Anthony Braxton has recorded in a variety of formats, from massive orchestras to solo alto saxophone. This CIMP session positions him with three percussionists and a highly complementary reedman. The session offers a clear view of Braxton's compositional process with the horns blowing in tandem. Richard A. McGhee III has a tone that matches Braxton in its dry vocalization. When Braxton and McGhee solo, they clearly connect their lines to the compositional motifs. The percussionists play carefully considered figures, often delicate and always firmly grounded, even flat-footed at times. The percussionists and horn players reflect each other's activities, but remain on parallel planes. The soundstage, set up with usual CIMP care, emphasizes this with the horns sandwiching the three percussionists. On "293" one can hear the way this works as the percussion rises and falls and the horns crescendo. The group also displays great delicacy, as on "296," with the contrabass clarinet and flute textures summoning images of a noh play.
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AllMusic Review by David Dupont