Anthony Braxton – Black Monday (2000)

Drawing heavily on the post-bop songbooks of 60s icons Andrew Hill and George Coleman Braxton’s quartet almost approximates the sound of a forward thinking Blue Note era hard bop band. Programmatically speaking it has antecedents in earlier projects like his pair of In the Tradition albums for Steeplechase and later tribute vehicles like The Charlie Parker Project and Eight (+3) Tristano Compostions (both on Hat Art). Hearing Braxton’s ripe interpretations of these classic compositions is consistently captivating treat. His sound on alto edges deliciously close to soprano range and his acrobatic agility at defying harmonic/melodic strictures is often the only hint at freer leanings. His sidemen two of who are former pupils, fit perfectly into his designs. O’Neil takes on the role of hard bop plectrist, but still evidences the speed and veracity of a plucker well versed in the rigors of free improvisation. Norton moves from colorful texturalist to propulsive catalyst crafting a variety of engaging rhythms and Eulau often offers up flexible walking support. [Source]




[Dedicated to Rikke Malene Nielsen with a happy birthday!]

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