Anthony Braxton

Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note

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Cam Jazz's Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note series rolls on with this set by Anthony Braxton, who cut eight full-lengths for then owner Giovanni Bondarini. The first of these is an excellent studio duet with Max Roach, entitled Rebirth, recorded in 1978; the final album in this box is a curiosity piece composed for a multimedia performance entitled Braxton: Compostion No. 173, recorded in 1996. While the bookends are compelling for Braxton's devotees, the real attraction to this budget-priced box lies in his quartet recordings. There are two with Marilyn Crispell, Gerry Hemingway, and Mark Dresser: Four Compositions (Quartet) 1983 and Six Compositions (Quartet) 1984. On Five Compositions (Quartet) 1986, David Rosenboom replaced Crispell. Six Monk Compositions 1987 is an entirely new band with Mal Waldron, bassist Buell Neidlinger, and drummer Bill Osborne holding the greatest appeal. The other two recordings are Ensemble Compositions 1992 (with Guy Klucevsek, Don Byron, and Marty Ehrlich as part of a larger group), and Eugene 1989 (where Braxton conducted the Northwest Creative Orchestra). It's easy to claim that anyone who would buy an Anthony Braxton box is a hardcore fan anyway, but in his case there are levels of that distinction. That said, this set is almost worth the purchase price just to have remastered versions of the two albums with the Crispell/Hemingway/Dresser group; these are standouts even in Braxton's vast catalog.

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