Anthony Braxton

Anthony Braxton ( born June 4, 1945 in Chicago) is an American composer and multi -instrumentalist (including alto saxophone and piano).

Life and work

Braxton met with 15 years of saxophone; his idol was initially Paul Desmond. At the age of 17, he began studying music at the Chicago Musical College and the philosophy at Roosevelt University. After playing the clarinet and alto saxophone military, he moved back to Chicago and joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians on. In 1968 he founded his first group, the Creative Construction Company with Leroy Jenkins and Wadada Leo Smith and published his first record. He also worked as a professional chess player and came during an extended European stay around 1970 with the European avant-garde of both the Jazz ( Gunter Hampel, Globe Unity Orchestra, Derek Bailey ) and the new music (such as Iannis Xenakis, Edgard Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen) in contact.

Braxton introduced both the bass saxophone and the sopranino and the contrabass clarinet in jazz. He has already mid-1970s dealt with the use of computers and electronic instruments. In the 1990s, Braxton began in addition to the woodwind instruments to play piano. After he deliberately refrained long rhythmic intensity and tone production stakkatierte sought, which earned him the accusation that his music was "too white ", his game is now attributed to consistently " rhythmic strength, flexibility, imagination and warmth".

Braxton was the first jazz musician who recorded an entire double album of unaccompanied Altsaxophonsoli. His quartet of the 1970s (initially with Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Barry Altschul ) is one of the major groups of the Creative Jazz. He entered successfully at numerous festivals ( 1974-1978 annually in Moers, 1976 and 1979 and at the Newport Jazz Festival). In the 1980s and 1990s he played mainly with Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway.

Braxton's work is very well documented and published more than two hundred albums. As a special plate successes proved his solo albums such as Saxophone Improvisations, Series F ( 1972), then in 1974 a recording of standards with European musicians, Five Pieces, 1975, the winner of the Prix de l' Académie de Jazz Creative Orchestra Music 1976, Time Zones ( 1976) with Richard Teitelbaum, Elements of Surprise ( 1976) with George Lewis, as well as recordings with Derek Bailey's Company.

Braxton composed, influenced by Charles Ives, Harry Partch and John Cage, orchestral music and operas such as has Shala Fears for the Poor (1996) and Trillium E ( 2010) written. Much of his music is jazz - oriented. In his match practice he also connects the concepts of free Vinko Globokar and Frederic Rzewski. He created a large number of highly complex works, but " no traditional work aesthetic " belong; rather they are " deconstructed by the composer himself, remixed, painted over. His compositions are thus the first layer, a basic sound material - depending on the course of the concert - is available at all times or should be " and on the one hand alternating with improvisations, on the other hand, compared with other compositions simultaneously and played simultaneously. Partial Braxton experimented with very unusual occupations and wrote pieces for 100 Tubas or for four orchestras, but also wrote for classical ensembles such as for string quartet 8KN - (B -12) -R10 (1986). He partly used for its graphical notation and the names of the graphs compositions that are reminiscent of mathematical formulas.

Braxton worked as a university teacher since 1985 at Mills College in Oakland, and has since 1990 a professor of music at Wesleyan University. In 1985 he presented his three-volume music philosophical and theoretical work Tri - Axium Writings.

His son Tyondai Braxton has worked as a professional musician and especially as a ( former) member of battles known.

Prizes and awards

The late 1970s and early 1980s, Braxton took on different instruments first and front seats at the polls of Down Beat. In 1995 he received the Genius Grant, the Mac Arthur Foundation. As announced in June 2013, he is the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship will receive America's highest honor for a jazz musician.

Disco printing specifications


  • Triaxium Writings Volumes 1-3, 1985.
  • Composition Notes Volumes A-E, 1988.