Sunday, August 31, 2008

***braxtothon '08: session 009 (+)***

***music files included (see end section)***

- finally we get to the '76 quartet, and just in time: this version of the band is not long-lived, and (by the time my collection catches up with it) will soon be dissolved. exactly when lewis first played in the quartet, and how many performances there were by this band... two things i don't know yet. the sessionography project could take a long time to get there as it's a huge task, and some of the sources (e.g. the archives of a certain euro jazz fest) are not exactly 100% reliable. but martinelli, in his liner notes for news from the 70s (see below), names the graz concert as the "third to last" by this version of the band. just dortmund and berlin to follow this, then...

session 009: stefaniensaal, graz (2011 update - this boot was recently made available at TCF)
date: 28th october 1976

1. - a long, slow, ringing double voice calling out into silence, into space... seconds, weeks pass and eventually a second note confirms the heart's hope, that this is in fact my dear old friend comp. 23a back for another flight. that's a lovely surprise, first off. the piece comes full circle (*1), now so replete in fulfilled possibility that it's become an opener again... well, that sounds like the romantic ideal, so it's a question of how far the reality matches up.

the truly funereal pace of the opening theme seems only natural, such generous amounts of space being required in order to do full justice to the grandeur evoked by trombone and contrabass clarinet together - and possibly to allow anyone who did remember the piece well to savour the different voicing, lewis more of a second foghorn than anything else, a long way removed from wheeler's high, keening muted trumpet on the version which (still) sounds in so many ways definitive. and sure enough the two are manifestly continuing their platonic love affair in public, rejoicing in each other's voice.

naturally enough, all this is taking place against a familiar backdrop of washes and swathes of cymbal, waves on the beach, an effect which altschul seems to have mastered a lifetime ago already. holland is not really noticeable at all in the first couple of minutes. and in hindsight there's the important clue straight away, the one which offers the key to discovering the internal dynamic of the quartet of this point, fully in motion with the new man not only installed, but already a seasoned voyager of braxton's music with or without the others: in theory the replacement of wheeler with lewis opens the scope of the working band right up, way up, but of course in practice it's going to be limited to the speed of its slowest member, and we're about to return to an unresolved question, first turned over for inspection here.

with hindsight (and weeks between first, second and third plays of this recording) it's inescapable for me, right here on the first track the faithful bassist's leaving the music is foreshadowed. if he's playing arco during the theme (possible, even at that pace, for him to do so without my knowing for sure - we know his bow technique is immaculate, one of the steadiest in the business) then he adds nothing to the weight of the monster - just as his weight was not required for the opening theme of the studio version - and when he first becomes clearly noticeable as a separate voice within the cleared space, it's in the third minute, it's plucked notes and it sounds a bit jazzy. right there, a whole huge cluster of universes get wrapped up in a black drape and sealed off. the territory has just been circumscribed into something far smaller than the two leaders (which is what this sounds like, braxton and lewis co-piloting the group on this short journey) had envisaged, and one wonders what sort of subtle shock passes between them at that moment. but then at 2.43, holland uses the bow to lovely effect and we know now that it's not a question of anything being ruined as such, the group can adjust and accommodate... but that's what it has to do now in any case. the far-flung territories explored at such intense length during the two reed-and-bone duos... maybe those aren't attainable tonight, or at any event not yet.

so it ends up being simply a pretty, ornate rendition of a "standard", albeit one of b's own - the highlight, surely, comes around 5.40 when lewis picks up the very first cues of an impending alto master-tag and goes along for the ride, perfectly matching the leader's next swooping phrases with effortless timing and breathtaking confidence, the trick literally having the same effect on me third time round as it did the first, drawing a gasp of pleasure as soon as i detect the audacity of what lewis is about to do, watching then in awe as he executes the double tag with perfect precision. but yes, or rather no, this moment, glorious as it is, does not represent any vast addition to the collective knowledge of the territories which lie within the range of this vessel. even the first time round, i picked up jazzy routines from altschul at times, sucked back into it by holland, the result sounding incongruous and rather inappropriate. and although the two horns toy with the piece expertly, spinning their own separate trajectories languidly through space, in the certain knowledge that they will intersect at beautiful moments as-yet unglimpsed (and they do), they are more or less out there alone, altschul caught somewhat between two gravities, two directional pulls, holland straining back or simply unable to kick on - around 4.00, what is he doing?

