Anthony Braxton

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New York, Fall 1974

You never know quite what you’ll get when you enter the bizarre world of Anthony Braxton: it may well be unlistenable. This one, however, is very listenable. To describe it I’d have to go through every track because they’re all different, right down to the line-ups, but you’ll have some idea if I say that it’s highly experimental and bears much more of a relation to avant-garde classical music than your average jazz record. The track titles are cryptic diagrams, as is the norm for the pipe-smoking, chess-playing Braxton, but underneath the hyper-intellectualised trappings, he is essentially a free-wheeling jazz altoist from the same mould as Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy.