Saturday, August 30, 2008

Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves & William Parker - Beyond Quantum (Tzadik, 2008)

A meeting of three luminaries of avant-garde jazz, multi-reedist Anthony Braxton, bassist William Parker and drummer Milford Graves unite for a very exciting album of adventurous free jazz. Not as cerebral as the usual "composed" Braxton project, this one is strictly a blowing session and there is extraordinary collective improvisation present. "First Meeting" is very exciting free jazz collective improvisation, with fast paced, strong and agile playing. Braxton leads with swirling and dexterous saxophone. "Second Meeting" begins slowly in an abstract and open manner before the pace picks up very quickly, and is urged on by vocalizations. "Third Meeting" and "Fourth Meeting" start of at a mid-tempo, and mix more spaceous and open improvisation, with raucous and flat out free improv. Relitavley short, the concluding "Fifth Meeting" has two horns (Parker dispensing with his bass for a reed instrument) in an exotic and exciting performance. I am very enthusiastic about this disc, because of the amazing amount of energy that these three musicians have brought to play in this music.

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