so... within less than seven minutes the piece already straggles towards change, the four players shuffling hesitantly into place for whatever the next territory might be; though in practice the two horns end up unaccompanied for a short while, continuing their exalted conversation briefly - in the rarefied space where the others apparently can't or won't follow.

2. - the good news is, with the above limitations established (and in about four mins we'll receive confirmation of just how early they were established), the band settles down to play a cracking high-end free jazz set, including holland who takes up the bow early on here and reminds us again of what deftness of touch he has with it.

growing organically from a free space of whistles and squeaks and flutters, a group texture slowly shifts and takes shape, the arco bass dominating for a moment or two, hinting briefly at a repetition series - it's a red herring, and as the four start to converge on the next jumping-off point, a background for fast line extension is being set up, which resolves suddenly into "four winds" (at 4.35 in second file). back when i first bought news from the 70s (a few years ago, before i knew... etc), there seemed nothing very odd about such a choice of material - for that matter when i first heard the graz gig (spring '07?), it didn't strike me as a surprise either, but it surely would do so now if i didn't know it was coming. it's as if a simple homecoming is being set up for tonight rather than any serious attempt at deep exploration - but that's ok too, so long as there's no coasting involved... well, lewis takes first solo, and with the theme left behind and a generic fast free jazz backing, he works his way busily through several minutes, unable to stray very far from the path, but with that huge tone, incredible speed and occasional humour to "fall back" on, he manages to keep up the pace easily enough. yes, i can't conceal the fact that i'd prefer to hear him moving farther out at this point but still, with the three of them (minus the leader) in full flight i have to admit that the engine sounds wonderfully well-oiled. teasing his way back into the theme, lewis hands over to holland again for a full bass solo, without the bow this time.

again, this is where we're in danger of losing momentum because pizzicato, holland's solos often fail to add up to more than the sum of their parts; i.e. where others move beyond mere notes into pure, free utterance, the bassist tends to flourish handfuls of the things without ever seeming to suggest that there could be something more. and that is what happens here, scurries up and down the neck (with tremendous technical facility, as always) not disguising the lack of actual musical growth here, but at least we retain movement and, again, the momentum is not lost. around 11.25 we finally hear the sopranino nosing its way into the space, and at last the leader will take his turn. as usual, before long (and again, several times before he is done) he will make me sigh with delight here, but although the impetus is harnessed for several more minutes at full pace, eventually peaking with great intensity at about 16.25, the sound of the sax, bass and drums together in this sort of environment is so comfortable and familiar, it's worryingly easy for the listener to relax into it and doze off slightly (which is what happened to me at this point in the actual session). alternatively, if high-performance free jazz is all you ever wanted the band to play... look no further.

lewis brings a charmingly casual outlook to the restatement - what, you done already? ok, sure - and a fast drum solo wraps things up here. when the four voices next converge, we'll again be on the outskirts of somewhere new...

3. - and appropriately enough, after that, the next transition phase seems to drop us off near "q&a", which three of these guys played on many occasions, some years ago now... this is really the freest, most open and extended piece we're entering now, and it's the last phase of this short (second?) set. (the encore which follows was surely the last music played tonight.)

free and open is very much the order of the day as all four players stretch their limbs easily, unwinding and unfolding in their own time, lewis filling the hall with his golden bell, holland just as happily non-idiomatic as anyone else here, and by this point even in today's listening, i'm pretty much won over at last by the group's actual performance on the day. the sound, too, is remarkably well captured on this recording, holland's guitar-like plinks and plunks (stopped, right up high on the neck, third minute) clear evidence of this - we have all we need in terms of detail.

