Symphony are the Mozart Oboe Concerto, Claudio Abbado conducting, and Bach’s Wedding Cantata with Ravinia Festival orchestra (CSO) members Kathleen Battle and James Levine. He has played much chamber music and done extended coaching while attending the Aspen Festival in Colorado, the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, the Festival in Vasa, Finland, Canada, with many master classes in China, Europe, Mexico, Japan, China, and Korea.His recorded chamber music includes Oboe Quartets of Mozart, Stamitz, JC Bach and Wanhal with Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell for EMI; the Poulenc Trio for Teldec (with John Perry, piano and Milan Turkovic, bassoon); the Schumann Romances and Hindemith Sonata with John Perry (Teldec). His Poulenc and St Saens Sonatas plus two of Thomas Still’s compositions will be released at a future date. He has also recorded the following: The Strauss Concerto, the Bach Oboe d'Amore Concerto, the Marcello Concerto and Sinfonias from Cantatas 156, 12 and 21 (Virgin Classics) with Richard Stamp and the Academy of London Chamber Orchestra; Bach’s Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin, recorded by Still in Israel with Itzak Perlman and the Israeli Philharmonic Strings; The Bach Wedding Cantata, 202 for RCA with Kathleen Battle, the Mozart Quintet for Piano and winds with James Levine (piano) and Chicago Symphony first chair players.In May of 2001 Nimbus Records issued a CD called The Chicago Legend . Nimbus considered it a tribute to Still’s entire career. This included the Bach Sonata in G (also known as flute Sonata in B), The Handel Sonatas in G and C, a Vivaldi Sonata in G, and three Telemann Partitas (2, 5, and 6.) The Bach Sonata in G was made in Sweden with his older son, Thomas, playing the harpsichord.Still organized the Chicago Symphony Winds, basically an octet, which performed all the works of Mozart (for winds alone) in a series of five concerts at the University of Chicago. The group has recorded the Serenade #11 of Mozart, direct to disc on Sheffield Records. "It's a long murky life being an oboe player." Ray Still - MY QUEST HERE...Is to instigate appreciation and awareness for Ray Still a master musician. He is someone I refer to when I need inspiration. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, or hearing him live. I have recordings of his amazing playing and have marveled at his message. To hear the masters like Ray or great violinists and orchestras.I was lucky, to grow up as a student in Boston, and be able to hear the Boston Symphony at a discounted rate with my Berklee ID. My teacher Joe Viola instigated every and any effort to get us face to face with a world of musics other than our own. Awareness developed, inspirations were ignited and also our scope as players widened. OK- Let me say this as well.Listening with an open mind is an important aspect of music, not only in jazz and other improvised music, but also of classical music. Upon hearing Mr. Still, I bought records that he was on, and devoured it ravenously over the years, seking more and upon doing so, learning more about the oboe, more about the music and more about why I loved the oboe. I don't think that this blog could do a man with a career like this justice: I think he is one of the most remarkable players that I have ever heard.Over and above all,listening and studying Ray Still conveys a passion for excellence that is splendid and riveting. - I studied with Charles Major Morris of the Philadelphia Orchestra on oboe as well as Joe Viola while at Berklee. Playing the instrument improved my saxophone playing, opened the door for my bassoon ideas later and helped me attain a perspective I would NOT of had without it.On the face of it, this man has had my attention for decades. As I objective seems is to convey to the reader some of paths and journeys I have taken, and been inspired by. I hope this blog on Ray Still instigates you to search out his recordings, hear him,transcribe his phrasings as I have done and just let the music become lunch for your wears as well as enjoyment.I daresay that musicians of all levels and mind sets will find a lot of interest here as well while checking out oboe master Ray Still. Enjoy your travels in the music,remember to eat right,think right and LISTEN right.Anyway, that’s all for now. Keep on your path- Tim Price

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- "You Got to Be Original, Man! "

The point here is to emphasize what Rilling calls the "architecture" of the music. For example, the way Pablo Casals varied the tempo according to what he was trying to convey. The words above, You Got to Be Original, Man!Come from Lester Young.The quote sais it all. Hopefully, what's going to be remembered, the present living person whoever it is, whether it's Casals or Tim Price, YOU ,Ray Pizzi, Jack Prybylski or Lester Young in the context of the art form, its tradition, its future, its present, and that whole mixture together. I have great respect for the "tradition," the rules, and playing it within context and everything, I think it's great, but…what are YOU creating as an offering.Try to think the term "syntax" , which means a vernacular, a way of speaking. This music is speech and dialect. And there is a way of speaking. A common form and feeling. The vibe of a sax player who walks the bar and a guy cross legged in India in a trance blowing –It’s all the same- they BOTH are after the same thing. It’s…that THANG…that place the music goes. Like that groove that exists in R &B AND Jazz and Indian ragas.In essence, we really have something called the language, the syntax, the vernacular, and it's immediately transferable to personal creation anyway. So in jazz, the art form itself says you're supposed to individualize it , that's the point . All that's understood, but your goal is not to repeat or to objectify this thing. It's to take it and have it be a living thing that you put your personality on. The goal sould be- to try to bring a spiritual dimension to the music.Be it some booty shaking funky jazz, a swinging standard or your agenda. I feel that the music speaks absolutely louder than any dogma, any words can speak at all. And in the end, the music is connected- there's a great book by Hazrat Inayat Khan of the Sufis. <> It's about how music ties into the "realms" and everything like that. It's just an understood, it's a given. In my thinking it is an artist's duty is to try to get in touch with that vibe through his work.Not to get some in the shadow of another player that it's just silly- or worse.Inspiration is one thing- being a copy cat is just that.Do you want to cop Jagger or Sonny Rollins so much that when folks hear or see you they say " Oh yea, he stands like Jagger, or oh...he sounds sorta like Rollins. Be the best YOU you can be- live with it.It's the work and it's the art that will do. SO.. it's freedom, individual creativity ! Nobody can be a better YOU than YOU. It is obviously possible, as many do, to improvise within certain stylistic or other constraints.<> While this is perfectly valid, and while it transcends such constraints, such as simplicity vs complexity, tonal vs atonal, intellectual vs intuitive, and so on. A step towards music-making where all possibilities can be genuinely embraced.There is a strong sense in which this really is playing music. Approached like this, it unlocks the natural, spontaneous creativity within each participant who lets the process flow deep and operates simultaneously on many levels. This is a very liberating experience and is often found to be therapeutic as well. It feels good to start from zero, or just be you. So this is what's going on now, what I'm thinking about. Lester Young is right. I hope you enjoy it- Peace and goodwill to you all, Tim Price PS- PHOTO CREDIT...The picture was from a live gig with my band and Rachel Z- the great pianist. We still talk about that gig, where I hit a LINE 6 pedal...and started to let effects go wild. Good times in the Tim zone ;)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Farewell Bert touched us all very deeply.

- A great friend of mine died last week- BERT WILSON. My respect for the splendor he created within his art is beyond MY words. The color and the significance…and the way his music/ playing has touched my heart for decades is inspirational. Where he was at as a person and teacher, creator is a great example of where the spirit comes from. - - BELOW- Is an article I did on Bert Wilson. It's short but loaded with insights from this master. He was so together, and in places that most don't even have. He music was is pure poetry. The language is very accessiable but the playing is extremely original in rhythm and in rhyme. yes he was on a major level like someone Like Eric Dolphy, Sonny Rollins and innovators like that.He was over looked by the powers in the business of music, and we spoke many times about how they were so rude and intentionally ignored him. Why who knows? But he kept on like nothing happened- the music was the agenda- you can hear that! Bert had a perfect osmosis between the music and the technique, maybe even too perfect to be true. It was all there, bop, swing,post-bop and highly original too. This worked because of his roots,Bert's roots covered into many traditions.Bert Wilson was surely one of the greatest musical forces of the 20th century; his compositions track the stylistic developments of jazz and are as vital as anything ever. Likewise his playing and supreme use of multi-phonics. INSIGHTS... Tim: Bert, you knew Sonny Stitt; reflect on his tenor style. Bert: You have to study and compare how he played tenor saxophone and how he played alto saxophone. He played alto sorta like a Bird style; but not totally Bird. On tenor he blended Lester Young’s influence with