3 Compositions Of New Jazz album cover
3 Compositions Of New Jazz

Anthony Braxton

1968
Delmark Records

Braxton’s debut album features trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, violinist Leroy Jenkins, and (on two of its three tracks) pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. All of these men were older than the 22-year-old Braxton (Abrams was almost 40), but they understood and embraced his ideas. The opening “Composition 6E” begins with an unaccompanied voice singing the melody, before Braxton, Smith and Jenkins begin an extended collective improvisation with fanfare-like qualities. Periodically, the leader strikes a snare drum to keep things on track, but there’s no concern with “time” in the traditional sense. Another equally open-form piece follows, “Composition 6D,” on which Abrams’ piano dominates, and the album ends with “The Bell,” a Smith composition with a lush, romantic feel.

Phil Freeman

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