about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble



Chapter 3 Anthony Braxton 

第3章 アンソニー・ブラクストン 


Leroy Jenkins, Musica Elettronica Viva, and the “Peace Church”  






Another European Adventure: Braxton and Jenkins in Paris 



We now turn to Anthony Braxton and Leroy Jenkins, two musicians from Jack DeJohnette's hometown of Chicago, and both members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. While neither was a member of the Miles Davis Lost Quintet, both men were integral to the aesthetic universe from which that group emerged. When Braxton joined with Lost Quintet members Chick Corea and Dave Holland (plus drummer Barry Altschul) to form Circle, he helped further the more exploratory side of the Davis band's legacy. Simultaneously, Jenkins cofounded the Revolutionary Ensemble, an important group of instrumentalists who inhabited a related musical space. Exploring the evolution of both these musicians can help us better understand the musical influences that shaped both the odyssey of the Lost Quintet and the musical world they all shared. 



While the quintet toured Europe and the United States in 1969, a group of young, Chicago-born musicians affiliated with the AACM also had Europe on their minds and relocated to Paris. Since the 1920s, Paris had been a home away from home for African American expatriate artists, among them saxophonist Dexter Gordon and writer James Baldwin. Despite a highly creative atmosphere in Chicago at the time, many musicians on the city's South Side were frustrated by the limited performance opportunities that had led to the founding of the AACM. Drummer Steve McCall led the exodus, soon joined by the core of the Art Ensemble of Chicago: Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors, Lester Bowie, and Joseph Jarman. This cohort in turn was joined by three composer-performers who had formed a trio in Chicago: trumpeter Leo Smith (later Wadada Leo Smith), violinist Leroy Jenkins, and saxophonist Anthony Braxton. They played as a quartet with the addition of Steve McCall. Upon Braxton's return to the United States in 1969 and Jenkins's in 1970, both men played pivotal roles in ensembles at the center of this book. 





Leroy Jenkins 



Leroy Jenkins began playing the violin as a child. Geroge Lewis relates: 



When Leroy was eight or nine, his auntie's boyfriend Riley brought a violin to the house. Leroy was transfixed by the finger-busting classical marvels Riley played, and pleaded with his mother to get him a violin. Soon, a half-size, red-colored violin came from Montgomery Wards by mail order. It cost $25, which his mother paid for on credit. Leroy recalled that at first, he had “a terrible sound. I almost gave it up, but I figured I'd keep doing it and I'd sound like Riley.” 



Born and raised in Chicago, Jenkins played in local churches as a youngster. He was accompanied by pianist-singer Dinah Washington, then named Ruth Jones, and also performed in orchestral settings. Taking up the saxophone in high school, Jenkins became one of the budding jazz musicians mentored by “Captain” Walter Dyett, bandleader at DuSable High School on the city's South Side. Trained in a broad array of musical traditions, he played clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and violin while attending Florida A&M, one of the historically black colleges and universities, where he completed degrees in music education and violin. After graduation, he taught high school violin in Mobile, Alabama, and then in Chicago, where he returned in 1965 at the age of thirty. 



Soon after his arrival back in his hometown, Jenkins discovered the AACM by attending a concert played by Roscoe Mitchell, Kalaparusha (Maurice McIntyre), Alvin Fielder, and other future colleagues. His college violin teacher ― who had just played a gig with Muhal Richard Abrams ― had brought him to the performance. Jenkins recalled that they “both were quite befuddled as to what was happening. But we liked it. It was very exciting, what they were doing.” At some point during the concert, he brought out his violin and was immediately included in a collective improvisation conducted by Abrams. “Boy, that was really something to me, even though I was playing in a little more orderly fashion than I am now, or let's say a more traditional fashion. These guys were squawking and squeaking and making sounds and doing different things, and I was still playing little snatches of changes because I didn't know anything else.” Jenkins spent four years with the organization before leaving Chicago. 



His year in Paris performing with Braxton and Smith was exciting for him as well: 



Archie Shepp [with whom he played] ... everybody was there. Philly Joe Jones was there. It was great. I played with Philly Joe! I made a record with him. That was great ... Sometimes [the trio] was Anthony's group, sometimes it was my group, sometimes it was Leo's group ― it was one of those kinds of things. But we were the first or second group of our type in Europe in 1969, and we raised quite a bit of Cain. [The Art Ensemble of Chicago, the best known of the AACM-affiliated groups] beat us over there by about a month. 



After moving to New York City in 1970, Jenkins played with Alice Coltrane and Albert Ayler. Kunle Mwanga (whom we'll soon meet) recalls: “People were calling Leroy for gigs. It was almost like Leroy was the first person to come up here and really circulate within the New York musical environment.” 






Anthony Braxton 



Anthony Braxton was raised on early rock and roll, as well as the music of the black church, the blues, and rhythm and blues. He discovered jazz as a teenager, and while serving in the army in Seoul, South Korea, he came to appreciate the music of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and, in equal measure, Arnold Schoenberg, the composer credited with establishing the twelve-tone system in European art music. Schoenberg's explorations of atonality led him to recognize the limitations of that approach when composing longer forms. He recognized the need for a new organizing principle to structure works of concert music that lacked a key structure. 



Discovering Schoenberg helped Braxton claim as his own a larger musical world than he had previously known. He recalls: “Until that time I had always thought of Western art-music as something only relevant to white people; it had nothing to do with me and my life. I played in the orchestra on clarinet, I played my part, I played my Bach, but is never touched me ... Experiencing Schoenberg['s piano pieces Opus 11], however, suddenly made everything more meaningful ... It opened up the next whole aspect of my life. It affected me in as profound a way as anything has ever affected me.” 



Braxton's musical vistas were also broadened at Wilson Junior College, where he became friends with Jack DeJohnette and Roscoe Mitchell (DeJohnette of course would join the Miles Davis Lost Quintet in late 1968). Immediately upon returning home to Chicago from the army in 1966, Braxton made two of the most important connections of his musical life. First he met Muhal Richard Abrams, then a bebop pianist who in the early 1960s had created an “Experimental Band” to explore the implications of the searching work of Coleman and Coltrane. In 1964, Abrams cofounded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians as a way of black musicians to perform original compositions and collectively create alternative structures to an oppressive jazz business. 

ラクストンの音楽観を広げてくれたものは、他にもある。ウィルソンジュニアカレッジで受けた教育だ。ここで彼は、ジャック・ディジョネットやロスコー・ミッチェルと友人関係を築く(ジャック・ディジョネットは1968年後半にマイルス・デイヴィスのロスト・クインテットに加入することになる)。1966年、兵役を終えてシカゴへ戻るとすぐに、ブラクストンは、その後の彼の音楽人生に置いて重要となる2人との人脈を築いた。一人はムハル・リチャード・エイブラムス。当時ビ・バップのピアノ奏者であった彼は、1960年代初頭には、「エクスペリメンタル・バンド(実験的な演奏に取り組むバンド)」を立ち上げ、オーネット・コールマンジョン・コルトレーンらが模索した音楽作りに係る模索を行った。1964年、the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians(AACM)を共同設立、アフリカ系ミュージシャン達が自らの作品を演奏し、低迷するジャズ音楽の市場に従来の音楽に取って代わるものをもたらすべく、これを力を合わせて創り出そうとする、そんな場を提供する役割を担い始めた。 


Also upon his return to Chicago, Braxton discovered John Cage's Silence, an influential collection of talks and writings about contemporary musical aesthetics that had been published in 1961. Cage's ideas opened Braxton's eyes to a world of musical sound beyond the conventional notion of pitches and metric rhythm. He wrote: “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. Sounds occur whether intended or not; the psychological turning in direction of those not intended seems at first to be a giving up of everything that belongs to humanity. But one must see that humanity and nature, not separate, are in this world together, that nothing was lost when everything was given away.” Recall, from chapter1, drummer Billy Hart's recollection of having listened with Braxton to the music of Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and David Tudor.  



