Solo (Koln) 1978

(Leo) Used CD $12.00

“Performing solely on alto sax, there is a searing lyricism and a surprisingly jazz-oriented underpinning to even the most abstract of Braxton’s improvisations,” according to All Music Guide. Released twenty-four years after they were recorded, the tracks here show “him in an energetic mood, and should satisfy those who appreciate his more radical side within the ‘mainstream’ of the jazz avant-garde. He barks, screeches (though only occasionally and in characteristically good taste), and shows some outstanding technical skills, including incredible speed. While he has recorded some of these compositions elsewhere…, Braxton is in peak form on this one and the results are uniformly excellent.”


Knitting Factory (Piano / Quartet) 1994, Vol. 2

(Leo) Used 2xCD $9.00

The never-less-than-impressive Braxton “moves from swing to cool to bebop and back, all the while never letting go of his love for free jazz,” notes All Music Guide, essentially putting “every jazz influence that came his way during his musical upbringing in the boiler and distilling a powerful ersatz. The quartet’s renditions can be very faithful at times, very mainstream. These moments are propelled by Marty Erlich’s soulful saxophone … and Joe Fonda’s bass…. Then again, [Braxton’s] subversive language is never quiet for very long. Every tune moves in and out of focus…. A powerful jazz lesson from a master.”


Composition N. 169 + (186 + 206 divided by 214)

(Leo) Used 2xCD $15.00

A string orchestra plus four saxophonists tackle this gloriously sprawling concerto. “There is a static quality to much of the piece,” notes All Music Guide, “Characterized by pulsating, thrusting strings. The timbre of the strings actually softens the blows, making this more listenable than some of the composer’s other assemblages…. [T]he fine work of the Slovenia Radio Orchestra, coupled with excellent soloing from Braxton and his saxophonist colleagues, gives this a serious, if somewhat difficult demeanor. There are the usual flashes of brilliance, the complex rhythmic patterns, and the repeating quarter tones…. [T]his is a substantial work … [of] considerable depth and originality.” From 2001


Composition N. 247

(Leo) Used CD $10.00

“A trio outing featuring saxophonist / clarinetist James Fei and bagpipe performer Matthew Welch,” notes All About Jazz. This “unlikely instrumentation mix” places “this extended composition … within [Braxton’s] Ghost Trance Music series, which he describes as a ‘melody that doesn’t end’.” From 2001


Ninetet (Yoshi’s) 1997 – Compostion N. 207 / Compostion N. 208 Vol 1

(Leo) Used 2xCD $17.00 (Out-of-stock)

“Pounding pulses devoid of melody, a somewhat limited tonal palette, and lots of repeating phrases … add to the complexity and the opaqueness” of this live recording, notes All Music Guide. “Appreciating the theoretical underpinnings of the compositions … make it more approachable, and the glorious improvisations by Braxton and his colleagues mitigate the harshness of the whole…. [T]he solos and trio breakouts are nothing less than splendid…. [T]hese two performances are among his best for a small group.”



(Leo - LR292) Used CD $5.00

Eclectic pianist Brennan translates himself onto a church organ for the purposes of an uncompromising culture clash somewhere between baroque music and jazz with trumpeter Kennel, whose playing is brilliant and bright, sharp and clear. This music of fanfares avoids strong dissonances in favor of harmonic nuance and the sound of a church celebration transported en masse into the twenty-first century. The uneasy parp of Marc Unternährer’s tuba on four tracks pushes into slightly edgier waters. Despite an aura of pleasing-enough sound, only close-up do the cleverly intertwined lines and deep, snooty weirdness of Pipelines really emerge.



(Leo - LR295) Used CD $5.00 (Out-of-stock)

Joined by McPhee on soprano and tenor saxophones and Heward on drums and kalimba, Duval steers the trio through mostly short free improvisations to many of which there is a quietness, though hardly a lack of intensity. Heward’s carefully constructed, prodding kicks urge on his compatriots. Duval's distorted, squeaky bass lines weave in and out. The stunning McPhee swings, stretches, and instantaneously composes at virtually any tempo or level of dynamics.


The Needles

(Leo) Used 2xCD $12.00

One disc showcasing a 2000 live performance in Finland by violinist Wachsmann, saxophonist Parker and bassist Teppo Hauta-Aho (the trio’s first time together), one disc recorded a year later in the studio.


NOHC On The Road

(Leo) Used CD $12.00

Michael Nick’s violin and Didier Petit’s cello shoot forth disturbing, unsettling spirals while Daunik Lazro’s alto and baritone saxes and Denis Colin’s bass clarinet turn conventional harmonies inside out. Three suites of three or four pieces, scratches and sublime beauty, various improvisational approaches (fast and slow, ear-shattering and gentle), no melodies.