Anthony Braxton in Bristol – what’s the Score?

The visit of Anthony Braxton to UK was a national occasion, never mind to Bristol. That means its been extensively reviewed by locally Tony Benjamin and Charley Dunlap, nationally in London Jazz News and the Telegraph, I’ve posted on Jazzwise’s website about the evening and my review is coming in the magazine. Enough said and written!

Braxton_graphic scoreI was fascinated by the scores and titles for the pieces, so was pleased they left them lying around for us to have a look at. This is a thing of beauty to my eyes – without too much of stretch I could imagine it in an art gallery, perhaps in Spain.  Braxton does refer to his pieces by numbers, as this artefact is also the title as well as the score I believe, so the number at the bottom right of the photo may be the one for this piece. How this and the annotations guide the performance I have no idea.  This then is the template for Diamond Curtain Wall Music.

The score behind it looks a little more conventional! Braxton_dots There were moments in the gig when the leader cued the band with gestures and what looked suspiciously like a tempo. These are scores for Ghost Trance Music I think.

A final footnote is that there’d been much reference to it being a decade since Anthony Braxton had played in UK. Asked about it, Tod Wills (Colston Hall programme director) reported the man himself couldn’t recall other occasions.  Subsequently I was tweeted a review of a 2007 appearance (thanks @restructures); just nearly 8 years then.




  1. Glad I phrased it as I did in my review: first for ten years with his own group 🙂 A Braxton quartet did a double bill with Cecil Taylor at RFH in 2004 (we were there! This one was better, though…). As the review says, the later gig was a guest appearance with Cecil, which I didn’t hear. #strivingforaccuracy

    • Hee hee, yes. I think I used an ‘according to his band’ formulation to leave a bit of wriggle room! Double bill with Cecil Taylor – now that would be dense

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