Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
A Landmark Recording !
If you are new to this music (recorded in the late 60's) - you might ask "why did anyone want to create something like that ?"
I mean, there are barely any "rhythms", the are very few "solos", there are strange "sounds". This question is so important ! For me this question opened up so many possibilities - different approaches to rhythm, sound, arrangement... For one thing, Braxton rejects the notion that his music must have a constant drumbeat. Instead - he plays drums occasionally, more for the sound of it than as rhythmic support. Braxton uses many "sounds" - a whistle, a bell, a human voice, a harmonica, etc - they all contribute to the overall sound. The reed instruments (clarinet, sax), the piano, trumpet and the violin - carry most of the load, though, and are played magnificently.
Braxton main freshness is, to me, in his approach to structure. He does not concentrate on sound and textures as such, but as part of an effective musical structure. The use of silence is prevailent throughout - something rarely attempted in "jazz" music.
All compositions are intriguing. The first and longest is the most complex. The second has wonderful saxophone playing, and the 3rd has one of the greatest openings in "free jazz".
This is a mind opener, and highly recommended as such.
The music on this recording represents a perfect coming together of musicianship. From the opening notes to the final sounds, the listener is taken into a new world. Varese and Bird are one. I would reccomend this one to anybody who cares about jazz and the development of jazz.I wouldn't reccomend this one to a fan of any jazz pop. Listen to Braxton's world of "mostly blue but with isolated touches of red and brown". The emphasis is on "texture" rather than the usual expectations we have for theme and variation, harmonic structure, and tempo. It is music that does not follow our typical standards for beauty rather' it sets up it's own standards for beauty. Has many moments of dense, colorful beauty. Buy it.