Anthony Braxton
Composition N. 247
Leo Records, CD LR 306

Anthony Braxton, soprano, F and alto saxophones, E-flat and contrabass clarinets; James Fei, soprano and alto saxophones, bass clarinet; Matthew Welch, bagpipes.

Visionary composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton continues to break new compositional ground with this outstanding trio session, featuring the bagpipe as a primary and supporting instrument. Composition N. 247 represents a successful synthesis of this strongly ethnic instrument with highly advanced ideas regarding rhythm and interval relationships. The shifting layers of instrumentation, insistent pulse and recurrent bagpipe drone result in an epic performance of symphonic character; at times it's hard to believe that only three musicians are involved. The uncompromising rigor and discipline at the core of Braxton's art are evidence of a formal ability of the highest order. This is culturally significant music that will stand the test of time; fiercely individual and innovative as Busoni and Bartok's investigations in the 20th century.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

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