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Anthony Braxton “23 Standards”

January 1st, 2005 · No Comments

I’ve been an Anthony Braxton fan for a long time, and for many years one of my favorite CDs has been the two-disc Leo Records set, Knitting Factory (piano/quartet) Vols 1 & 2 I found in London in 1996. Braxton’s collected works are challenging, his discography long, and his pioneering sensibility is matched only by the intelligence he brings to the masters of jazz. His “23 Standards” was released by Leo in June 2004, has become my new favorite since I downloaded it from last month.

The CDs consist of a number of concert sessions recorded during his European tour of 2003. Braxton’s phrasings on old favorites such as “Black Orpheus,” “Off Minor,” “Giant Steps,” “Round Midnight,” and “Countown” keep getting more and more interesting the more I listen. The guitar work by Kevin O’Neil is magic. And the quartet also includes Kevin Norton on percussion and Andy Eulau on bass.

Jason Guthartz maintains an outstanding discography of Braxton’s work for those interested in checking out his work.

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