Charlie Parker’s. Then he did it and his approach influenced every tenor saxist for a long time including John Coltrane! Stitt’s style taught me to blend influences, in listening to more than just one artist. I could blend all of the influences into my playing and become Bert Wilson. When you hear Sonny Stitt on tenor he does not sound like Lester Young; nor does he sound like Bird on tenor, ’cause when you listen to Bird when he played tenor, the closest person to that would be Sonny Rollins-tonally and especially rhythmically. Stitt’s style taught me how to take the approach of learning from all of the great artists in the music and blend their influences into my personal playing. All the young saxists should listen to Sonny Stitt; it will really help your style. Tim: As a force in modern day sax, what drew you to Colman Hawkins? Bert: Everybody says Hawk was the daddy of the tenor sax. And as much credit as they give him, I feel they don’t give him enough. Hawkins invented jazz tenor saxophone. It was through Hawkins’ studies playing cello and piano as a child, and working out his own approach to the horn. Hawk said there were others that were earlier than him who played the saxophone, but they all played the instrument like it was a clarinet! And Hawks figured out how to play it like a sax; he gave it its own voice and its own style. We all wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for Colman Hawkins. If not for Hawkins we might all sound like Bud Freeman. What drew me to Hawkins was his terrific beat! The way his sound leaped off the record into your ears. As soon as Hawkins blew, the music became supercharged with energy, reached a new level of creativity, and a total feeling of command. It just grabbed me! His harmonic feel was just so advanced, and all over the horn. It was totally and wonderfully Colman Hawkins; it was something special. Throughout his life, Hawkins would pick out the parts he liked and add them to his style, sound more like Colman Hawkins than ever, and drop the rest. What a great genius! Every note, every solo is something special. It tingles my ears and wakes me up. One more thing needs to be said about Coleman Hawkins is that everybody talks about Colman Hawkins and not enough people listen to him, and they should. There’s a universe of music to listen to in his music. Tim: When did you first hear Stan Getz? Bert: Around when I was 11 or 12; in about 1951 or ’52 I heard the Royal Roost records. The disc jockey in Chicago played Johnny Smith’s “Moonlight in Vermont” every night. I had no doubt in my mind it was Stan Getz. I had listened to Lester, and you could hear Lester in Stan Getz, but even the young Getz was himself. Stan’s sound and special placement of tone in the horn were so beautiful; he was very special. The “West Coast Jazz”, and “Diz and Getz” records are just dynamite. Everyone should hear those, especially that one called “For Musicians Only”. A total class of music by itself. How many hundreds of us would like to sound like Stan Getz. Oh boy, I wish I could. Coltrane even loved Getz. Because Getz played so smooth, so pretty, his playing was accessible and commercial to the extent that he could play any style. Here’s a good example of Charlie Parker’s influence on the tenor sax. Getz’s drops and the way he ran through changes are you can tell the difference between Stan and Lester. Lester often chose common tones and held across the bar and across the chord and hold one note there. Getz could do that, but run the chords in a way that was both vertical and horizontal. He would make a line that involved the melody using all the notes in the chords; and the color changes would be really outstanding like they were in be-bop. Plus this lyrical beautiful line that was more across the bar; very much his own. Tim: You know John Coltrane’s music; you played with him. Can you reflect on his playing? Bert: I don’t want to do just another technical analysis; that’s been done over and over. I don’t want to talk about his sainthood ’cause that’s been done over and over. John Coltrane taught us all how important practice was! What dedication really means. He gave his life, body and spirit to it. He was in the forefront of an entire cultural movement! It changed the entire face of art in this country and in Europe. Because of his young death, the bottom fell out of the profit margin that people who ran the record industry were seeing in the new music, the creative way of thinking, the new approach. Because of what happened to the culture at that time, at least an entire generation of jazz musicians went undocumented, unaccounted for, unappreciated to the point where now there’s a whole raft of musicians who range in age between forty and sixty who are totally unknown, who should have been the leaders of that new movement in jazz. The fact that I happen to be one of those doesn’t in any way make it more important