In 1968, Braxton engaged in a burst of studio activity, recording one of the first albums for solo saxophone, For Alto, and his early ensemble recording, 3 Compositions of New Jazz. The following year, he was one of the younger members of the AACM who participated in the exodus to Paris. 

1968年、ブラクストンは堰を切ったようにレコーディング活動を開始。初のアルバムとして、独奏サクソフォンのための「For Alto」、4人の奏者のための「3 Compositions of New Jazz」を制作した。翌年、AACMの若手メンバー達がパリへ渡ったが、その中にはブラクストンもいた。 


Braxton's Parisian debut in his quartet with Jenkins, Smith, and McCall took place at the Theatre du Lucernaire, the scene of the Art Ensemble's premiere performance in the city. There, like the Art Ensemble, he was accorded numerous performance opportunities, and press attention. He met Ornette Coleman, who eventually became an important friend, and other American jazz notables. Being situated in a capital of the European avant-garde, he attended performances of the continent's new music, developing a particular affection for Karlheinz Stockhausen's work. 



It was Stockhausen who showed me the beauty and excitement of every aspect of music science. In my dark periods, in those times where I was wondering how I could get through, his music would inspire me to keep doing my work ... the philosophical dynamics of [Cage's] music would help me, as an African-American intellectual, to look into my own lineage and develop my own perspective. Experiencing the musics of Cage and Stockhausen would be the final part of my own equation, in terms of understanding what I wanted to do with my life ... I discovered Schoenberg in the army; his music would be just as important to me. 



During this period, Braxton began to assimilate what he had learned from Coleman, Coltrane, Cage, and Schoenberg. The year before, when recording his landmark album for solo saxophone, For Alto, he composed his first notated works in a contemporary art music idioms, moving toward his unique synthesis of musical languages. 

この間、ブラクストンは、オーネット・コールマンジョン・コルトレーンジョン・ケージから学んだことと、シェーンベルクから得たものを融合させることに着手した。その前年に、自身にとって重要な作品となった「For Alto」を制作した彼は、記譜を伴う最初の作品を手掛ける。現代音楽の手法を用いたこの曲は、様々な音楽を独自の手法で融合させるという方向性へと、彼を向かわせた。 


Braxton's early ensemble recording, 3 Compositions of New Jazz, displays the musical eclecticism and experimentalism for which he was becoming known. On “Composition 6E” (the title of the work is represented on the album cover by a schematic diagram), he is joined by Leroy Jenkins and Leo Smith, two members of the group he cofounded, Creative Construction Company. The twenty-minute piece is simultaneously playful and serious, virtuosic, and abounding in complex juxtapositions of sound and emotional tone. 

ラクストンの最初のアンサンブル曲である「「3 Compositions of New Jazz」が示す、様々な音楽の融合と実験的な取り組みに対する意欲的な姿勢は、後に彼の看板となってゆく。「Composition 6E」では(この曲の題名はアルバムカバーには回路図のようなデザインで描かれている)、ブラクストンも創設メンバーであったCreative Construction Companyのメンバーの内、リロイ・ジェンキンスとレオ・スミスも演奏に参加している。演奏時間20分のこの作品は、安定感があって心動かす音色を用いた複雑な曲の作り方をふんだんに用いることにより、遊び心ある所、しっかりと聞き入る所、高度なテクニックを要する所を聞かせる。 


The work defies conventional expectations of genre and aesthetics, opening and closing with a “tra-la-la” vocal chorus complemented by whistling, and leading into Anthony Braxton's lyrical alto saxophone solo. His musical lines display a beautifully pure tone color, accompanied by harmonica, xylophone, hand percussion, and continued singing. Soon, Braxton is joined by Jenkins's violin and Smith's trumpet, all continuing in parallel play. Braxton's martial snare drum enters, as does hand percussion and vocals, while Smith's trumpet continues. Jenkins's violin then returns with steady, mellifluous lines. Such is the opening six minutes of the work. As Chick Corea would later observe of Circle's Paris Concert, 3 Compositions of New Jazz brims with “sharing, creating, loving, freely giving.” Braxton was quickly absorbing everything he knew, all his influences, new and old, and shaping a distinctive personal musical voice. It was eclectic yet increasingly organic, clearly identifiable to the listener as Anthony Braxton. 

この作品は、従来の音楽ジャンルやその音楽観のもつ固定概念を覆すものである。曲の冒頭と終わりには「トゥララ」などと合唱があり、口笛も加わる。そしてアンソニー・ブラクストンの叙情的なアルトサックスのソロへと続いてゆく。彼の奏でる旋律は、非常に美しくありのままの姿を見せる音色を聞かせており、これを支えるのが、ハーモニカ、シロフォン、手拍子足拍子、そして持続音的に人間の歌声も加わる。リロイ・ジェンキンスのバイオリンとレオ・スミスのトランペットが、これと並行して持続的に聞こえてくる。そこへブラクストンの軍楽隊の演奏を彷彿とさせるスネアドラムが加わる。同時に、レオ・スミスのトランペットがなり続ける中、手拍子足拍子が加わる。そこへリロイ・ジェンキンスのバイオリンが、安定感のある甘美な旋律を聞かせてくる。後にチック・コリアが、サークルの「パリ・コンサート」を評して、「3 Compositions of New Jazz」は「共有、創造、愛情、無償の贈与」に溢れている、としている。ブラクストンは、新旧全ての自らの知識とこれまで受けてきた影響を、機を逃さず出し尽くし、彼独自の音楽の発信を作り上げた。それは多様性を持ちながらも、更に有機的であり、聞くものの耳は明確に「アンソニー・ブラクストンの作品である」と届くものだ。 


The peril open improvisation, with its lack of a clear organizing structure, is that it can be long-winded or become stale and repetitive. Many of Braxton's compositions from this early period in his work are conceptualized to provide new structures that can guide and inform the improvisational process, keeping it focused and fresh. 



The score for “Composition 6E” specifies four sections. The first is a “basic use of voice with counterpoint like situation,” followed by what Michael Heffley describes as an “extension of materials,” a “whistle and pointillistic section,” and a “repeat of first section,” all within a context of open improvisation that makes use of little instruments and “with solo possibly inside.” “Little instruments” refers to the hand percussion and other miscellaneous sound sources often utilized within many AACM performances. The form of another of the pieces, “Composition 6A,” includes patterns of accelerando and retard, and changes from duple meter to 9/4. This piece and others in Braxton's “Compositions 6” series would later become part of the repertoire performed by Circle. 

「Composition 6E」の総譜を見ると、4つのセクションに別れている。第1は「対位法的な状態での人間の歌声の基本的な使い方」をしている。これに続くのが、マイケル・ヘフレイが言うところの「素材の利用を広く行う」「口笛を伴う点描画のようなセクション」だ。そして「第1セクションの繰り返し」として、オープンインプロヴィゼーションの手法で、通常脇役とされるような楽器をふんだんに使用し、「主役とされるソロ楽器を極力内側に押し込む」。「脇役とされるような楽器」とは、手拍子足拍子であったり、AACMのメンバー達が多くの演奏の機会に頻繁に利用する種々雑多な楽器のことをいう。「Composition 6A」で使われている別の形式には、テンポに緩急をつけたり、拍子感について、2拍(4分音符2つ)から3拍(4分音符9つ)へ変化させたりする。この作品に限らず、ブラクストンの「Composition 6」のシリーズは、後にサークルのレパートリーとなってゆく。 




Braxton Meets Musica Elettronica Viva in Belgium 



During the summer of 1969, as Miles Davis was preparing to record Bitches Brew and American rock fans were flocking to Woodstock, Braxton participated in an eclectic festival in Belgium. There he met Richard Teitelbaum, Alvin Curran, and Frederic Rzewski, members of Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV). Teitelbaum recalls: 

1969年夏、マイルス・デイヴィスが「Bitches Brew」のレコーディング準備に奔走し、アメリカではロックファンがウッドストックに集結していた頃、ブラクストンはベルギーで、とある電子音楽のフェスに参加していた。ここで彼が出会うのが、リチャード・タイテルバウム、アルヴィン・カラン、そしてフレデリック・ジェフスキーという、ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァのメンバー達である。タイテルバウムは次のように振り返る 


I met Braxton in 1969 in a cow pasture in Belgium, in a place called Amougies, at a big festival [Festival Actuel] that was one of the original attempts to bring jazz [musicians] ― well, mostly rock, some free jazz, and a few wacky token electronic avant-garde types ― to play in the same festival. Braxton played there with his trio with Leroy Jenkins and [Wadada] Leo Smith. The Art Ensemble of Chicago played there, an extraordinary performance; that was the first time I heard them and met them. MEV was part of that. [Before that] I had barely known anything about of those [AACM] guys. 



Anthony Braxton speaks of the cow pasture as “something like five feet of mud in Belgium .... All of us were our 20s, excited about music and the idea of music as a component to change the world. We were going to change the world with our work. We were idealistic and excited.” 



Festival Actuel was a very different kind of event from the festivals where Miles Davis's band appeared. It would be different to imagine an American or British rock event encompassing an aesthetic palate as broad as Actuel's, with its blend of rock bands, MEV, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Anthony Braxton. In contrast, Davis's Lost Septet's final show, in late August 1970, was an appearance before three-quarters of a million people at the Isle of Wight rock festival in England. There Miles shared a bill with Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, the Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Joni Mitchell, and others. That spring, in a shift from jazz clubs, festivals, and concert halls, Davis had given three series of concerts at Fillmore East in New York City and Fillmore West in San Francisco. These were rock halls where his band was the opening act for rock groups. 



Calling the festival in Amougies a “daring project,” Jane Welch wrote in DownBeat: 



Where Woodstock was a social revelation, the first Actuel Paris Music Festival was a musical revolution. This revolution was accomplished in the programming, which included all the kinds of music in which the new musicians and composers of today are involved ... The fact that it was a success (over 75,000 attended during a 5-day period) proves that audiences are ready to hear this type of music and, like the Woodstock masses, are willing to make sacrifices to take part in a musical milieu truly representative of their taste. The music was NOW, the audience was NOW and, despite all business or political opposition which attempted to abort the festival, the time was right and the baby was born. 



In addition to the nearly fifty groups performing individually, a jam session included Frank Zappa, Philly Joe Jones, Earl Freeman, Louis Maholo, John Dyani, Grachan Moncur III, and Archie Shepp. 



The Festival Actuel shows in Belgium were recorded, and additional sessions took place in Paris. Some of the musicians involved, most of them American, were already living abroad, and performed at the Pan-African Music Festival in Algiers. The result was a series of fifty recordings on the BYG label that represented some of the more important documentation of music from that period. Festival Actuel producers Fernand Boruso, Jean-Luc Young, and Jean Georgakarakos (more popularly shortened to Karakos) were the founders of BYG Records (the name was formed by the initials of the founders' surnames), and Anthony Braxton and the Art Ensemble of Chicago would each release recordings on that label. 



The propitious meeting between Braxton and Teitelbaum at Festival Actuel brought together two musicians raised in very different cultural settings, but sharing key musical and philosophical sensibilities. Whereas Braxton grew up on the South Side of Chicago, playing rock and roll and later discovering a broader musical world in the army and through the AACM, Teitelbaum hailed from New York City. He attended Haverford College, where his main interests at that time were Stravinsky and Bartok ... And then I started getting interested in Schoenberg and Webern, more in graduate school [Yale University class of 1964]; and Stockhausen through having met him. And jazz. I liked bebop a lot ... I don't think I got really into Coltrane until 1960 or something like that. [I went to hear his] quartet, that's my recollection, Jimmy Garrison, [McCoy] Tyner, [and Elvin Jones]. But then I heard him several times in the period of “Ascension.”.. And then I also was getting involved with free-jazz stuff. I met Albert Ayler. I went to see him in the Village, and a friend who knew him took me up, shook his hand; that was kind of exciting. 



Then Teitelbaum went to Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship to study composition with Luigi Nono. 



When I got to Venice, I was still writing this instrumental piece, but I was hanging out with [saxophonist] Steve Lacy, [trumpeter] Don Cherry, and others ― Ornette [Coleman] ― and listening to more jazz, really, than to classical or electronic music. I still somewhere have some notebooks where I have pages where I did something like this [gestures in the air with his hand] when I was listening to Coltrane's Ascension. I was really quite obsessed with the notion that noise was a thing that was a common between the jazz of that period, such as Ascension, where there were twenty guys blasting away and ten of them were percussionists, and the others were just blowing their brains out, and noise music ― electronic music. So, it was a very conscious awareness of the connection between improvised music, free improvised music, [and electronic music].   



In 1966 in Rome, MEV was cofounded by Teitelbaum, Alvin Curran, and Frederic Rzewski; all three were Ivy League university-trained American musicians steeped in post-World War II European avant-garde traditions. Curran and Teitelbaum had been graduate school roommates at Yele University, and Curran and Rzewski had met in Berlin. What they all sought was an alternative to the rigorously mathematical serialism of that world. While each musician came to Rome for different reasons, all were drawn to that city's musical and artistic vitality. Rome was the city of filmmaker Federico Fellini, and a home for expat American experimentalists like the Living Theatre and musicians Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, and Steve Lacy. 



MEV championed music that was collective, spontaneous, and participatory. Its members viewed their music-making as a revolutionary endeavor to empower people in the skill sets they would need during a time of social transformation. They envisioned a truly free society in which groups could function unconstrained by conventional, hierarchical political structures. Curran describes their endeavors as a “utopian challenge.” In works such as Rzewski's “Spacecraft”(1967), “Zuppa” (1968), and “Sound Pool” (1969), MEV thus drew from structures that allowed any number of participants, musically skilled or unskilled, to join in an improvisational experience. Curran writes: “What the group MEV essentially did was to redefine music as a form of property that belonged equally to everyone and hence to encourage its creation freely by and through anyone anywhere.” For this reason, conventional musical skills could be constraining, as Rzewski notes: “Improvisation is a controlled experiment with a limited number of unknown possibilities ... The presence of too much theoretical or analytical knowledge in the conscious mind may interfere with the essential act, so that the perception of the thing being studied becomes distorted.” For Curran, musical improvisation was an exemplar of a generalized approach to life, “the art of constant, attentive and dangerous living in every moment.” 

ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァが取り組んだ音楽は、集団で、自然発生的に、更には音楽以外でもパフォーマンスに加わることができるというものだ。メンバー達は音楽作りをどう見ていたかというと、「革命的な努力」により、人々に力を与える。これにより、身につくスキルの数々で、世の中の変革期を乗り切ってゆくというものである。彼らは心の自由な社会というヴィジョンを持っていた。そこでは、様々な集団は従来型の、階層を前提とした、政治的構造に縛られずに機能してゆく。カランは自分達のこうした企てを「ユートピア的挑戦」と呼んだ。ジェフスキーの「Space Craft」(1967年)、「Zuppa」(1968年)、そして「Sound Pool」(1969年)といった作品では、ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァは従来型の楽曲形式や構造を排除した。そうすることで、人数制限なく色々な人が参加できるようにするのだ。更には、音楽面で専門的な知識や技術があってもなくてもよくて、そうすることで一つの同じインプロヴィゼーションに加わることができるのだ。カランは次のように記している「ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァの取り組みの本質は、音楽を定義し直すことだ。それは、汎ゆる人にとって平等な存在であり、それゆえに、誰がどういう背景であっても自由に作れるよう促す、そんな姿をしたもの、というものだ。」そうした理由から、従来からある音楽の知識や技術といったものは、足かせとなってしまう。これについてはジェフスキーが次のように記している「インプロヴィゼーションとは、限られた数の未知の可能性を用いた、人の手による行為だ。理論や分析した知識を、意識的に駆使し過ぎては、彼らの取り組みの本質にとっては邪魔となる。こうなっては物事の捉え方が捻じ曲げられてしまう。」カランにとっては、音楽のインプロヴィゼーションとは、人生における汎ゆる物事への取り組みを集大成したものの一例であり、人生の、絶え間なく、気の抜けない、そして安穏とはしていられない一瞬一瞬を披露する腕前のことなのだ。 


