The duets with Braxton are a key point. In ther anxiety to sort-code music, critics couldn't decide who was climbing into whose pigeonhole, whether Birth and Rebirth was a better example of reedman's accommodation to the mainstream, or of Roach's avant-garde credentials. In the event, of course, they met exactly head-to-head. Braxton, even on this vintage, is still making respectful gestures towards bop, and Roach is constantly looking for points beyond orthodox time-signatures.
(The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - Ninth Edition)
The first of drummer Max Roach's two duet sets with multireedist Anthony Braxton consists of seven fairly free improvisations that they created in the studio. Each of the selections (particularly "Birth" which builds gradually in intensity to a ferocious level, the waltz time of "Magic and Music," the atmospheric "Tropical Forest" and "Softshoe") have their own plot and purpose. Braxton (who performs on alto, soprano, sopranino and clarinet) and Roach continually inspire each other, which is probably why they would record a second set the following year. Stimulating avant-garde music. (Scott Yanow)
Anthony Braxton - alto, soprano & sopranino saxophones, clarinet
- Magic And Music
- Tropical Forest
- Dance Griot
- Spirit Possession
Max Roach - drums
Recorded in September 1978 at Ricordi Studios, Milano.