first time round my attention was very much divided, one part of my mind frantically scrabbling around for comparisons, not entirely happy with being unsure of the territory - by today i had given up on this, and was able to observe the gradual shaping of the piece a bit more closely. yes, they really do their take their sweet time heading anywhere, and it is interesting to acknowledge here how comfortable everyone sounds with it, flung out into the nether regions with few signposts even visible. towards 4.30 there is a significant build-up, but it subsides into elapsing steam, eked out into the ether - by 5.00 it almost sounds as if richard teitelbaum is playing, and we drift. so, shift up, shift back down - but now we are ready to go somewhere, as holland counts off a theme on his own (commencing around 5.13 in the third file), and by 6.00 they are all playing this piece, whichever it is (later it sounds uncannily like a faster first cousin of 40n or even 23e, but it's not either... one of the 60s is what i keep wanting to say). whatever it is, with the theme more or less laid out (won't be fully run through until later), we're back into leisurely strolling and stretching. at ten minutes in, where are we - and where are we going?

by this stage, it's gone way past the point of trying to lay individual blame for any lack of momentum or urgency: it's more as if the excellence of the playing aside, the collective mind of the four players at this time cannot move any further than the speedy pattern-swapping that eventually develops as we approach and pass 11.00 - braxton having picked up and played with his own echo, lewis grabbing a piece of that action too - and back into cooking mode we go, smooth as you like; though rather unexpectedly, then, holland breaks it all up, digging immediately back into the theme and from 12.15ish, there it is, the sequence which would identify it once and for all (if only my memory for subtle differences between melodies were more acute!). a minute later, the two horns are seemingly in perfect accord, indeed all four are flying together at high speed now, and when the leader takes off eventually on a terrific clarinet solo, he has excellent support from the bass. furious bursts rub up against silken-smooth singing until lewis takes over around 15.45, b. still interjecting violently and at will, but without intruding since by now he and lewis are of one mind again; fulminating attacks continue from both with full, locked-in-tight support from the bass and drums to ensure that the set nears its end on a resonating high, more decorous arco bass and cunning pseudo-synth textures from the clarinet ushering in the silence and warm applause.

4. - and then the encore, and another charming surprise - well, it was in the actual session, when to hear the band rip into comp. 6i was just the icing on the cake; of course, since then (seems like ages ago now) i've been able to find a bit more context, namely the fact that the same piece was resurrected not for this date but for the "special quintet" earlier in the year. something about it obviously appealed enough to bring it back once again, without wheeler this time of course, but with the original rhythm section restored, still (just about) intact after more than five years.

- and this just seems like the perfect way to wrap up the evening, send everyone out into the night cruising on huge natural high..! with those prior limitations accepted, the old mutant bop rockinghorse comes charging out for one last (?) canter - and of course it reminds d.h. once again of where one or two of the ideas for tunes on conference came from, since we're about it... (i've said more than once on the blog that this piece is the precursor of holland's "see-saw".) but above all it gives everyone the chance to cook their ass off, so to speak. that chance in turn is seized gratefully, everyone plays a blinder and some serious fun is had. the theme itself now has a rest phase shoehorned into it, a spacious, time-stopping delay before the da capo, which hints early on how much fun really is up for grabs here.

lewis takes first solo, gets to scratch his bop jones, drop any j.j. johnson or curtis fuller hangups he may still have hidden under his shirt; but while we're talking bop trombone, hear that man play and remind me, this was the instrument which nearly got made extinct, 'cos no-one could play bop fast enough on it..? we know how things can change, and how much the 60s players suddenly had to draw on coming up, but one has to ask: those early bop guys, were they really, really trying or what? (*2) lewis whirls through this one with his tone on full display when he wants to sing it out there, lightning-fast when it's called for, all up and down and basically all over, not much in the way of extended technique as such, this not being that sort of piece (or indeed that sort of date as it turns out); but a good hard workout nonetheless, shaking out all those pockets earlier 'bonemen couldn't shake. when the leader sings his way teasingly in around 2.45, then takes over ten seconds later this sounds perfectly natural, this brisk excursion being paced for around the same time as the studio version (solos in a different order of course), not a big twenty-minute monster like some previous incarnations (*3). and besides...

