Stunning Braxton's debut record as a leader is one of the milestones in defining and developing avant-garde AACM language and aesthetics, like its predecessor, 'Muhal' Richard Abrams' Levels and Degrees of Light, and second Braxton double For Alto. Along with Roscoe Mitchell's Sound, these albums signed an era with their intense expanding improvisation's palette and exploring new compositional territories, related to textures of sound and individual expression.
Multi-instrumentalism, the use of symbolic notation systems so to give improvisation and composition equal stress and new shapes, the relevance given to sound itself and its modulation along with silence, little instruments (bells, whistles, bottles), these seminal performances will influence improvised music for more than 30 years, and their inputs will give shape to a wider range of electroacoustic styles that will go beyond jazz. After all, Braxton's music is wide aware of avant-garde proper language: his interest in Cage's and Stockhausen's music will be developed in his parterships with the likes of Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum and Wolf Eyes. Leroy Jenkins and Leo Smith have developed, spannig their careers, the intuitions this record witnesses, related to a new way of exploring their musical heritage (blues, r'n'b, gospel, above all). Muhal Richard Abrams is perfectly at ease with his debussian / impressionistic style, here at his rough and pointillistic, both energic and abstract peak.
Personnel: Anthony Braxton (alto & soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, musette, accordian, bells, snare drum, mixer); Leroy Jenkins (violin, viola, harmonica, bass drum, recorder, cymbals, slide whistle); Leo Smith (trumpet mellophone, xylophone, bottles, kazoo); Muhal Richard Abrams (piano, cello, alto clarinet).
Tracks: 1. (840m) -Realize-44M-44M, 2. N-M488-44M-Z, 3. The Bell