Anthony Braxton/Taylor Ho Bynum: Duets (Wesleyan) 2002. 2002. Innova: 576.
Anthony Braxton: sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, F alto saxophone, E-flat alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, contalto clarinet
Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, trumpbone, shell, mutes
Getting lost within an Anthony Braxton improvisation is one of life's great indulgences. His long and astonishingly prolific recording career offers up enormous opportunities to indulge. Getting lost within his compositional constructions offers up yet another dimension for plunging into the maze of Braxtonian logic. With these duets we have the addition of hearing a sonic dialogue between a mentor and one of his clear musical progeny. Taylor Ho Bynum as student has already graduated through the conceptual hurdles with his own voice intact. Leaving this impressive and at times stunning recording in his wake. These duets are well worth revisiting time and again.
Dave Douglas: Charms of the Night Sky. 1998. Winter & Winter: 910 015-2.
Dave Douglas: trumpet
Guy Klucevsek: accordion
Mark Feldman: violin
Greg Cohen: bass
From the opening notes of the title track this CD sweeps in like an old friend that sits squarely in the category of discs I can't imagine not having in this life. The most striking thing about this collection of eastern European tinged material is how much Dave Douglas alters his tone with this quartet. His playing is so delicate and fragile while never sounding tentative. Weaving seamlessly between the lines of accordion and violin. Mark Feldman's cadenza at the opening of "Dance in They Soul" is a jaw dropper.
Elliott Sharp/Terraplane: Blues for Next. 2000. Knitting Factory Records: KFW-285.
Elliott Sharp: electric guitars, console steel guitar, National steel guitar, tenor saxophone
Sim Cain: drums, electronic percussion
Sam Furnace: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
David Hofstra: electric bass, acoustic bass
Dean Bowman: vocals
Eric Mingus: vocals
Hubert Sumlin: electric guitar
This one is another familiar friend in the rotation. The Blues for Next has its roots deep in the blues tradition as it grows outward from it with a disc featuring guest vocals and guitar and a disc focused just on the quartet itself. And through it all on this listening these ears are drawn to the drumming of Sim Cain. What a great force on skins, membranes and cymbals.