Anthony Braxton

Compositions/Improvisations 2000

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AllMusic Review by

Scott Rosenberg is an impressive disciple of Anthony Braxton, and here the two perform a series of duets that build on the elder's sense of exotic harmony, rhythmic angularity, and iconoclastic vision. Rosenberg is so good that it is often difficult to distinguish the two horns from one another. Although the technical accomplishments of the duo are impressive, what makes this such an interesting listening experience is the range of sound, particularly when you consider that there are only two reeds involved. In a sense, this is a different direction for Braxton, as it bears little resemblance to his largely static "ghost trance music" that he popularized in the 1990s. Three of the tracks are free improvisations that lay bare the creativity of the performers, while Braxton contributed two of the remaining tracks (with Rosenberg composing the other three). Sometimes rough-toned, and at others exuding a simple beauty, the pieces reflect a satisfying completeness, where instant composition and written parts are variously indistinguishable and traditional rules suspended. While there is little melody in the conventional sense, there is a discreet attraction to the constructs of layered sound, which evolves in stimulating and wholly appealing ways.

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