For Braxton, the late 1960s, highlighted by his sojourn in Europe, was “a very beautiful time. Teitelbaum and Frederic [Rzewski] were moving away from Stockhausen; more and more they were becoming interested in improvisation and the transAfrican restructural musics.” He recalls hearing recordings of Stockhausen's Kontra-Punkte and Klavierstucke X (the latter performed by MEV pianist Rzewski): “I was very curious about the restructural breakthroughs of the post-Webern composers. So we kind of met in the middle of this sector. I learned a great deal about the post-Webern continuum from Mr. Teitelbaum and Mr. Rzewski and Curran.” Braxton refers to the members of MEV “as a part of this underground brotherhood-sisterhood that is permeated with love and respect ― and of course, poverty! That's how I see my work. That is the proper context for my work. It's a part of the old underground.” 



The musical values that Anthony Braxton affirmed at the time were in important ways sympathetic to MEV's call to arms, although maybe not as anarchic. In an MEV performance, social dynamics could unfold that were neither predictable nor alway  

easy to manage. Curran observes: 




Anything could happen ... [There was] a generic problem that was happening in the MEV experience in those years, 68, 69, and 70. Because of, let's call it, philosophic necessity, we found that we had to open the music to anybody. When this went from a mere philosophical, conceptual idea to a practical one, the problems that arose were minor actually, were few. It was more like policing a rowdy crowd on occasion. Other times we're just sitting back and listening to this divine collective harmony that just happens spontaneously because we made it happen, or the people involved made it happen for themselves. 



Braxton wrote sympathetically, in 1968: 



We're on the eve of the complete fall of Western ideas and life-values ... We're in the process of developing more meaningful values and our music is a direct extension of this. We place more emphasis on the meaningful areas of music and less on artifacts, [today's] over-emphasis on harmonic structure, chord progressions, facility, mathematics, the empirical aspects of Art. Our emphasis is on the idea of total music, with each individual contributing toward it totally ... We're dealing with textures, now ― individual worlds of textures. We're working toward a feeling of one ― the complete freedom of individuals in tune with each other, complementing each other. This is going to be the next phase of jazz. 



In fact, Braxton's eclectic musical vision was just beginning to unfold. Six years after his prophetic statement, he urged a younger musicians to listen to Henry Cowell, Paul Desmond, and Charles Ives, referring to the latter as “Father” Charles Ives. And he spoke excitedly about various people whom he felt were “the most incredible _____ on the planet ... The direction he was trying to move into with his own music was composed music. Braxton didn't want to call it classical, just like he didn't want to call his other, small-group stuff with all the improvisation, jazz.” 



At the close of the 1960s, the spirit of the time was being open to possibilities. There was a sense of living on the cusp of a new era of unlimited freedom, where responsible action would be based on mutuality and interrelationship. In this environment, MEV and Anthony Braxton would find shared sensibilities and impetus to collaborate. Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette could push Miles Davis's band toward a greater openness. And soon, that common cause would extend to a musical partnership between Corea, Holland, and Braxton. 






Braxton in New York 



Although Paris afforded better performance opportunities than Chicago, Braxton decided to return to the United States in late 1969. While returning home might literally mean Chicago, New York City beckoned. This was now the center of gravity for new music of all kinds. Braxton and Leroy Jenkins had met Ornette Coleman in Paris, introduced by an entrepreneur from Chicago named Kunle Mwanga. This encounter occurred a decade after Coleman first arrived in New York City, keenly observed at the Five Spot by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. 



Mwanga's chance meeting with Coleman in London, the latter en route to Paris, led to Coleman's organizing a joint Paris concert with Braxton's Creative Construction Company, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Coleman's own group. The contacts were now in place for Braxton and Jenkins to reconnect with Coleman when they moved to New York. Once back in the States, Coleman invited Braxton to move into his loft, where Braxton remained for nine months. 






Ornette Coleman’s Artists House 



In the late 1960s, Coleman moved into the upstairs floor of a formerly commercial building at 131 Prince Street in lower Manhattan. The neighborhood’s industrial base in small manufacturing had declined, and Coleman became one of a group of artists and musicians to find affordable housing among its abandoned buildings. His interest in welcoming fellow musicians and other friends over to his loft to visit led to the space’s becoming viewed by some as an informal artists’ hangout. Thus, it was only a matter of time that, at some point in the early 1970s, he took over the first-floor storefront in his building, naming it Artists House. 



At first, Artists House was an extension of the saxophonist-composer’s home and was a place for socializing; secondarily, it served as a rehearsal space. By the early 1970s, it became to some degree an event venue. Revolutionary Ensemble drummer Jerome Cooper remembers: “He would give his parties, he would have his band, and he would let his friends rehearse there. I used to go to parties over there at the Artists House. I remember the bass player with John Coltrane Jimmy Garrison used to hang out there a lot. It was a great place.” Artist Fred Brown observes: “I thought a loft was a hayloft and this place was like Shangri-la.” A DownBeat writer described Artists House as “quickly becoming a haven for some of our more creative musicians. The House presented the perfect atmosphere for music African prints and paintings adorn the walls making for striking contrast between audio and visual. This is the type of setting where the music does the people and not, as it so often is the case, the other way around.” 



Coleman served as an informal mentor and support to younger players. Vibraphonist Karl Berger, a member of trumpeter Don Cherry’s band and soon the confounder, with Coleman, of Creative Music Studio, recalls: “We went a lot there in the late ‘60s. He had people coming over all the time. That’s the first time I met Leroy [Jenkins] and a lot of other people who’d come there. And we were playing pool. He had a pool table. Always on the weekends there was a bunch of people there. Basically, we were there every weekend and also some weekdays.” 



Cooper adds: “Leroy used to be at Ornette Coleman’s house all the time, Sirone [bassist Norris Jones] used to be over there [too] and [so was] I but I never talked to Ornette at that time. I used to hang out with Ed Blackwell. I remember the party he [Ornette] gave when he signed with Columbia and did Skies of America and Science Fiction. I went there and it was really nice. 

ジェローム・クーパーは更に続けて「リロイ・ジェンキンスオーネット・コールマンの家には入り浸っていた。シローネ(ベース奏者のノリス・ジョーンズ)もよく来ていたし、そういう私も。だが当時、オーネットと口を聞くことはなかった。私がよくつるんでいた相手は、エド・ブラックウェルだ。オーネットが、コロンビアレコードと契約し、「Skies America」と「Science Fiction」を制作した際のパーティーは、今でも覚えている。私も出席した。本当に良いパーティーだった。」 


When Jenkins first arrived in New York from Chicago via Paris, he too moved into Artists House at Coleman’s invitation, and he stayed for a few months. “We stayed downstairs at Ornette’s Artists House, which at the time wasn’t decorated. It was cold down there, where we slept. Ornette gave us a mattress but he didn’t realize how cold it was.” Berger recalls that when he first arrived in the United States, “Ingrid [Sertso, Berger’s spouse and collaborator] and I went to Ornette’s loft all the time, and we discussed matters. He was the only one who made sense to me in terms of how he talked about music. 



Artists House would be the site of Braxton and Jenkins’s rehearsals with Creative Construction Company in preparation for its concert appearance at the Washington Square Church (also known as the “Peace Church” due to its stated opposition to the Vietnam War), the first event sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians to take place in New York. Coleman also hosted performances at the loft, among them those by his own group and shows by Julius Hemphill, Frank Wright, Sunny Murray, MEV, and, as Jerome Cooper remembers, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette (with a guitar player). 



