Personalities | Anthony Braxton | Seventies | Jazz & Blues
(Various saxophones and clarinets, flute, piano, b. 1945)
‘I’ve been isolated and kicked out of jazz as a black man who is not “black” enough, a jazz guy who is not “jazz” enough,’ said Chicago native Braxton, looking back on a highly iconoclastic career that has been documented on more than 130 recordings. After military service, Braxton emerged in 1966 with a musical conception that, while influenced by older saxophonists like Roscoe Mitchell, Warne Marsh and John Coltrane, was wholly original.
His debut recordings as a leader in 1968 – Three Compositions Of New Jazz and For Alto (both on Delmark) – were stunning in their conceptual maturity. In the 1970s, Braxton’s music began to reflect his interest in composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, as well as his love of marches by John Philip Sousa. His musical output includes solo works and compositions for massed orchestras of 160 players, but he is best known for his quartets, including the group Circle.
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