...this number always was the cue for some major alto damage. stunning almost at once on entry, b's solo really takes flight off this simple base. not for once into manic gear-shifting and buzzes and barks, but in song form again, the hallmark phrases all in place but with a touch more lyricism than usual, albeit lyricism with plenty of bite. some long, lingering, floated lines work magic in there somewhere and the overall shape is one which impresses me greatly, especially today. it's all too easy for this impressiveness to hijack one's attention, shunt it into reverie - that's happening by 5.10, when b's invitation to indulge in speedy double-swoops is picked up by lewis around the third time of asking, the two then entering into the sort of reed-and-brass coda which b. used to get up to with wheeler - again, unbelievable but true, lewis is able to bring more precision to this sort of line at this extreme speed, and it's the leader who seems to flag first on this occasion. there's then a total breakdown for holland's last solo of the night, plucked again, racing away in much the same manner as before - only this time he does create undeniable propulsive movement, even if the notes don't seem to be saying much necessarily. ok, then the drummer gotta get some too, that's fine and mercifully brief - there's some delightful messing around in the rest insert during the end unisons, and bang, they're done.

* * *

the actual session was prolonged slightly by the need to check news... for a match, just to make double certain like... by now i realise it's pretty unlikely that "four winds" was played more than once, but still... anyway, yeah, same show.

news from the '70s... every friendly experiencer's home will be enriched by the addition of one of these, assuming you can still find it... (*4) - it is interesting that "winds" was singled out in that way - it's not the clear highlight of the set (certainly not for me) and dave's bass solo is very likely his least interesting of the night; surely the encore... well, but perhaps this was just by way of recognising a beautiful friendship, which spawned a musical association lasting many years, and which saw a nascent band through a whole series of crucial phases. in any case, i can vouch for the fact that taken out of context and/or played on the album, it sounds fine and indeed wraps things up nicely.

* * *

here is the music

(see inside, first comment for details.)

no grading for this, never commercially released - download it and see for yourself... but it's an interesting gig. well... actually it's probably not that interesting, but the quartet plays a blinder anyway. there may be those out there who would wish that the band had always played like this. (and had never split up..? or what?) the set gathers in impetus as it goes on, in terms of confidence in each other at least - for me the peak is simply the encore, comp. 6i which i reckon is as good as the studio version, maybe even better (more democratic, b. still very much hogging solo time on crucial recordings in '71 - though one could hardly blame him for that).

very good free jazz date, then... it remains the case that a small number of very switched-on concertgoers might have justifiably felt that there was something missing... though it's not likely to be the first thing they remember afterwards, sent out into the night with that huge glorious racket echoing in their ears. the question is: was the imminent breakup of the band actually discussed beforehand, or did it only happen after this little tour of europe was over? it seems like a surprisingly conservative set, but did holland in particular have to be eased back in? well, there's another question and here's a third: again, how many gigs did the band play together before this one? i'll be looking for answers to all of them in due course.


centrifuge said...

first things first - here's the rip again, for those who dive straight for the comments out of habit:
it's presented as it came to me, i have not edited it at all and those are not my indexations (listeners who speak german will probably be able to get more info about the broadcast). HOWEVER i have of course utilised a lossy compression process in ripping the files from my lossless cd master (i presume the original was on dime - this was some time ago now). naturally i find the result perfectly tolerable, but those who will be listening intently for the players' breath whistling gently through nasal hair may want to give this a miss and save themselves the frustration. meanwhile, as far as i know this gig is not in general circulation, so let's get it back out there.

it does ever so slightly irritate me that i can't put a title to the third piece. anyone help with that?

