Anthony Braxton

14 Compositions (Traditional) 1996

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AllMusic Review by

It seemed that Anthony Braxton has done it all, but this recording of fourteen tunes from the first half of the century is a major addition to Braxton's remarkable discography. Here, he takes old standards, songs like "Ja Da," "Star Dust," and "Rosetta," and gives them new twists. The variety is astonishing, as Braxton and Gillmor try every variation imaginable. Thus, "Star Dust" has Braxton on alto sax with Gillmor in unison on French horn, while "Rosetta" finds Braxton romping through an energized variation with Gillmor playing it straight on piano. With Braxton alternating among soprano, alto, tenor, and bass saxophones, plus flute, clarinet, and contrabass clarinet, and Gillmor chiming in on piano, trumpet, and French horn, the combinations are endless. Often the melodies and solos are true to the era, though there are enough surprises to make this an entirely entertaining and fascinating collection.

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