Anthony Braxton

The Montreux/Berlin Concerts

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Anthony Braxton's 1975 two-LP set comes close to definitive. Braxton (mostly on alto and clarinet but also playing contrabass clarinet, flute, and sopranino) is heard with two of his best quartets on these live performances. Featured are either trumpeter Kenny Wheeler or trombonist George Lewis along with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul in exciting group improvisations based on six of Braxton's difficult compositions. There is a surprising amount of humor on one of these selections, and the interplay between these masterful musicians (making expert use of space and dynamics) sometimes borders on miraculous. The fourth side of this two-fer contains a lengthy performance of Braxton and Lewis playing with the Berlin New Music Group that is of slightly lesser interest.