The degrees of separation between present and former members of Miles Davis bands and Artists House were fewer than might be assumed. The Revolutionary Ensemble, Jenkins’s new trio with Cooper and Sirone, whom we’ll soon meet, would conduct rehearsals and hold a concert at Artist’s House. A 1973 New and Newer Music series held there included works from various downtown musical worlds, combining music by Ornette Coleman with offerings by Carla Bley and MEV's cofounder, pianist Frederic Rzewski. The following year, Creative Music Studio's first festival took place at Artists House. Unfortunately, Coleman's space closed soon after that event. 

マイルス・デイヴィスのメンバーとアーティスツ・ハウスのミュージシャン達について、この時点とそれ以前とでは、周囲の予想よりも、その乖離はさほどではなかった。レボリューショナリー・アンサンブル(リロイ・ジェンキンスがクーパー、シローネらと新たに結成したトリオ、本書で後述)は、アーティスツ・ハウスでリハーサルとコンサートを行った。1973年のコンサートシリーズの「New and Newer Music」に際しては、ニューヨークの様々な音楽シーンの作品が紹介され、オーネット・コールマンの音楽に、カーラ・ブレイやムジカ・エレットリカ・ヴィヴァの共同設立者でピアノ奏者のフレデリック・ジェフスキーらが楽曲提供をしたものも披露された。翌年、クリエイティブ・ミュージック・スタジオの最初のフェスがアーティスツ・ハウスで開催された。その直後、このハウスが閉鎖されてしまったことは、残念である。 


The informality and neighborly atmosphere of Artists House is captured in a sesion Coleman recorded in the space on February 14, 1970, released as Friends and Neighbors: Ornette Live at Prince Street. The spirit of the location is well captured by the buoyant, joyous title tracks that open the recording . Bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Ed Blackwell, members of Coleman's original quartet and reunited for the occasion, set up a rollicking, finger-snapping beat. The assembled crowed sings together: Friends and neighbors, that's where it's at. Friends and neighbors, that's where it's at. Friends and neighbors, that's a fact. Hand in hand ... “ 

アーティスツ・ハウスの、気さくで互いに親切な雰囲気が感じ取れる作品がある。コールマンがアーティスツ・ハウスで収録したセッションで、1970年2月14日に行われた。タイトルは「Friends and Neighbors: Ornette Live at Prince Street」。この場所の精神的雰囲気がよく感じ取れるのが、冒頭2つのの陽気で楽しいタイトル曲だ。コールマンのカルテットのメンバーだったベース奏者のチャーリー・ヘイデンやドラム奏者のエド・ブラックウェルらが、この収録のために再集結し、陽気なフィンガースナップ風のビートを効かせる。1曲目のFriends and Neighborsでは集まったミュージシャン達が声を揃えて歌う。「【訳詞】友よ、隣人よ、なんて素晴らしい、友よ、隣人よ、なんて素晴らしい、友よ、隣人よ、夢じゃないぞ、さあ、手に手をとって・・・・」 


Coleman wildly bows on viollin, one of his new instruments on top of which his old south Texas friend, tenor saxophonis Dewey Redman, plays a soulful solo, which dances around the melody. The chant returns, joined by Coleman's violin and the rhythm section. The audience whoops and shouts its approval before Redman continues his solo. The recording offered an inside view of the communal spirit of the “jazz loft” scene, which would spring forth two years later, in 1972. 





Joining Musica Elettronica Viva 



Situated in New York City, Anthony Braxton was adrift. Kunle Mwanga, the entrepreneur who had introduced Braxton and Leroy Jenkins to Ornette Coleman in Paris (but who was living in New York), found Braxton to be uninterested in playing music. “As a matter of fact, he was playing chess a lot in the park.” Mwanga would soon persuade him to play a reunion concert with Creative Construction Company, but throughout this period, he “was thinking about other things.” One of the first of these plans was another reunion, with his new friends from Amougie. As Braxton recalls: “I had the good fortune to be asked to join Musica Elettronica Viva, and in doing that, I had opportunities to meet American masters like Maryanne Amacher,” along with Richard Teitelbaum, Alvin Curran, and Frederic Rzewski. 







MEV's American Tour 




I thought it was one of the best MEV ensembles that ever existed. 







The tour was a success. I thought it was a really interesting group, actually. 







By 1969 MEV continued to use Rome as a home base from which it actively toured Europe. For the concerts that concluded its time in Rome, the group consisted of its three core members (Teitelbaum, Curran, and Rzewski) plus saxophonist Steve Lacy, Franco Cataldi, and Ivan and Patricia Coaquette. Composer Giuseppe Chiari joined for a concert in Palermo, Italy, where a work by Morton Feldman was on the program. 



Not long after meeting Braxton in Amougies, Teitelbaum and Rzewski prepared to return to the United States; Curran had decided to remain in Rome. Rzewski resettled in New York with his family for a few years. One factor in Teitelbaum's decision to return was the influence of Morton Feldman. “Somewhere in there, I came back [to New York] and Feldman took me out to lunch at Chock Full o' Nuts. He was dean of the New York Studio School in the Village. He kind of was urging me to come back. He said: 'This is your country' or something like that. I was pretty impressed by Feldman. I loved his music. I loved him. We had played a piece of his in Rome, at the Salon Casella.” 



The other factor influencing Teitelbaum's return to the States was his idea of developing a cross-cultural ensemble, which he called World Band. The ensemble began rehearsing during the months leading up to MEV's tour with Braxton. Both endeavors joined musicians who had been raised in different musical traditions.  



In late winter to early spring 1970, Anthony Braxton and sound artist Maryanne Amacher joined the three core members of MEV on an American tour. Tour stops included a cluster of colleges and universities: Notre Dame, Case Western Reserve, Antioch College, and Bowling Green University, followed by Wesleyan College, Brown University, Haverford College, and State University of New York campuses at Stony Brook and Albany. Teitelbaum recalls that the group made money from the tour: “The pay was decent, I think. We might have gotten a thousand dollars for a gig. That was good for then. I'm guessing.” 

1970年、冬の終わりから春の始めにかけて、アンソニー・ブラクストンとサウンドアーティストのマリアンヌ・エメシェールは、ムジカ・エレットリカ・ヴィヴァの中核メンバー3名とともに、アメリカツアーに参加する。ツアーは数多くの大学でも行われた(Notre Dame、 Case Western Reserve、 Antioch College、 Bowling Green University, 更には Wesleyan College、 Brown University、 Haverford Collegeそして ストーニーブルック&アルバニーにあるState University of New York の各キャンパス)。タイテルバウムはこのツアーであげた収益について振り返る「ギャラは良かった、と思う本番1回で1000ドルの収益だったんじゃないかな。当時にしては良かった、と思うけどね。」 


Curran explained the rationale for the tour to a New York Times reporter: “Our original music was based on friendship. We were all sort of sick of being composers abroad. Now, we are all very anxious to find out where we fit into the States. We have been in Europe six to eight years and things have changed a great deal at home, and we have changed a great deal. We could fall right into place, or we could flop right back to Rome.” 



During that same period, Miles Davis was engaged in duo-keyboard and duo-electric guitar studio sessions in between tour dates with the Lost Quintet, and Wayne Shorter was making his final appearances with the group. Chick Corea and Dave Holland had begun playing acoustic duet music to which they would soon add drummer Barry Altschul. 



The composition of the MEV group that toured the United States represented both a cultural shift and a new chemistry - in fact, a new formation that played together for the first time at its first show. Beyond the three core members, the personnel had changed from MEV's European tour. 




TEITELBAIM:The core group was the same, [but] Maryanne and Braxton had replaced the Cataldis and Franco. [Braxton played (and transported!) a wide range of clarinets, saxophones, and other instruments, from contrabass on upward.] 