to me ’cause I’m one of a crowd that includes Sonny Simmons, Barbera Donald, Zitro, Michael Cohn -- fantastic musicians who should have been the great artists of this generation. Smiley Winters, Perry Robinson, Henry Grimes, Jim Pepper, Albert Stinson -- all of those people should have been leaders in a big way. Trane was a wonderful person; not only that dogged resolve to practice his instrument-no matter what, bt he had a warmth about him, too. He always made time to talk to a young musician, time for help, time for a word, a question, anything. Trane would make time for everyone. As a result, everyone loved him, myself included. He was a wonderful guy. One night at Shelly’s Manhole in Los Angeles he just knocked out the entire audience. Occasionally someone in the audience would scream because of the intensity of the music, myself included. So I went backstage to tell John how much I loved it. And I told him how much he moved me, and he said, “I can’t get anything going tonight. I practice so hard; I don’t understand.” That’s a perfect example of the artist hearing what goes in and the listener hearing what goes out, and it’s always, most always, unrelated - Unrelated! It’s all a matter of perspective. It’s spirit; that’s what makes us musicians. We feel it inside. Because nobody could pay us for the kind of spiritual awakening we can get from the act of making music. That whole sharing thing between creatures. A lot of people who only imitate Coltrane missed out on a lot by only digging Coltrane. They missed Lester Young, Don Byas, Wardell Gray, Hawkins, Sonny Rollins and Lucky Thompson. So we got three generations of players who sound like they only listen to John Coltrane and are trying to copy Trane too hard. And they missed Lester and Hawk, or Budd Johnson, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, Benny Golson; and Johnny Griffin. There’s the problem that evades and invades jazz today; because people won’t do that; they miss the real tradition of jazz, the real creative process. One style seems to be the trend now, which is that funk R& B style, mixed with Coltrane. There’s so much more than that! Dedication, understanding and study by a young musician is what creates a young musician. Study of the jazz history and hours of listening to masters. Not cloning in on a trendy style. You can’t do it that way. Its deeper. There’s a spirit, and the work. You got to get them from yourself inside. Tim: When’s the first time you heard Sonny Rollins? Bert: On that radio show in Chicago. It was very overwhelming to hear, I could see between Coltrane and Sonny Rollins they were reinventing saxophone-ology. And in a very complete way. Sonny Rollins plays like a dancer. And because of my early training as a dancer, I really heard Sonny’s rhythm and the tapping, bouncing dancing way he has. I bet one of Sonny’s influences is Fred Astaire! It’s quite plain to hear. Sonny Rollins knows more about the saxophone than anyone who’s alive today! He can control two lines at once. People need to study Sonny Rollins for the spirit, the heart and the creativity. Tim: What about Sonny Simmons? What space does he hold? Bert: He shoulda got the crown when Coltrane died. Sonny Simmon’s music was ready. He was one of the first saxists to play the new way. His music - the shapes and the way he played form without a preset form - it was much a part of what some other musicians and I were doing that it just set the whole pace for us. We all went that way when we heard Sonny. It put it in focus for all of us! Simmons has the best parts of Bird, Dolphy, Coltrane, Ornette wound tightly into a personal experience that is his alone. He has a natural amazing facility on the instrument. He taught himself how to play alto saxophone after studying classical oboe and English horn for quite a long time; as a child. He picked up the sax on his own. He was a rock ’n’ roll star in his teens playing tenor, walking the bars in Oakland. During the early parts of the free jazz movement is when Sonny committed himself to the thing that he was doing all along. Sonny also studied out of the Nicholas Slominsky book of scales and melodic patterns, and also had been studying Schillinger composition and theory out of the Schillinger books and really coming to grips with the fact that there were more than 8 notes in each scale, and ways to relate them together, and exploring those sounds. He also pushed the constraints and limits of the instrument. He was a very advanced player. He taught me a lot. We played together all the time. The one record I’m on with him -“Music of the Spheres”- which was done in 1966, is not even close of how far we took it. Simmons had the most exciting, together, well-formed and most swinging; it was a perfect example of how a unique voice was created from many voices of influencing one person. When you listen to the best musicians and learn from each, you come up