Anthony Braxton

Solo (Milano) 1979, Vol. 2

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Of all of the saxophonists who occasionally play unaccompanied solos, Anthony Braxton's solo recitals tend to be the most intriguing and fulfilling. Each of his performances has its own point and plot, tends to be concise, and is generally intriguing. A composition might be built around a simple trill, a downward phrase, or slap-tonguing. Braxton builds his improvisation from the initial idea, mood, and/or theme, keeping the original plot in mind up to the improvisation's conclusion. This particular set of solos from 1979 features seven of Braxton's originals plus five standards. On the latter he pays tribute to each piece's melody, sometimes sticking close to the theme and on other occasions coming up with unexpected ideas. Listeners who may have difficulty getting into Anthony Braxton's large-group performances are particularly advised to check out his unaccompanied solos, since the ensembles are uncluttered and the plot is easier to determine. Highly recommended.

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