CURRAN:Maryanne had her tapes .... and her Revoxes [tape recorders]. 




TEITELBAUM:She had a heat sink and a bass bow. She had a mixer and, I guess, a contact mic, and she made these incredibly high sounds. I don't remember. She'd find stuff. I think it was at Antioch she had a bass. And she'd scrape the scroll of the bass against the wall and made this amazing sound. So she'd just have whatever. And these tapes, she had amazing tapes. 




CURRAN:[The new composition of the band] changed everything. [But] when we found ourselves onstage when we played, there was absolutely no difference. And this was remarkable. 




TEITELBAUM:Braxton and Maryanne had the commonality of Stockhausen, for instance, and Cage. 




CURRAN:There were some clear cultural differences in the sense that what Braxton would play, you would hear there wasn't a moment when you weren't aware of the whole history of jazz behind him. But that didn't for one minute get in the way of his ability or the other MEV people's ability to integrate their sound with his. I think there was one common musical space that people liked to get into. And it was that space of delirious energy, and that could be shared at any time. Someone would get on a riff or a high, screaming overtone, like Braxton, or radical blatting down in the lowest registers, honking like geese or something ... And so there were spaces between the cultures where one could enter at any time and just hang on to the immaterial material of pure sound. So there were certain energies and certain vibrations. They could have been of any shape of any size. As I say, there were very high-energy places. But they could have been very quiet moments as well. They were almost made of pure breath. Those kinds of places were extreme places, in both directions of speed and slowness and silence; [they] were places that were easy meeting grounds for all of us. 








First Stop: The Brooklyn Academy of Music 



The MEV tour was organized by Saul Gottlieb, director of the Radical Theatre Repertory. It was planned around four or five gigs, the fruit of letter writing by group members while still in Rome 

ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァのツアーを計画したのは、サウル・ゴットリーブという、Radical Theatre Repertoryのディレクターである。4回(5回)の公演が組まれた。これもメンバー達がローマ滞在中に手紙をしたためた成果である。 


First stop was the newly opened Brooklyn Academy of Music. Curran: “We did an MEV classic program, starting with a Feldman piece. And Feldman was there. We ended it up with Christian Wolff's 'Sticks,' and that was supposed to segue into this mass improvisation ('Soundpool'), which it did.” The full program included Richard Teitelbaum's “In Tune,” which translated brainwave activity into Moog synthesizer sounds; Wolff's “Sticks,” a drone piece; Alvin Curran's “Rounds”; and music by Morton Feldman and Frederic Rzewski. Curran recalls: 

最初の公演は、当時開校したばかりのブルックリン音楽アカデミーだ。カラン「ここではムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァの定番プログラムを組んだ。最初にフェルドマンの曲。彼も演奏に立ち会った。最後はクリスチャン・ウォルフの「Sticks」。この曲は途切れなくこの集団でのインプロヴィゼーションへ(別名「サウンドプール(音の溜まり場)」)続いてゆく予定になっていて、実際そのとおり事は運んだ。プログラム全体の曲目を見てみよう。リチャード・タイテルバウムの「In Tune」は、ムーグのシンセサイザーサウンドにより、彼が霊感的に音楽を発信するという曲。クリスチャン・ウォルフの「Sticks」は、持続低音を用いている。更には、アルヴァン・カランの「Rounds」、そしてモートン・フェルドマンフレデリック・ジェフスキーの作品。カランは当時を振り返る。 


I don't know how we announced it or how it actually came out, but I do remember that there was a kind of a dreadful informality going on [once the Sound Pool audience-participation improvisation piece began]. Which was no longer a performance. The first part was a concert. And then the second part became this dissolution into a kind of this happy neighborhood anarchy. I personally felt that it didn't generate the kind of energy that other Sound Pools had generated. And so therefore it failed. There was just the feeling that it didn't matter what was happening, who was there, or what. But somehow there was something that rode over everything to another experiential and existential level, [yet] it didn't transcend, it didn't go anywhere. 



New York Times critic Peter G. Davis concluded: “Contemporary music reached some sort of desperate nadir last night as the Musica Elettronica Viva displayed its waves ... If the shuffling aridities of this group of losers sounds like your cup of irrelevancy, it is giving a repeat performance at the Academy this evening.” Curran believes that the sheer size and sense of cultural importance of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in contrast to the smaller venues Musica Elettronica Viva otherwise played, contributed to the difficulties. 





On the Road 



After the Brooklyn Academy of Music kickoff concert, Curran recalls: “We packed in an old Oldsmobile car [a station wagon] that belonged to Frederic's [Rzewski's] father or mother. We all packed into one car ... We just barreled on rainy highways right from New York across Pennsylvania, in to Ohio. It seemed like always with the radio going, playing Procol Harum. You know, the songs of those days. It's a kind of piece of history.” Once Musica Elettronica Viva left New York, the tour went well. Curran's assessment: “Antioch, I thought, was one of the best concerts Musica Elettronica Viva ever played. The Albany concert was insane.” Unfortunately, few recordings remain. But MEV's anarchic pieces, performed with American college students, were not without their challenges. 



Curran recalls that the Brown University concert was pretty much a ruckus. “Everyone jumped into the howling collective fray with large tree branches ― first used for 'Sticks,' then for the audience to play with ― and things did, in fact, get out of hand, and left undeniable damage to Brown property: floors, walls, tables, chairs, etc. For this the University sent us a bill, which I recall we threw away as if it never had arrived ― even me, the embarrassed Brown Alumnus.” Something similar happened at SUNY Stony Brook, maybe a year later. 

カランの回想によれば、Brown Universityでの公演は相当な騒ぎとなった「全員が舞台に飛び乗ってきて、手に手に大きな木の枝を持って、阿鼻叫喚の興奮状態に加わった。文字通り、全ては手に負えなくなり、Brown Universityの施設設備に明らかな損害を与えてしまった。床も、壁も、机も椅子も、なにもかもだ。これには、大学側も私達に損害請求書を送りつけてきた。だがこれを、自分も卒業生として申し訳ないと思いつつ、メンバー全員、見なかったふりをして捨ててしまった。」翌年、同じようなことがニューヨーク州立大学ストーニーブルック校での公演でも起きてしまった。 


Curran remembers the Midwest portion of the trip as passing through “some of the most depressed parts of America ... Well, it was remarkable to be at a Catholic college at that time and have so much upheaval and then at the same time we were in Ohio.” 



The Antioch College performance in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on April 6, 1970, stood out in Curran's memory as “like total freakout-ville.” Teitelbaum remembers vividly that “while it was still going on, Braxton and I found ourselves outside, maybe having a smoke. And also I think because it was a 'Sound Pool' [audience-participation improvisational piece]. Things got kinda wild. I was sort of driven out.” 

1970年4月6日、オハイオ州イエロースプリングスのAntioch Collegeでの公演は、カランの記憶の中でも「完全に興奮状態の村のようだった」として際立っていたという。タイテルバウムは当時を鮮明に記憶している「まだ本番中だったのに、ブラクストンと私は、ふと気づけば外に居た。一服するためだったかもしれない。それもこれも「サウンドプール」のせいだったと思う(聴衆参加型の曲)。場内はメチャクチャ。ある意味私は、そこからはじき出された格好だった。」 



I remember that. You got freaked. 





I said to Braxton, “Braxton, do you like this music?” Or something. “Do you like this?” But I don't remember what his answer was. I think it was sort of ambivalent. 





I remember those kids jumped onstage. They started rocking. It was crazy. But it wasn't rock. I remember an electric bass, a guitar. I think someone was trying to push it in [a beat-driven] direction. That was a kind of loose, Sunday afternoon freak-out. That was the least interesting. 




