On June 4, 2005 Anthony Braxton attained the venerable age of 60. The weeks leading up to that auspicious celebration found him in Victoriaville Canada at the 22nd Festival Internationale de Musique Actuelle, leading his sextet through an accelerated Ghost Trance Music ritual or busily collaborating with the Wolf Eyes unit and guitarist Fred Frith. After spending May 26 and 27 back at Wesleyan University recording four compositions with his Quartet, Braxton made arrangements to embark upon yet another European tour. In one of fate's crueler twists, his rare and fascinating Conn-O-Sax F Alto saxophone was swiped en route. Undeterred, Braxton performed with Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, and the ICP Orchestra in Amsterdam on June 5. Thirteen days later he was on-stage in Ulrichsberg Austria with his Diamond Curtain/Wall Trio and the Ulrichsberg Tri-Centric Ensemble. Two lengthy excerpts from the Trio's appearance in Scotland at the Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art on June 23 were released by Leo Records in 2005 as a double-CD set. Given the loss of what must have been a cherished instrument, one can only imagine how Braxton felt when his soprano and sopranino saxophones turned up missing after the flight from Austria. Fortunately the horns were restored to him, but only after the performance heard on this recording. Under these somewhat stressful circumstances, the master multi-instrumentalist used only alto saxophone and SuperCollider computer audio programming software as he interacted with guitarist Tom Crean and cornet-flügelhorn-trombonist Taylor Ho Bynum. The incidence of what Braxton refers to as increased rhythmic subdivision and episodic abruptions places Composition 323 within the realm of Ghost Trance Music species 2 and 3, those transitional evolutionary stages which lead directly to Species 4, also known as Accelerator Class/Accelerator Whip. Of the two realizations offered on this recording, 323a is busier and more frenetic while during 323b, the Trio gives itself more room to breathe. Braxton's next recorded adventure would take place nearly one month later at a jazz festival in Molde Norway where a nearly-76-minute actuation of Composition 345 was recorded with a sextet. 323c would not materialize until the Trio returned to Wesleyan in September. The Glasgow 2005 recording has been designated as a companion to Braxton's four-CD set Solo Live at Gasthof Heidelberg Loppell, a systematic exploration of Compositions 307-309 interspersed with eight jazz standards, which was recorded in Belgium in April 2005. It is worth noting that this artist's involvement with interactive electronics predates his use of SuperCollider by decades. A delectable example is his creative use of delay on portions of Open Aspects (Duo) 1982, a bracingly enjoyable album of saxophone-synthesizer duets featuring electronic mastermind and longtime Braxton colleague Richard Teitelbaum.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2