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Braxton, Anthony (w/ Nels Cline, Greg Saunier, Taylor Ho Bynum): Quartet (New Haven) 2014 [4 CDs] (Firehouse 12 Records)

A 4-CD box set documenting the meeting of a quartet featuring saxophonist, composer and conceptualist Anthony Braxton alongside improvising guitarist and Wilco star Nels Cline, drummer and Deerhoof founder Greg Saunier, and trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, each CD an hour-long, wide-ranging set leaving behind genre imitations as they perform Braxton's colorful graphic score.
 

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product information:


UPC: 711574856428

Label: Firehouse 12 Records
Catalog ID: FH12-04-02-030
Squidco Product Code: 27834

Format: 4CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: 4CDs in 4-panel digipacks in slipcase
Recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 2nd and 3rd, 2014, by Nick Lloyd.


Personnel:

Anthony Braxton-sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, bariton saxophone, bass, contrabass saxophone

Taylor Ho Bynum-cornet, flugelhorn, piccolo, bass trumpets, trombone

Nels Cline-electric guitar

Greg Saunier-drums

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Artist Biographies:

[Anthony Braxton (born June 4, 1945) is an American composer and instrumentalist.]

"Genius is a rare commodity in any art form, but at the end of the 20th century it seemed all but non-existent in jazz, a music that had ceased looking ahead and begun swallowing its tail. If it seemed like the music had run out of ideas, it might be because Anthony Braxton covered just about every conceivable area of creativity during the course of his extraordinary career. The multi-reedist/composer might very well be jazz's last bona fide genius. Braxton began with jazz's essential rhythmic and textural elements, combining them with all manner of experimental compositional techniques, from graphic and non-specific notation to serialism and multimedia. Even at the peak of his renown in the mid- to late '70s, Braxton was a controversial figure amongst musicians and critics. His self-invented (yet heavily theoretical) approach to playing and composing jazz seemed to have as much in common with late 20th century classical music as it did jazz, and therefore alienated those who considered jazz at a full remove from European idioms. Although Braxton exhibited a genuine -- if highly idiosyncratic -- ability to play older forms (influenced especially by saxophonists Warne Marsh, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, and Eric Dolphy), he was never really accepted by the jazz establishment, due to his manifest infatuation with the practices of such non-jazz artists as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Many of the mainstream's most popular musicians (Wynton Marsalis among them) insisted that Braxton's music was not jazz at all. Whatever one calls it, however, there is no questioning the originality of his vision; Anthony Braxton created music of enormous sophistication and passion that was unlike anything else that had come before it. Braxton was able to fuse jazz's visceral components with contemporary classical music's formal and harmonic methods in an utterly unselfconscious -- and therefore convincing -- way. The best of his work is on a level with any art music of the late 20th century, jazz or classical.

Braxton began playing music as a teenager in Chicago, developing an early interest in both jazz and classical musics. He attended the Chicago School of Music from 1959-1963, then Roosevelt University, where he studied philosophy and composition. During this time, he became acquainted with many of his future collaborators, including saxophonists Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell. Braxton entered the service and played saxophone in an Army band; for a time he was stationed in Korea. Upon his discharge in 1966, he returned to Chicago where he joined the nascent Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The next year, he formed an influential free jazz trio, the Creative Construction Company, with violinist Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Leo Smith. In 1968, he recorded For Alto, the first-ever recording for solo saxophone. Braxton lived in Paris for a short while beginning in 1969, where he played with a rhythm section comprised of bassist Dave Holland, pianist Chick Corea, and drummer Barry Altschul. Called Circle, the group stayed together for about a year before disbanding (Holland and Altschul would continue to play in Braxton-led groups for the next several years). Braxton moved to New York in 1970. The '70s saw his star rise (in a manner of speaking); he recorded a number of ambitious albums for the major label Arista and performing in various contexts. Braxton maintained a quartet with Altschul, Holland, and a brass player (either trumpeter Kenny Wheeler or trombonist George Lewis) for most of the '70s. During the decade, he also performed with the Italian free improvisation group Musica Elettronica Viva, and guitarist Derek Bailey, as well as his colleagues in AACM. The '80s saw Braxton lose his major-label deal, yet he continued to record and issue albums on independent labels at a dizzying pace. He recorded a memorable series of duets with bop pioneer Max Roach, and made records of standards with pianists Tete Montoliu and Hank Jones. Braxton's steadiest vehicle in the '80s and '90s -- and what is often considered his best group -- was his quartet with pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Gerry Hemingway. In 1985, he began teaching at Mills College in California; he subsequently joined the music faculty at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he taught through the '90s. During that decade, he received a large grant from the MacArthur Foundation that allowed him to finance some large-scale projects he'd long envisioned, including an opera. At the beginning of the 21st century, Braxton was still a vital presence on the creative music scene."

-All Music, Chris Kelsey (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/anthony-braxton-mn0000924030/biography)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Taylor Ho Bynum (b. 1975) has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation - through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. As heard on over twenty recordings as a bandleader, Bynum's expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention as one of the singular musical voices of his generation. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe.

His varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, producing most of Braxton's recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker's Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders and organizations. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation."

-Taylor Ho Bynum website (http://taylorhobynum.com/)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Nels Courtney Cline (born January 4, 1956 in Los Angeles) is an American guitarist and composer. He has been the guitarist for the band Wilco since 2004.

