Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton


So I know this is supposed to be an introduction of sorts to left coast folks . . . but I’m gonna do something else.

I’m going geeky fan/CD collector for a little bit.


Don’t know about you, but some of the most influential music for me (right up there with the 2nd great Miles quintet) is the Braxton small group stuff on Arista in the1970s.

That being said, I can’t tell you how excited I am that Mosaic has released The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton. (Times and money are tough right now, but I had to shell out the ducats for this, I’ve been waiting 15 years or more for this stuff to be on CD and it’s a limited edition – – get it while it’s hot!) I have a bunch of this stuff on old graying and scratchy vinyl, so I’m really stoked that it’s on (really good sounding), including stuff that I didn’t have on vinyl.

So, how does it sound? Pretty f-ing good!! I haven’t given the full sonic test that some of my compatriots might – – within reason, I’m more of a music guy than a recording quality guy. That being said, the recording quality is good to these ears and the music is (still) amazing.

Discs I-II (yep, roman numerals) really get to the meat of the matter for me, the amazing quartet of Braxton, Wheeler, Holland and Altschul, plus the saxophone quartet stuff, the duets of Abrams, the Teitelbaum duet, the sick alto saxophone solo stuff.

The thing that sticks out on these two discs is that Braxton really had his compositional mojo going on. One possible bummer is the lack of outtakes . . . or alternate takes. Don’t know if there were any, but I suspect they have some stuff in the vaults that I might NEED to have some day.