with your own voice. He absorbed be-bop totally, before he became influenced by people like Trane and Ornette and Eric Dolphy. What he did was draw the things that he heard the best in his own ears and mind and blend and combine them into what sounds to all of us like Sonny Simmons. Like anyone can do if they try, they’ll come up sounding like themselves, not who they studied, because that’s what happens when you study the masters. Tim: What about some solos on records you’ve done over the years that you really like? Bert: The first records I did in 1966 and 1967 have only recently been reissued on CD on the E.S.P. label with the fact that they’ll be out at the same time with my CD called “Further Adventures in Jazz”. There is some very interesting correlations when comparing these discs with the music that first came out and the music that’s happening today. One thing that’s happening is that if you go back to those E.S.P. discs, I used several sounds on sax during that period that had never been on records before. At that time Albert Ayler, Phariah Sanders and a lot of people, including Coltrane, were using extensive sounds that had never been used in this music before. Each one was different and highly personal so it really wasn’t noticed at that time during the entrance of my solo on the “Zitro” record (on E.S.P.) that I played eleven tone clusters in a row that were all melodically and harmonically organized. It didn’t get noticed at all at the time it came out. It will be interesting to see today if those sounds get noticed in context. I did a double record in 1968 for Arhoolie label in California in Berkley. It was called “Smiley Etc”. On that record, which is still available by the way, there’s a track called “Love is Enlightenment”, and I played a lot of things on soprano sax at that time, a lot of which had never been used at that time, such as tone clusters, overtones and extended ranges. On one track, called “Two Tranes”; which is a tune of mine, I played several melodic quotes in tone clusters including one which is a direct quote from Wayne Shorters “Nite Dreamer” which I voiced in tone clusters, melodically and harmonically, and exact. It’s interesting nobody ever noticed that! On the new recordings we’re much more in the context of straight be-bop tunes with order, changes and melody, in swing time in the regular way. But my thing is that I use all of those extended techniques in the music still. You can hear those sounds on “Ionic Implant”or “Happy Pretty”. There’s places in the melody of “Truth” where you can hear multiphonic clusters against the melody. On the earlier record, “Kaleidoscopic Visions” there’s a piece that’s conceived as a study in multiphonics; song and solo are chock full of clusters and multiphonics. Both records are available through North Country, Cadence Magazine. (Write: Cadence, c/o Cadence Building Redwood, NY USA 13679). The title tune is what I’m referring to, it covers a lot of sounds and harmonic areas. Here is the obit ; - A constant inspiration in my life and tremendous supporter of all things music. NOBODY...Played like Bert Wilson. He was a history book and if you know who Lenny Pickett is....Bert was Lenny's teacher back in the day in the Bay Area. Anyone who has been in my home, knows the pictures of Bert in my studio. We had a friendship that was beyond words. I learned so much from hearing Bert and talking to him on the phone, in addition to the music he shared with me. He was a major part of my universe. He'd call at holidays, send CD's, and just inspire. There used to be messages on my phone machine from Bert, I'd save. Multi-phonics, and playing musical messages, then he'd tell me how to get the note clusters with certain fingerings. My heart goes out to Nancy Curtis, his wife who is also a very amazing flautist and unique soul in this life. There are very very few that have accomplished what Bert has, and I got to say, he was an innovator with roots so deep. I just can't imagine this planet without him. RIP Bert've touched my life deeply and will always be remembered.He loved Rico Plasticover reeds too- used them for decades! - look at the center of my studio wall, in the above picture...there is a poster Bert Wilson sent me over 30 years ago. We've been friends over 30 years. BERT me was someone who just was sent to this universe to knock us all out musically. AND HE DID.In the end, the final bow must go to the master, Bert Wilson. It is almost inconceivable to me that any human being could have conceived of, let alone successfully executed, the creative ideas, life in living that Bert Wilson did. Bert's contributions are in reality one gigantic arch which starts on Earth and continues,traveling and trail blazing and inspiring. His music provided me with wisdom, beauty, and joy. Thank you Bert. - TIM PRICE

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds - Happy Birthday Anthony Braxton.

