Friday, October 4, 2013
RICHARD TEITELBAUM & ANTHONY BRAXTON – Time Zones (LP-1977)
Label: Arista – AL 1037, Freedom – AL 1037
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: US - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Experimental
"Crossing" recorded live in concert on June 10, 1976 at the Creative Music Festival, Mt. Temper, New York and mixed at Sound Ideas, New York City.
"Behemoth Dreams" recorded on September 16, 1976 at Bearsville Sound, Woodstock, New York.
Art Direction – Bob Heimall
Artwork [Cover Art] – Dennis Luzak
Design – Howard Fritzson
Photography By – Raymond Ross
Producer – Michael Cuscuna, Richard Teitelbaum
A - Crossing
Engineer [Mixing] – Jay Borden Engineer [Recording] – Bill Warrell 23:58
B - Behemoth Dreams
Engineer – Thomas Mark 21:20
Anthony Braxton – Sopranino Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet [Contrabass Clarinet]
Richard Teitelbaum – Synthesizer [Modular Moog, Micromoog], Liner Notes, Composed
... Now for Braxton and Teitelbaum. The only way I think you'll be put off is if you hate the sound of the contra bass clarinet, which I think has a wonderful sound. It actually has a much richer sound than the contra bass sax, which is an instrument that Braxton drags out now and again these days. I've heard that on some occasions Braxton will play this instrument with notes not too far apart in range and also in rapid succession. When he does this, the notes get blurred together because at this extremely deep range, it's just hard to distinguish the variations. But for the most part, Braxton is pretty deft on this unusual instrument. And I treasure this recording and would have paid 4 times as much just to get the two tracks because of not only Braxton's stellar performance on a scarcely heard instrument, but the very masterful performance on synthesyzers by Teitelbaum. I don't really know how the man procuces the sounds or what equipment he uses, but I know he and Braxton really get into some heavy meditations. Braxton is for the most part good about playing notes with sufficient intervals to be distinquishable, but he is just about as deft as he would be on his alto. Mainly what you notice is he can't go on and on. I mean he's got to empty his lungs to get notes out of that thing. It's really out there. I mean this stuff is not like anything I've heard. And as much as I like Braxton, I tend to think he could use a little innovation when he improvises. But here is something I've never heard from him or anyone else. If you're not sure, there are youtube videos of Braxton and Teitelbuam playing some of this stuff. That will give you an idea and incidentally sent me on a massive search to see if I could find any of the tracks upon which I was amazed that the album was less than four bucks. But I won't complain. Anyway, I think nuff said.
"With Anthony Braxton" was a credit printed on this album's front and back cover in a typeface only a notch smaller than Richard Teitelbaum's name. Braxton is everywhere here, and has everything to do with this album. He plays in duo with Teitelbaum the electronics maestro on the entire album, and surely engineered the deal to make it possible for his buddy to release the record on Arista, which at that point held an exclusive contract with Braxton himself. It was also Braxton who basically promoted Teitelbaum within the confines of the avant-garde free jazz scene, talking him up in interviews and fitting pieces involving him into several different recording projects. There are tastes of the duos these artists have created splashed through the Braxton discography like ice cream stains on a rumpus room rug. This album combines a summer's evening live concert with a studio session cut the following fall, and is quite an accurate document of their work together in the '70s, complete with Braxton's usual dedications, this time to Roscoe Mitchell and Maryanne Amacher. This duo was one of the great instrumental combinations of the '70s, the reed arsenal of Braxton and seemingly unlimited sonic arsenal of Teitelbaum coming together like two great French chefs with a hall full of guests to feed. Each man never seems to stop listening, not only to each other but to a greater force as well, as if in complete understanding of the ramifications of each development. This album should satisfy a listener's desire to hear truly imaginative and successful improvisation involving both electronic and acoustic instruments. The album was later reissued, under Braxton's name, as part of a Black Lion package.
_ By Eugene Chadbourne
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