Quintet (Tristano) 1997

by Anthony Braxton



1997 sessions of Anthony Braxton performing Lennie Tristano cmpositions, with Anthony Braxton on piano, Jackson Moore, Andre Vida, Chris Lightcap, Michael Szekely.

The music contained on this I- stream download documents what’s left of a much larger recording project that was intended as a symbolic and poetic recognition (statement) of the music of Lennie Tristano and the Lennie Tristano School of music. In the fall of 1996, Jackson Moore and I made a decision to document all of the wonderful compositions that have come through this movement, as a way to express gratitude and respect for an area of creativity that’s not always included in the public sector discourse. Our plan was to play every composition we could find of Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Sal Mosca, Ted Brown and Connie Crothers – extending to include the work of Don Ferrara and Billy Lester. Our hope was to use this occasion to show the scope and breath of this musical family on it’s own plane – while at the same time, re-casted with the invested experiences of our own musical identity and way of being. We recorded enough music for a six to eight CD box set (i.e. including second takes) with the threat of more recording sessions to come (smile). I have never hidden my fascination and/or connection with this area of creative music, and a recorded project of this type is consistent with the “way of my involvement” in creative music and composite vibrational attraction (well, almost composite, anyway) (smile). In the future, my hope is to do a complete Mingus project, a complete Ellington project, and of course, a complete Brubeck recording project. Even so, after being informed of a Wire Magazine blindfold test where Lee Konitz expressed a complex rejection of an earlier CD tribute of mine – to both Mr. Tristano and Warne Marsh – suddenly I found myself backing away from the recording project, and threw both the rough-mix and the master tapes of the music into the garbage can. This was a controversy that I didn’t need – things were crazy enough already. I thought I could just walk away from this controversy and get on with the “work of the moment” in my own music world and life.


Later, the realization of my mistake broke into the open…. WHAT A MISTAKE I MADE.

By throwing the master tapes (CD’s) away in such a stupid way, I disrespected all the work and dedication that went into creating the project. I disrespected my musicans, Jon Rosenberg – everybody. I had forgotten my responsibilities as a leader and I had forgotten how to accept criticism as a natural part of any endeavor. I let everything become too personal and lost my balance. Lee Konitz is entitled to have his own viewpoint; he is an American master who has his own story to tell – but that doesn’t give me the right to disrespect all of the work and dedication that was involved to do our own music work. The decision to throw away the rough-mix and master tapes of the Tristano session was a bad decision that has haunted me for more than a decade. At least now, some of this material can survive – I thank Jackson Moore and Andre Vida for their belief in this music project. Which is to say:

I APOLOGIZE TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT FOR MY ERROR. I REALLY MEAN IT. As for the music that has survived, I am grateful to have this release available in every way. This recorded music represents about one third of the composite recording materials from that session. Special thanks to Jon Rosenberg for bringing the sound quality back into focus – if you could hear what he had to work with, you would know what I mean.

Finally, I would say this: in a time period that is demonstrating profound geo-political and vibrational challenges, it’s nice to know that America continues to produce artist/visionaries who can meet the challenges of the day and who are not afraid. As a student of the saxophone I say, what about Jackson Moore and Andre Vida? These guys are really something. – not to mention, they are also serious composers – serious innovative composers, with their own stories to tell. Give these musicians a “serious listening” because they’re worth a serious listening. They are artist who are worthy of our vibrational and cultural support, and I am proud to have this document of their early music finally available. Thank you to everyone involved in this project, and special thank you to the great music, and music work, of Lennie Tristano. - Anthony Braxton 3/18/12


released April 1, 2012

Jackson Moore: alto, tenor saxophones
Andre Vida: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones
Anthony Braxton: piano
Chris Lightcap: bass
Michael Szekely: drums

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT



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