The Coventry Concert

Anthony Braxton Quartet

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The Coventry Concert Review

by Thom Jurek

The legendary Anthony Braxton Quartet, featuring pianist Marilyn Crispell, drummer Gerry Hemingway, and bassist Mark Dresser, recorded the music on this disc in 1980. The music on this disc should not, however, be confused with the same music plus plenty more that appear on the Leo label's multiple-CD package of The Coventry Concert. This partial version of the concert is a highly edited illegal pirate recording that both Mr. Braxton and Leo Feigin have thoroughly disavowed as such and have sought to have suppressed. Unfortunately, neither of them have the money to prosecute the German West Wind label. If this were only a bootleg it would be bad enough, but the substandard recording and stereo balance make this performance -- which is more than remarkable, it's revelatory -- not worth the substance it's printed on. It gives a warped picture of what the band played that night and reduces the continuity -- so central to any Braxton quartet performance -- to nil. Seek out the complete concert on Leo and forget this exists.

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