( - notes for the numbered refs in the article will appear later today - cheers, c x)

centrifuge said...

oops sorry i mean HERE is the rip:

centrifuge said...

1. 23a, of course, was crystallised for posterity by the one-off quintet which wrapped up *new york, fall 1974*. regular readers (and others!) may recall that it had already evolved at that stage from a set opener eighteen months previously.

braxton himself came (early in his career) to prefer the image of a spiral to that of a cycle/circle - where there is progress, the return is never quite to the same place.

2. actually this is something i've found myself wondering on several occasions, not always prompted by a celebrated virtuoso such as lewis; zappa fans will be familiar with bruce fowler, a top west coast session player whose contributions to "real" music are all too few (though he was also active with beefheart, and had a trio with don preston at one point..?) - as well as his gorgeous, startling solos from the early seventies in particular, those with a copy of *roxy and elsewhere* can hear him execute the head of (what was by then known as) "the be-bop tango", a very difficult theme - and at impossible pace. (this being rock music and zappa being zappa, the insane tempo was possible because of course the core members of the ensemble had been rehearsing and/or performing the piece on a near-daily basis for months. probably no living instrumentalist could have sight-read the piece at such a speed?)... paul rutherford talks in his cadence interview about how lightning-fast a trombonist's action can become through learning to flick the slide. anyway... the trombone... bebop's loss was emphatically free music's gain :-D

3. comp. 6i, my list of versions to date:
#1 studio, 1971 (quartet w/wheeler)
#2 live, hamburg 1971 (circle)
#3 live, moers jf (?) 1976 (special quintet)
#4 live, graz 1976 (quartet w/lewis)

#s 2 & 3 are extended explorations with lengthy solos.

to be cont... etc

4. that picture is not the one most copies will have, but it was the only pic/page i could find which wasn't some marketplace or other. look for the one with the head shot of b. playing the oil-refinery equipment ;-)

incidentally, the + sign in the post title reflects the fact that several complete sessions were eventually undertaken before any proper writing was done - repeats were not numbered because they were not under proper braxtothon conditions, but they were full and uninterrupted, and the third included its own notes... thanks to my slow-motion activity rate, weeks and weeks separated first and third sessions. references to "today" in the text are from the third and final session. by this time i knew what i wanted to say about the concert.

don't even ask about dortmund... i know exactly what i want to say about that one, but still haven't actually written it up..! BUT it's coming up next in the 'thon... before that, there will be some other stuff... including another shortie about the solo archetypes. (some more gtm might be nice. or not, i dunno, those posts draw little or no response and i'm not sure why that is.)

david_grundy said...

cent, thought I'd just pop a comment in here, to let you know I'm stil reading the blog...I often don't comment simply because I don't feel I really have anything much to add - and I still haven't really devoted as much time to Braxton as I want to (concentrating on other things, and all that). I reckon I need to sequester myself away for a week with nothing but Braxton and immerse myself in it. Oh, and of course, to read Forces in Motion and the excerpts from Tri-Axium that I've come across (about 20 pages worth). If there's any artist who I would find myself closer to 'immersing' myself in, it would be perhaps Cecil Taylor - earlier on, I did my fair share of Coltrane and Miles listening, and at times felt as if they were some sort of peak. Still do, you may remember some of my comments about Coltrane on the 'bored' expressing just how great I thought his music was...And I did a radio prog about a year and a half ago where I waxed lyrical for about 20 minutes about how his 1965 music was the apex of art, or something like that...I still love that music, and Miles perhaps even more so (especially his 70s stuff, which, for all its flaws, speaks about things so much music just doesn't - it goes places, when everyone else says 'don't go there'). The On the Corner boxset contains some perfect imperfect human expression...if you get my drift. Hm, I may be getting a little tangled up here.

