Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, has developed into a sort of center of the avant-garde, thanks in large part to the efforts of Anthony Braxton, the brilliant saxophonist and composer who teaches there. Some of Braxton's students and influences formed the Middletown Creative Orchestra, for this recording a sixteen-piece conglomeration, emphasizing reeds and rhythm. Some of the names in the Orchestra are becoming known in their own right, but most are not. The four pieces on this recording are long, dense, and viscous, prone to pulsing, static patterns, repetitive dissonance, and intense, complex structures. There is virtually no recognizable improvisation, and there is little swing. The last two compositions by alto saxophonist Jackson Moore and bassist Jonathan Zorn are the most interesting, though even these make for difficult listening, due to the elongated close voicing.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy