Archive for the Anthony Braxton Category

Anthony Braxton Quartet in Montreux 1975

Posted in Anthony Braxton, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by crownpropeller

hollandbraxDave Holland and Anthony Braxton in Montreux,
on July 20, 1975

Never before and never again did composer and multiinstrumentalist Anthony Braxton have such a high profile as in the mid-1970s when he was under contract with Arista. One could say that Braxton’s music was much more accessible than it is now, but of course this is only partly true. As you might know his time with Arista came to an end after the release of Braxton’s “For Four Orchestras” in a 4LP Box (Allmusic website gives it 1 1/2 stars today).

What people went for at the time were Braxton’s quartets with which he toured also through Europe at the time. This 2LP (and CD):

220px-The_Montreux_Berlin_Concertsdocuments two concerts. The first is from July 20, 1975 when the Braxton Quartet with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul played at the Jazz Festival Montreux. The other one is from November 4, 1976, when trombonist George Lewis had replaced Kenny Wheeler.

wheelerKenny Wheeler in Montreux, on July 20, 1975

Michael Cuscuna in his original liner notes writes about the two concerts:


Ironically, the fourth tune of each performance was eliminated from possible release by technical difficulties, and that  missing piece in both concerts was the stop time composition that first appeared on “Five Compositions, 1975.”

The stop time composition Cuscuna is talking about is 23G, which is inded on this album:


But at least in Montreux the quartet played yet another piece that did not find it’s way onto the “Montreux/Berlin” album (also from the “Five Pieces, 1975” album): the fast Bebop abstraction Composition 40M.

And that is where an old VHS cassette from the collection of my friend, the late Otto Flückiger comes up and contains just that performance:

As you can see from the band preparing to leave the stage at the end that this must have been the last track (or the encore – if there was one). Personally I enjoy watching drummer Barry Altschul here: he looks like playing this music is a lot of fun.

altschulBarry Altschul in Montreux, on July 20, 1975


Anthony Braxton Quartet, East Berlin 1985

Posted in Anthony Braxton, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , on December 30, 2011 by crownpropeller

While checking Youtube for footage of Anthony Braxton, I saw that someone uploaded a video allegedly showing the Anthony Braxton Quartet 1985 in Berlin. But in fact that video shows Braxton’s group with Hugh Ragin 1981 in Hamburg. So I dived deep into my large box of old VHS videos and came up with the old TV broadcast from the GDR TV station that really shows the 1985 quartet at the Friedrichstadtpalast in East Berlin on June 21, 1985.

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