Yes, anyway, I think I'm trying to say that I applaud you for your 'total immersion' approach to Braxton - at this stage in my development in listening to 'the music', I don't think I'm ready for a similar experience, and I want to listen to the widest range possible first anyway...Talking to people with great knowledge makes me realise just how much there is I haven't heard. And even reviewing CDs I've been sent/ downloaded/ bought, for eartrip 2, I just realise there is SO MUCH out there. It's like King Kennytone was saying the other day, there is so much that is just not unacknowledged. I know that's a kind of default position for a free jazz fan, but it really struck home with me then. And I think Brian Morton did a bit of a disservice (again) in that column/moan about reviewing reissues and new CDs. I must have listened to about 30 or 40 new CDs, and 10 reissues. Morton's letting himself down a bit, because his writing shows as well as anyone's how good some of the new stuff is. Oh well, I guess he's allowed a few slip-ups - he does a very good piece on Creeley and Lacy on Point of Departure, which is worht reading.

Rambling on...I haven't listened to the concert yet (but then, being a relative braxton ignoramus, I probably wouldn't pick up on the 'something missing' that you identify. A 'hot' free jazz gig sounds fine to me!)

By the way, I listened to conference of the birds the other day, for the first time actually now that's quite interesting, because while most people (yourself included) probably came at it expecting good things, expecting it to be a classic, I of course had the debate on this blog running through my head. Now I haven't done a proper 'close' listen yet - it was more on in the background as I was typing other things judgement is perhaps reserved. Maybe there was something of a missed opportunity, having Braxton and Rivers together - imagine what they could have done if 'let go' by Holland...But then, it was Holland's date, and even then he was thinking differently...Preliminary impressions are that I think it's a nice date, I love the elegant construction of that title track (and I don't think it's really that typical of his compositional style - well, it is and it isn't, but it does sound fresh in a way that some of his other tunes don't - I know what you mean about all the tunes sounding kinda similar). I like the elegance and the simple complexity of the intertwining flutes, and the simple nature painting, more succesful in this instance than in others. But some of the other cuts feel like they don't go as far as they could...Probably why 'straight jazz' fans like it - not too much of the old 'skronk-fest'. Of Holland's leader-work, I like some of the solo/duet stuff - and the Steve Coleman group is rather fine.

Have you come across the new Braxton/Parker/Graves improv disc? Be interesting to see your thoughts on it as relating to his current trajectroy (GTM/ Diamond Curtain Wall).

I think that's enough from me!

centrifuge said...

hi david, thanks for that midnight ramble :) funnily enough i've had the odd one or two of those.

i am sure that if you *did* lock yourself away for a week and played nothing but braxton that would have a beneficial effect on you - but that need not necessarily be a pleasant experience! it would be a very intense experience and you would have to deal with whatever came up... assuming that you enjoy the music enough to have continued collecting it and sometimes playing it, then this posited week would see your understanding of the music go through the roof i reckon - ! maybe you would return with the answers to my various unanswered questions and more bsides... and reading lock is always a good option, but it still sounds to me as if there's a distinct touch of "should" in that plan of yours, though you don't use the word... you say you are more inclined to give c.t. the same treatment, and there often does seem to come a choice for listeners: braxton or taylor, though some profess to be equally enamoured of both.

anyway... if you're verging more towards spending the week on c.t. then you're answering your own question i reckon ... and sure enough you did answer your own question in due course..!

miles definitely is a shaman in terms of what he shows you in the music... and as for trane, well, really... enough said. there are others. the thing is, in some cases there is a wide gulf between hearing the music as new and unlooked=for sound, and hearing the music "live" in real time, understanding it even as it unfolds. i know from personal experience how vast a difference there is between listening to braxton as background music or with non-attuned ears (can still remember this), and listening closely in real time. b. is of course the example i'm gonna pick, but c.t. is a another absolutely stellar example, bailey another of course.

as for my total immersion approach... it was meant to be, what more can i say. little (big!) things confirm this on a weekly basis, but i knew the very first time i encountered the name and picture that there was something in there for me, and that it wasn't going to make any sense to me for some time. hence i started taking an interest right away whilst *knowing* that i didn't get it... it took a while, drip by drip, that's how selective our social conditioning for "acceptable sound" is i guess (and me with a background in death metal/grind/noise etc as well as pop and rock music)

of course... as i always end up saying, i had no idea what was actually gonna happen when i first sat down in *that* chair, it took me completely by surprise and wildly surpassed expectations as an experience..!

