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

1 comment:

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