Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Talking points

I've finally tracked down Graham Lock's book Forces in Motion, which I suppose is generally regarded as an easier entry into Braxton's universe than the Tri-Axium Writings or the Composition Notes. I'm about halfway through the book at this point, and while I appreciate Braxton's work (at least, the little I've heard), I'm not really finding anything I want to take away from it and incorporate into my own music. I do admire his honesty and diplomacy, though I find he, much like Ornette, couches his processes behind dense terminology. The book reinforces my belief that, regardless of whether you like Braxton's music (and this applies to other neglected masters like Cecil Taylor, Henry Threadgill, Sun Ra and others), his importance cannot be swept under the rug, and to come to terms with creative music, as it stands now, is to come to terms with his contributions to the continuum. Braxton's also vastly grown in the intervening twenty years; I'm curious to read newer texts, should they exist.

Having recently read Howard Mandel's Future Jazz as well, it seems like neither the AACM and its offspring (the Art Ensemble, Threadgill, Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith) nor its satellites (St. Louis' Black Artists Group, Horace Tapscott's efforts out west) have really influenced anyone outside direct contact with it, and I wonder why it hasn't affected a larger scope. Braxton seems to hint at some controversial attitudes within the AACM which may have been a factor here.

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Zoilus points out that the newly elected governor of Massachusetts is the son of Arkestra vet, Pat Patrick. It's after the end of the world... don't you know that yet?

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I'll be filling in for john b on CKUT's Jazz Amuck Friday (11/10) morning, 9 am EST. As always, you can tune in online or download from the archives later. I'll also be hosting World Skip the Beat (Mondays, 12 noon-2) and Jazz Euphorium (Wednesdays, 8-10 pm) this month as well. Dates to come shortly.

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About to run out and check out the Lina Allemano Four (Lina - tpt; Brodie West - alto; Andrew Downing - bass; Nick Fraser - drums) at Casa tonight. My friend and colleague Gordon Allen (who, like Lina, also appeared at FONT this year) is debuting a new project, wherein he plays pocket trumpet and duets with soundscape artist Esther B. I've never heard Lina live, so this should be an eventful evening.

2 comments:

nd said...

Re: Braxton as influence: you heard Carl Maguire's Floriculture? I think that disc might suggest how Braxton's influence might be perceptible in music that is more "mainstream" (for want of a better word). I'm pretty sure that I'm not imaginging the influence of Braxton there given that one track is dedicated to former Braxton bassist Mark Dresser.

A Salty Jazz Enthusiast said...

Actually Dresser had a more direct influence than Braxton did - Dresser was Maguire's composition teacher at Hunter College in the 90's, according to the Floriculture website. Which doesn't of course totally discount a Braxton influence.