He first came to prominence in the 1980s playing jazz, often in collaboration with his twin brother Alex Cline, a drummer. Since then, he has worked with a wide range of musicians in punk and alternative rock, notably Mike Watt and Thurston Moore. He also leads the groups the Nels Cline Singers and Nels Cline Trio.

Cline was named the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in November 2011."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nels_Cline)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Greg Saunier is a musician, producer, and composer best known as the drummer of Deerhoof. Rolling Stone included Saunier alongside Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt) and Zach Hill (Hella) as together composing "a generation of trailblazing 21st-century avant-rock percussionists".

Saunier graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1991. The next year, he joined a four-piece band, Nitre Pit, in San Francisco as its drummer. When the band's two guitarists left, Saunier and Nitre Pit's bassist, Rob Fisk, reformed as an "elastic, hyper-expressive" band to fulfill Nitre Pit's extant scheduled shows, which later became Deerhoof when Slim Moon of Kill Rock Stars signed the group in 1995. Saunier moved to New York with two suitcases and has said that he does not own many possessions. As a drummer, he says, things he touches tend to break.

Saunier uses a minimal drum kit, with a kick drum, snare drum, and a cymbal, inspired in part by the kit and play style of Questlove (The Roots). In 2008, Saunier said that he rarely practices, mainly for lack of time. When he writes songs, he usually considers the drum part last and is more concerned about the components of rest of the song and its technical elements. His interest and judgement in the latter came from his experience starting Deerhoof without producers, a record label, or much outside help.

Outside of Deerhoof, Saunier's bands include Mystical Weapons (a duo with Sean Lennon) and a collaboration with Brian Chippendale, about which a documentary, Checking in at 20, was produced. He also formed Nervous Cop with drummer Zach Hill and harpist Joanna Newsom, and bands with members of Erase Errata and Rainer Maria, soundtracked a film by Martha Colburn, and collaborated with Xiu Xiu. Saunier has produced albums including Xiu Xiu's The Air Force and Always, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog's Your Turn, Sholi's self-titled album and People Get Ready's Physiques, remixed tracks for Shy Hunters and WOOM, and appeared on albums including Zach Hill's Face Tat. In 2016, Saunier collaborated with American Brazilian composer Marcos Balter, in which they wrote songs for Deerhoof and Ensemble Dal Niente."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Saunier)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


CD1



1. Improvisation Four - for guitarist/composer Jimi Hendrix 59:00

CD2



1. Improvisation Four - for vocalist/composer Janis Joplin 1:04:00

CD3



1. Improvisation Three - for vocalist/composer James Brown 58:27

CD4



1. Improvisation Four - for guitarist/composer Merle Haggard 57:11
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Bynum describes the impetus for the session in the liner notes: "Much has been written about Anthony Braxton's transformative synthesis of the trans-European and trans-African American creative music traditions: his heartfelt allegiance to influences as diverse as Hildegard von Bingen and Jelly Roll Morton, Alban Berg and Dave Brubeck, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Sun Ra. However, anyone who has had the pleasure of engaging Braxton in conversation knows his omnivorous musical enthusiasms extend far beyond the classical or jazz canons, and include a healthy dose of American popular music, from Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra to the Flamingos and Bill Haley to Bob Dylan and Captain Beefheart - to the four dedicatees of this recording.

Much has also been written about Braxton's hunger for collaboration and the copious breadth of his recorded discography. It is probably true that in a world of unlimited resources and infinite time, Braxton would record a duo album with every interesting musician he ever met. But in a reality with budgetary restrictions to be considered and opera cycles to be completed, the studio projects are necessarily limited to those offering something fresh within his catalog - those that present a different set of parameters and approaches than previous recordings.

A collaboration of this kind demands creative partners of similar instincts and predilections, regardless of musical background. In Nels Cline and Greg Saunier, Braxton found ideal collaborators for this project. While best known for their high profile rock projects, Nels and Greg's fluency in improvisation is no surprise. Nels was long-established as one of the premiere guitarist/composer/bandleaders in creative music well before his ongoing tenure as the lead guitarist in Wilco, and continues to maintain a fantastically productive balance between grassroots investigations and high-profile arena tours. Greg is not only a founding member of Deerhoof, one of today's most adventurous rock bands, but also has his fingers in multiple creative projects. Their contributions brought two distinct voices to mix with the shared vocabulary Braxton and Taylor have honed over the last decade-plus of playing together.

This album is a beautiful realization of both concerns: idiomatic synthesis and collaboration. It is a sincere acknowledgement of some of Braxton's rock & roll heroes, a musical embrace of some of the rhythmic and timbral constructs of that form. At the same time, it is clearly an Anthony Braxton album - dispensing with any genre-based structural imitations or limitations in its thrilling explorations of creative possibility...These sessions resulted in something fresh, something different, something exciting - not just for Braxton, but for all four of us. It doesn't sound like Jimi Hendrix or James Brown, Janis Joplin or Merle Haggard - but I hope those American masters would smile at the dedications and find some sounds in this music that resonate across idiom, across genre, across generation.""-Firehouse12

Related Categories of Interest:

Box Sets

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Improvised Rock
Rock and Related
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Anthony Braxton
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New in Improvised Music
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Fujii, Satoko / Orchestra New York
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