Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Anthony Braxton- Composition - No. 88 (+108C)

Thanks, Mr. Braxton.

The first sentence in Anthony Braxton's liner notes for Five Compositions (Quartet) begins with these words: "The conceptual and vibrational reality of my quartet music in the 1980's has evolved into a multi-dynamic platform for extended participation that is quite separate (and different) from earlier quartet models..." Near the end of the inscrutable, lengthy treatise Braxton gives his readers a break. As if laughing, he writes, "OK, OK, it doesn't swing!" Braxton has jokes- and I think that most people miss the inherent humor in free jazz. When I listen to this out-of-print 1986 album I hear a set of very sympathetic musicians having a casual conversation. They're telling stories, tossing out asides, and yes, they're guffawing at the punch lines.

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