April 29th, 1977
01 untitled impro
02 untitled impro
03 untitled impro
04 untitled impro
05 untitled impro [cuts off]
Roscoe Mitchell (saxes)
Anthony Braxton (saxes)
Joseph Jarman (saxes)
Notes from original taper: These two nights were pure heaven. The trio later recorded on Braxton's 'For Trio' and played once in 1978 at Moers (taped) that I know of, but this may be their total output.
As with the Art Ensemble's performance from six months earlier, I got there early and parked myself between Braxton (left) and Scowie (center). The array of reeds and flutes was amazing with all of the sax's present as well as numerous clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and flutes. The space was littered with them! On the second night, piece two, between approximately 24:10-27:45, they each doubled up on saxes. Braxton played the contra bass and sopranino at the same time. They diddled around with simple children's tunes (like "Hot Cross Buns:--teases really-- and had everyone laughing at the sight and sound.
Philological Notes: This review is of the first of two nights (April 29 & 30, 1977), according to NYT 4/24/77 p.D40
'Three Reed Players Improvise at Kitchen' (NYT 5/1/77 p.70)
Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, and Anthony Braxton, who performed music for varying combinations of saxophones, clarinets, and flutes at the Kitchen Friday, were the most promising young reed players of the Chicago jazz avant-garde 10 years ago. Today they are practically elder statesmen. A school of improvisational reed playing has sprung up behind them, and this is not surprising, for they have opened jazz to an unprecedented palette of instrumental sounds while demonstrating that spontaneity and a thoughtful approach to structural organization need not be incompatible.
Between them, the three musicians played more than 20 woodwinds during their concert at the Kitchen, but the unusual instrumentation was not employed for its shock value. Even a piece for bass and contrabass saxophones, composed by Mr. Braxton, avoided cuteness. The switching of instruments by individual players took place in an orderly fashion; it did not intrude on the flow of the music.
The trio played pieces by Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Braxton at Friday's concert, with Mr. Jarman's compositions set for another day, and the bravura contrapuntal passages, silences, variations in dynamics and timbre, and satisfying resolutions into chords and unisons the two writers provided guided the collective improvising without unnecessarily circumscribing it.
Mr. Jarman, who plays a battery of wind, percussion, and stringed instruments when performing as a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and is not often heard soloing at length, turned in several
captivating statements, especially a breathy tenor saxophone rhapsody and some celebratory bass clarinet solos.
Mr. Mitchell, who never plays a phrase when a note will do, was catapulted into an alto saxophone improvisation of staggering vitality and richness by one of Mr. Braxton's composed passages. Mr.
Braxton was particularly effective on his huge contrabass saxophone, on alto saxophone, and on his regular and contrabass clarinets.