Thursday, February 14, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Far Out

Anthony Braxton 12+1tet: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 - disc 1. Firehouse 12 Records: FH12-04-03-001.

Recorded live: March 16, 2006 at Iridium Jazz Club, New York City.

The Anthony Braxton 12+1tet
Anthony Braxton: composer, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone, clarinet and Eb contalto clarinet
Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn, trumpbone, piccolo trumpet, bass trumpet, shell
Andrew Raffo Dewar: soprano saxophone, c-melody saxophone, clarinet
James Fei: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Mary Halvorson: electric guitar
Stephen H. Lehman: alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone
Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo, voice
Jessica Pavone: viola, violin
Reut Regev: trombone, flugelbone
Jay Rozen: tuba, euphonium
Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon, suona
Aaron Siegel: percussion, vibraphone
Carl Testa: acoustic bass, bass clarinet

Disc 1 = Composition 350 - dedicated to the artist Emilio Cruz
The intoxicating mix of ritual, social dynamic, pulse and creative improvisation makes the Anthony Braxton Ghost Trance music something these ears thirst for. As the opening set for a week-long stint at New York's Iridium this disc is compelling evidence of exactly what Braxton claims this music to be: "THE point of definition in my work thus far." A heady statement rendered more so by the sheer magnitude of what his work has already accomplished leading into this current time-space. Comparisons to Butch Morris' Conductions are inevitable. There is a shared quality and even as a recording one can sense the active role of Braxton as the conductor of this work. One can even pick out exactly when Braxton picks up his horn and begins contributing to the sonic fabric of his own creation.

Exploding Star Orchestra: We Are All From Somewhere Else. 2007. Thrill Jockey: 181.

Rob Mazurek: composer, director, cornet, computer
Nicole Mitchell: flutes, voice
Jeb Bishop: trombone
Corey Wilkes: flugelhorn
Josh Berman: cornet
Matt Bauder: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Jeff Parker: guitar
Jim Baker: piano, arp, pianette
Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone
John McEntire: marimba, tub
ular bells
Matthew Lux: bass guitar
Jason Ajemian: acoustic bass
Mike Reed: drums, percussion, saw
John Herndon: drums

Possibly the most joyful noise this side of Sun Ra. This is an intoxicating mix of many, many influences filtered through a big band of Chicago-based improvisers willing to synthesize, groove and bring an updated feel to "far out." When music stretches into the cosmos and comes back with a Sting Ray and the Beginning of Time and Cosmic Tomes for Sleep Walking Lovers the ears are in for a fantastic voyage that transcends terrestrial boundaries. Highly recommended.

Eric Dolphy with Booker Little: Far Cry. 1960 (Re-released in 1989). New Jazz Records: OJCCD-400-2.

Eric Dolphy: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Booker Little: trumpet
Jaki Byard: piano
Ron Carter: bass
Roy Haynes: drums

There is nothing like a rhythm section of Ron Carter and Roy Haynes. Throw in the incomparable Jaki Byard on piano and you get a solid foundation for one of the classic jazz recordings of all time. Yet it's the opening figures running the parallel lines on Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet and Booker Little's trumpet that hooks me into this one every time. Both horn players were cut down far too young - especially Booker Little as he established his legacy before leaving this mortal coil at age 23. With definitive takes on the Dolphy originals "Far Cry," "Miss Ann" and "Serene," this one is a must spin to scratch that Dolphy itch.

1 comment:

Jason said...

"There is a shared quality and even as a recording one can sense the active role of Braxton as the conductor of this work."

Actually, Braxton is not "the conductor" -- any of the musicians can conduct a sub-group at any time in the performance. Braxton's role as main conductor is mostly limited to the very beginning and very end of each set. This is a "multi-hierarchical" music.