- Today is the great Anthony Braxtons birthday. I personally celebrated....with his composition - 104°-Kelvin M-12. Which is one of my all time favorites.Braxton's music is difficult to categorize, and because of this, he likes to reference his works (and the works of his collaborators and students) as simply "creative music". He has claimed in numerous interviews that he is not a jazz musician,[citation needed] though many of his works have been jazz and improvisation oriented, and he has released many albums of jazz standards. For example, in an interview Braxton explains, "even though I have been saying I'm not a jazz musician for the last 25 years; in the final analysis, an African-American with a saxophone? Ahh, he's jazz!" In addition to these, Braxton has released an increasing number of works for large-scale orchestras, including two opera cycles. Braxton's music combines an ecstatic, primal vigor with highly theoretical and mystically influenced systems. He is the author of multiple volumes explaining his theories and pieces, such as the philosophical three-volume Triaxium Writings and the five-volume Composition Notes, both published by Frog Peak Music. While his compositions and improvisations can be characterized as avant-garde, many of his pieces have a swing feel and rhythmic angularity that are overtly indebted to Charlie Parker and the bebop tradition. Though much of his music can be safely classified as jazz, Braxton has worked in a wide variety of other genres and has sometimes had a prickly relationship with the jazz mainstream. Without question- a serious human being and asset to this planet. - Braxton is one of the most prolific American musicians/composers to date, having released well over 100 albums of his works since the 1960s.Among the vast array of instruments he utilizes are the flute; the sopranino, soprano, C-Melody, F alto, E-flat alto, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxophones; and the E-flat, B-flat, and contrabass clarinets. Braxton studied at the Chicago School of Music and at Roosevelt University. At Wilson Junior College, he met Roscoe Mitchell and Jack DeJohnette. After a stint in the army, Braxton joined the AACM.After moving to Paris with the Anthony Braxton Trio (which evolved into the Creative Construction Company), he returned to the US, where he stayed at Ornette Coleman's house, gave up music, and worked as a chess hustler in the city's Washington Square Park. In 1970, he and Chick Corea studied scores by Stockhausen, Boulez, Xenakis and Schoenberg together, and Braxton joined Corea's Circle. In 1972, he made his bandleader debut (leading duos, trios, and quintets) and played solo at Carnegie Hall. In the early 1970s, he worked with the "Musica Elettronica Viva", which performed contemporary classical and improvised music. In 1974, he signed a recording contract with Arista Records. One of the first black abstract musicians to acknowledge a debt to contemporary European art music, Braxton is known as much as a composer as an improviser. The output ranges from solo pieces to For Four Orchestras, a work work that has been described as "a colossal work, longer than any of Gustav Mahler's symphonies and larger in instrumentation than most of Richard Wagner's operas." His 1968 solo alto saxophone double LP For Alto (finally released in 1971) remains a jazz landmark, for its encouragement of solo instrumental recordings. Other important recordings include Three Compositions of New Jazz (1968, Delmark), his 1970s releases on Arista, Composition No. 96 (1981; Leo), Quartet (London) 1985; Quartet (Birmingham) 1985; Quartet (Coventry) 1985 (all on Leo), Seven Compositions (Trio) 1989 (hat Art), Duo (London) 1993 & Trio (London), both on Leo. Critic Chris Kelsey writes that "Although Braxton exhibited a genuine if highly idiosyncratic ability to play older forms (influenced especially by saxophonists Warne Marsh, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, and Eric Dolphy), he was never really accepted by the jazz establishment, due to his manifest infatuation with the practices of such non-jazz artists as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen". -From a personal point of view...." CIRCLE" was my intro to this genius and his vast amount of music.In 1971 one of the greatest jazz groups with a high level of musicianship and creativity played " The Jazz Workshop" on Boylston St. In Boston, Mass. I went on Monday, and followed through going to every show that week.I heard wonderful, huge, beautiful music. "Nefertiti" and "There Is No Greater Love" were part of the set lists,as well as Dave Holland's "The Toy Room" and "Q-A," an almost ambient cut, and his Composition 6F ("73 Kalvin"), a classic Braxton fusion of composition and group improvisation. Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Barry Alschul and Anthony Braxton. - Mr. Braxton is a flaming comet. For those with ears, you know whereof I speak. If you want to hear from a master what the art of collective, spontaneous music is really all about,hear him. It's all in the love. - TIM PRICE