During the writing of this book, a recording of the Antioch College concert surfaced. This was an unanticipated, wonderful discovery. The recording spans about an hour and a half of what must have been a longer show, given that the audience participation piece, “Sound Pool,” is not documented on the reel-to-reel tape. The side of MEV in evidence here is stylistically diverse. Exploration abounds, and sometimes a rhythmic pulse evokes foot tapping. A panoply of musical improvisations ranges from textural sound collage to unfolding melodic and rhythmically driven processes. Four ensemble works are complemented by seven saxophone solo improvisations by Anthony Braxton, whose distinct musical personality is evident throughout. These solo forays provide Braxton the space to present his own work; as an ensemble member, his playing is an organic and comfortable musical fit. 

本書執筆中に、Antioch Collegeでの公演を録音したものが発見された。予期せぬ素晴らしい発見だった。録音時間は約1時間半。本番は実際はもっと長かったはずである。というのも、このオープンリールテープには聴衆参加型の「サウンドプール」が収録されていないのだ。ムジカ・エレットロニカ・ヴィヴァの演奏を収録した部分は、演奏スタイルも多岐に富んでいることを示している。彼らの探究心が満ち溢れていて、時にリズムの鼓動が、足踏みを彷彿とさせる。様々なインプロヴィゼーションの演奏がズラリと顔を揃え、様々な音の組み立て方をしているコラージュ、次々と生み出されるメロディ、リズミカルにエンジンのかかった曲の進行が味わえる。合奏曲が4曲、7つのサックスによるソロインプロヴィゼーションが、アンソニー・ブラクストンによって披露され、彼の際立った音楽的個性が、頭から終わりまでハッキリと伺える。次々と繰り出されるソロにより、ブラクストンは自身の音楽を示す場が与えられている。そして合奏帯の一員としては、彼の演奏は有機的であり、音楽的にも心地よく全体にフィットするのだ。 


In the course of his solo pieces, Braxton traverses a broad range of textures and moods, from the lyrical and even romantic to the cacophonous. At times, spinning lines resolve in a harmonically grounded zone, underscored by warm vibrato; altissimo screeches, squawking, and honking; intense breath-long angular phrases; quiet trilling passages; serene phrases contrasting with sudden sonic outbursts. One of the solos reflects compositional ideas akin to “Composition 6F,” described by Braxton elsewhere as “repetitive phrase generating structures ... a phrase-based repetition structure that establishes a fixed rhythmic patterns.” 

ラクストンは、自身の独奏曲においては、曲の組み立て方や雰囲気を幅広く吟味したことが伺える。叙情的でロマンチックなものから、騒音とまごうようなものまで、実に様々だ。時には、目が回るような旋律が、和声上の最低音域まで下がったところで落ち着いたと思ったら、心地よいビブラートや、一番高い音域の音を奇声のように響かせたり、キーキーとなるような音や、クラクションのような音、圧が強く息が長くて骨太なフレーズ、音量を抑えてトリルを効かせたパッセージ、のどかなフレーズを突然爆発するような音とコントラストを付けるなどして、パワーアップさせるのだ。いくつかあるソロの内の1つは、彼の「Composition 6F」を彷彿とさせる。彼の説明によると、繰り返しのフレーズにより曲が組み上がっていて、プレーズをベースにした繰り返しの構造が、しっかりとしたリズムパターンを作り上げている、という。 


Among the ensemble pieces is a ten-minute work that juxtaposes Braxton's angular saxophone (and then bass clarinet) lines to spoken text, Richard Teitelbaum's atonal synthesizer phrases, a bass vamp (played by an Antioch student), and drums.  

合奏曲に目を転じれば、何曲かある内の1つは、ブラクストンの骨太のサックス(そしてバスクラリネット)のメロディに朗読が加わり、リチャード・タイテルバウムの無調音楽の技法によるシンセサイザーでのフレーズ、Antioch Collegeの学生によるベースの即興演奏、ドラムによる演奏時間10分の作品である。 


The music then moves into a pentatonic, addictive construction, played in unison by piano, Alvin Curran's flugelhorn, a trombone-tuba “patch” on a VCS3 (Putney) synthesizer (together referred to below as “horn”), Teitelbaum's Moog synthesizer, and drums, reminiscent of Frederic Rzewski's “Les Moutons de Panurge” (1969). A second ensemble improvisation opens with melodic saxophone lines, from which Braxton suddenly shifts into a musical explosion and, subsequently, elegiac moods, as he weaves in and out of the horn lines. A third improvisation combines Braxton's snarling sounds with a strong, backbeat-heavy drum pulse; the overall musical direction then shifts into an unfolding sound cloud drawn in part from Curran's assemblage of recorded bird sounds and spoken readings from an ornithology catalog, and Maryanne Amacher's dramatic sounds of a soaring airplane, combined with Teitelbaum's Morse code-like synthesizer patterns. Later, the listener encounters dense and boisterous collective sound clusters and Rzewski's expansive, cascading gestures on piano. Braxton, along with the horn gestures, emerges from behind a distant fog amid the building electronic and metallic textures. 

曲は5音階を用いた構造へと移ってゆく。これが聴いていて癖になる。ピアノ、アルヴァン・カランのフリューゲルホルンとVCS3(パトニー)シンセサイザーによるトロンボーンテューバの「ツギハギ」(以下、「ホルン」という)、タイテルバウムのムーグ・シンセサイザー、ドラム、のユニゾンは、フレデリック・ジェフスキーの「Les Moutons de Panurge」(1969年の作品)を暗示するかのようだ。2番目のアンサンブルによるインプロヴィゼーションの口火を切るのは、メロディ感あふれるサックスの旋律。ここからブラクストンは「ハジケて」みせる。これに続いて、悲しみに溢れる雰囲気を作ってゆく。ホルンの旋律に絡んだり離れたりしながら進んでゆくのだ。3番目のインプロヴィゼーションは、ブラクストンの唸るようなサウンドに、力強いバックビートの重さをかけたドラムが規則正しくリズムを刻む。楽曲全体が次に向かうのは、次々と繰り出される音の数々だ。カランが集めた鳥の鳴き声や鳥類図鑑を朗読する声、マリアンヌ・エメシェールの手による轟音を立てる飛行機の劇的な音の数々、これらに、タイテルバウムがモールス信号のような規則正しい音をシンセサイザーで作ったものを組み合わせてゆく。その後聴いてゆくと、密度が高く、荒々しい、全体での音のクラスターから、ジェフスキーが大きな身振りでほとばしるようなピアノへと続き、ブラクストンは、ホルンとともに、遠くの方から、電子音楽のようで、そして金属的な雰囲気の曲を構成すべく、徐々に姿を表してくる。 




MEV's Impact 



While this configuration of MEV never performed together again, Anthony Braxton and Richard Teitelbaum's musical partnership has continued to this day. Braxton's participation in MEV exposed him to a broader cicle of improvising musicians. Might that experience have opened him to the new opportunity, Circle, that would soon manifest? Had they heard MEV, might Braxton's future Circle-mates have been influenced by the group in their own views about intuitive improvisational structures or about their range of sonic possibilities? As Chick Corea simultaneously moved in an increasingly electric direction with Miles Davis's band, his future engagement with Braxton would be entirely acoustic. Had he heard MEV during this period, might its meld of acoustic and electronic sounds have influenced his thinking? Many ideas were percolating in Braxton's mind as his career back in the United States continued to unfold. 






Kunle Mwanga Organizes Braxton's “Peace Church” Concert 



Kunle Mwanga had moved from Chicago to New York in May 1968. Before traveling to Paris in 1970, he opened a store, Liberty House, in the West Village, where he sold works of African and African American art. Mwanga was inspired by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians' model of self-sufficiency coupled with organizational and business acumen: “It was my contention that we had to continue to develop our own power to move ourselves ... The industry is in control. Yet we could be that industry ourselves had we stayed in cotrol of ourselves. The power within: having to do with management, producing concerts, recordings and all administrative work, worldwide.” Mwanga found the New York environment at the time to be stimulating, as it seemed to him that there was no conflict between players representing differing musical styles and approaches. Thus, “it just seemed like things could happen if you wanted them to happen.” He decided to leverage his store income to produce a concert series at the Washington Square Church, the “Peace Church,” that was Anthony Braxton's first performance in New York. 



