23 Standards (Quartet) 2003

Anthony Braxton






The 4-CD set (4.5 hours of music) was recorded during a series of concerts in 2003 by the new Braxton’s quartet with Kevin O’Neil on guitar, Kevin Norton on percussion, Andy Eulau on bass and Anthony Braxton on saxophone. The set is destined to make jazz history not only for Braxton’s discovery of the most remarkable guitarist to emerge in a decade, but for its special quality of performing standards in an entirely new way and reinventing the tradition. Braxton’s work becomes even more valuable and necessary in view of the forces of reaction in jazz. As Stuart Broomer writes in his remarkable liner notes, while a conservative performer merely echoes and diminishes the tradition, Braxton makes known the social, moral, and historical imperatives that drive this music and are embedded in the tradition. He makes known the spirit of spontaneity, community, change, freedom, life and creation. He makes it as new and vital as the original forms. “Our thanks, then, to Anthony Braxton. In an era when the jazz past is regularly Bowdlerized, trivialized and traversed – reduced to little more than a marketing plan – Braxton presents it in much of its true potentiality as the authentic discourse of its time, making both the past and the present (even the future) that much richer than it was before.”