"We're on the eve of the complete fall of Western ideas and life-values," states 22-year-old saxophonist Anthony Braxton in the liner notes of his still-startling 1968 debut. Well, not quite, but Chicago's AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) was about to have an enormous influence on the jazz world. In a sense, the children of the "free jazz" movement, Braxton and the other AACM members here -- violinist Leroy Jenkins, trumpeter Leo Smith, and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams -- acknowledged their debt to Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, but were also quick to point to even more controversial influences, from James Brown to Stockhausen. With dozens of different sounds popping in and out, these three lengthy compositions, held together by fluent, firmly grounded musicianship, range over a seemingly unstructured sonic landscape that, in 1999, sounds familiar. We call it "post-modern," but in 1968 it was as modern as it could be.
Performance CreditsAnthony Braxton Primary Artist,Clarinet,Flute,Accordion,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Multi Instruments,Musette,Bells,Alto (Vocal),Snare Drums
Leroy Jenkins Harmonica,Violin,Cymbals,Bass Drums,Recorder,Viola,Multi Instruments,Whistle (Instrument)
Wadada Leo Smith Trumpet,Kazoo,Mellophonium,Xylophone,Multi Instruments,Bottle
Muhal Richard Abrams Clarinet,Piano,Cello,Alto Clarinet
Technical CreditsRobert G. Koester Producer
John B. Litweiler Liner Notes
Ron Pickup Engineer