The May 19, 1970, concert featured Creative Construction Company, Braxton's group that had played in Europe, plus drummer Steve McCall. CCC ― Braxton plus Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Leo Smith ― had played on Braxton's album 3 Compositions of New Jazz. Special guests also performing with the group were AACM cofounder Muhal Richard Abrams and bassist Richard Davis. All but Davis were members of that Chicago-based association. Mwanga found the Peace Church concert to be “one of the most exciting concerts I've ever been at.”  

1970年5月19日、コンサートが開かれた。出演はクリエイティブ・コンストラクション・カンパニー(CCC)。ブラクストンがヨーロッパで演奏したグループである。ここに、ドラム奏者のスティーヴ・マッコールが加わる。ブラクストン、リロイ・ジェンキンス、トランペット奏者のレオ・スミスを加えたCCCは、これに先立ちブラクストンのアルバム「3 Compositions of New Jazz」で演奏している。また特別ゲストとして、AACMの共同設立者であったムハル・リチャード・エイブラムスとベース奏者のリチャード・デイヴィスも演奏に加わった。デイヴィス以外は、いずれもAACMというシカゴを本拠地とするメンバー達だ。この「ピース・チャーチ」コンサートを、ムワンガは「私がこれまで目にした中で、最も盛り上がったコンサートの1つ」と称した。 



The performance was recorded thanks to Ornette Coleman, who, as John Litweiler reports, “arranged for an engineer to record the event. But Ornette's financial affairs were in flux, and a year later he offered Mwanga the concert tapes if Mwanga would pay the engineer; Mwanga eventually sold the tapes to Muse Records for their excellent Creative Construction Company LPs.” Braxton appeared with his trademark array of instruments (flute, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, and orchestral chimes.) Jenkins supplemented his violin and viola with recorder, harmonica, toy xylophone, and bicycle horn. The first set of the Peace Church concert consisted of Leroy Jenkins's extended, thirty-seven-minute work “Muhal”; parts 1 and 2 are divided over the two sides of an LP, followed by a return of the theme, titled “Live Spiral” on the recording. 

当日の収録を買って出てくれたのが、オーネット・コールマンである。ジョン・リトワイラーは次のように記している「彼は公演の収録にエンジニアを一人都合した。だがオーネット・コールマンの財政状況は、安定したものではなく、コンサートの実施から1年経って、彼がムワンガに申し出たのは、当日都合したエンジニアの日当をムワンガが持つ条件で、収録音源を提供する、というもの。ムワンガは最終的には、その音源をミューズ・レコード社に売却する。これがCCCのLPという秀作になってゆくのだ。」さてコンサートの当日だが、ブラクストンは毎度おなじみの、ズラリと取り揃えた楽器の数々とともに、ステージに現れた(フルート、クラリネットコントラバスクラリネット、サックス(ソプラノ、アルト)、コンサートチャイム)。ジェンキンスが持ち込むのは、バイオリン、ビオラ、リコーダー、ハーモニカ、おもちゃの木琴、自転車に取り付けるラッパだ。「ピース・チャーチ」コンサート、第1部は、リロイ・ジェンキンス作曲「Muhal」。演奏時間37分の大作である。第1部と第2部はLPのそれぞれの面に収録された。これらに続き、主題回帰部は「Live Spiral」とのタイトルで収録されている。 




The Music of the Peace Church Concert 



A play-by-play description of the first half of the concert offers a flavor of the continuously changing, highly textural, yet periodically lyrical music that unfolded that evening. This is a music that depends substantially on close listening between players, an openness to building on what others are playing, and an instinct for when to lay out entirely. 



The performance opens in a serene, spacious mood. There are two motivic statements, each repeated twice. This sequence is followed by the main theme, played on violin, which leads the group to a dense tone cluster. After a pause, the second motif is presented by the full ensemble without piano; it is reminiscent of the opening of Richard Strauss's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Next, Jenkins's gesture is more modest, yet affirmative . After a bass interlude backed by shimmering cymbal work, growing steadily in intensity, Jenkins returns to his thematic statement shortly after the two-minute mark. The motif is joined by cascading piano runs, over which Braxton ― displaying a bell-like tone on soprano saxophone, followed by Jenkins and Smith and then all three in unison ― echoes the theme. 



Jenkins opens an expansive solo, with contrapuntal lines added by Braxton, and Abrams on cello; Smith punctuates Jenkins's playing with repeated trumpet notes and floral figures. Around five minutes in, Braxton's lines have moved to the forefront, and the entire ensemble quiets and pauses. The next section is far more textural in quality, blending Davis's harmonics and extended techniques on bass, Abrams's open harmonies on piano, Jenkins's recorder melodies, and Braxtoin' s melodious saxophone, bells, and small percussion. After another pause, Davis plays a repeated G and then an E- D- E motif, which he embroiders, and Smith solos in the altissimo range. 




A folksy Jenkins harmonica solo follows at the eight-minute mark, joined by bicycle horn. Jenkins then returns on viola, building a repeated note and then a double-stop motif ― which he moves up and down the neck of his fiddle. Various squeaking horns and small percussion then come to the fore, the bass actively creating a bridge, joined by Braxton's rhapsodic solo on flute, backed by bass and percussion, and joined by viola, which then moves to the front. After the eleven-minute mark, the ensemble increases in energy level, with Abrams's piano figures, trumpet tones, intense viola gestures, and small percussion. 



Nearing twelve and a half minutes, Jenkins's repeated strummed chord is imitated by Abrams and Smith and moves into a far-ranging solo; behind him there is growing activity on recorder, piano, bass and percussion. Next, Braxton jumps into an energetic, spiraling clarinet solo, screeching and then ebbing and flowing. Jenkins returns with violin double stops. As the sixteen-minute mark approaches, he plays a solo line that builds in intensity and then slows down as orchestra bells are heard. These continue, joined by harmonica, bass harmonics, and sundry percussion hits as part 1 concludes, after nineteen minutes. 




The performance is a tour de force, a masterly work of ensemble playing. Points of cacophony are limited; the focus is on building a sense of group sound, from which emerge individual solos and, more often, small, collaborative, interwoven parts. 




The idea of the individual within, among, and in tension with the group is in a sense a meeting point between Anthony Braxton's aesthetic and that of (Wadada) Leo Smith, who wrote: 





The concept that I employ in my music is to consider each performer as a complete unit with each having his or her own center from which each performs independently of any other, and with this respect of autonomy the independent center of the improvisation is continuously changing depending upon the force created by individual centers at any instance from any of the units. The idea is that each improviser creates as an element of the whole, only responding to that which he is creating within himself instead of responding to the total creative energy of the different units. This attitude frees the sound-rhythm elements in an improvisation from being realized through dependent re-action. 



Thus, in this concert we experience constant, dynamic movement between self-contained solo moments and group engagement. 






Braxton Broadens His Horizons 



The concert provided an opportunity for Braxton to connect and reconnect with other musicians who were living in New York City. This included a reunion with MEV member Frederic Rzewski, who subsequently introduced him to the noted minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass; he informally rehearsed with them during the summer of 1970. Braxton observes: “By that time it became clear to me that I did not want to be remembered in only one context. I came to understand that I wanted to be involved in a broader area of creativity, Glass and as such, I didn't want to limit myself to just performing jazz. Not to mention I simply was curious and attracted to what people like Glass and [electronic music composer David] Behrman were doing.” 



Also in the audience for the Creative Construction Company performance was Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea and Dave Holland's Miles Davis bandmate, who knew Braxton from college. Later that evening, DeJohnette suggested to Braxton that they head over to the Village Vanguard, several blocks to the west. It was there that the propitious meeting leading to the founding of Circle took place.