now - not everyone can be expected to take such an approach (to anything) - it would not suit some people, and some crave "variety" far more than i do, evidently. besides, you are at least somewhat serious about being a broadcaster and editor, in which case it will be necessary for you to have a far wider basic knowledge than i have - you then simply consult obsessives like me as and when required ;-)

conference - yes, i'd say it is always good to withhold judgement if one has only heard something in the background..! but organically i would say you can tell the difference, by now, between something which compels the attention and something which doesn't (ok, this is actually highly contentious... now taking calls on this one!)... and that's enough outta me.

i do somewhat agree with you about the title track, which is indeed a very pretty ballad. still don't get jow some people hold it up against "lonely woman", mind, but... it is pretty and (as you say) it is not the product of the cookie-cutter. ("first snow" is quite a nice ballad also... that's one of the steve coleman albums i think)

finally - no i haven't heard it yet, it's only just out, don't tell me you got a freebie and didn't send it to me right away ;-) naturally i am very keen to hear it, the live show i have is very good indeed.

david_grundy said...

no, I haven't got a freebie, more's the pity...I may end up having to fork out for it! The prospect of Milford Graves on the drums is hard to resist. I can't imagine that it'll be anything less than brilliant.

centrifuge said...

oh, it's bound to be that all right... the question will be exactly how far "beyond quantum" it really is and quite what is meant by that in the first place ;-) doesn't sound like b's phrase to me but i am yet to hear an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Centrifuge

the composition is Nº 4, that said the radio moderator by the end the recording..

later, the lineup, and the datum of the gig, nothing more, sorry.

best regards, Kike :)

ps: the braxton-parker- grave comes to me on friday in this week, holy shit! BRAVO!

centrifuge said...

hi kike, well - thanks for trying! i did hear the guy say it was composition no 4, which of course is meaningless, he's talking about the encore (comp. 6i) and he just means it was the fourth piece played... comp. 4 is actually the piece for five tubas; i think we can safely assume that was not interpreted at this concert ;-)

i ordered *beyond quantum* myself yesterday, couldn't resist... will report on that in due course!

lee said...

Looking forward to hearing this concert. Comp. 6i was a real unexpected delight when I heard the Circle recording. It'll be fun to compare/contrast performances.

I finally after however long put my headphones on this weekend and gave a good, close listen to Dortmund. Why did it take so long? I'd always enjoyed it, but the weight of expectation ("This WILL be the greatest Braxton recording you will ever hear in your life!") kind of killed my excitement for digging in. Of course, I don't know if that's true, but I discovered much more than I'd expected. I'll say no more until you open up the discussion.

I love that Braxton/Parker/Graves live set, so I'm very curious about the album. While we're on it, I wouldn't mind a CD release of one of the Cecil Taylor "Historical" Quartet shows.

Meanwhile, has anybody heard the CD issue of Roscoe Mitchell's "Nonaah"?

centrifuge said...

hello lee - hope you enjoy(ed) the concert! and especially that encore, then...

let's see... i don't think i know anyone who claims to have heard/physically seen *nonaah* yet, with its (reported/reputed) five bonus cuts... was being listed recently by some traders as in stock (apparently) but that may or may not mean anything; naturally i shall resist the temptation to talk about dortmund just yet..! and the parker/graves album, well, i'm kinda hoping tomorrow's snailmail will bring that one, we will see :))

the *first* of the taylor-braxton meetings, i.e. the one at the rfh looked like a dead cert for release, but no news on that one yet. as with the 2004 braxton quintet gig, the bbc's engineers did a very good job and it would be commercially viable i'm sure. the whole concert would not fit on one cd though, while two would leave lots of room... dunno how they're gonna get round that one.

more soon more soon more soon