Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Music of Anthony Braxton

[Note: In an interview, Braxton once gave a couple of examples of titles that he would never use for his compositions, like "The Sun Came Over The Mountain" and "Braxton's Blues". I originally titled this post "Bracky's Blues", because that's what I remembered him saying. I noticed the error and changed the title, but you can still see "Bracky's Blues" in the URL to this post. No disrespect was intended toward Braxton, then or now.]

Two tunes off of Anthony Braxton's New York, Fall 1974 album on Arista. Side A of the album is played by the quartet of Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Jerome Cooper. Side B contains collaborations with a proto-World Saxophone Quartet, and ex-Musica Elettronica Viva member Richard Teitelbaum. The final track features the original quartet with the addition of Leroy Jenkins on violin. All in all, a very solid, if unusual, album.

Anthony Braxton - Composition #23C
UPDATE: the ineffable Gary Prince found a typo in this transcription. So, I've updated it. Please re-download this new one!

Braxton describes this piece as an "additive repetitive structure", to be played as written, observing all repeat signs once. The result is a form like: 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, etc. The tune becomes "progressively revealed" until the end, when it is played straight through. For Braxton's notes on the piece, see

Anthony Braxton - Composition #23D
A more straight-ahead tune, with free solos. I'll leave it to Braxton's own notes to tell you the rest. Read on

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