21 April 2008

Anthony Braxton/George Lewis Duo - Elements of Surprise

Following the earlier posting of the Braxton - Mitchell duet, here is another duet from about the same time, more specifically the New Jazz Festival at Moers, June 1976.

This time Braxton is paired with George Lewis, another member of the AACM, though not quite among the founders as he joined in the early 70s. But he's taken upon himself to write the full history of the AACM, just published by the University of Chicago Press.

Four pieces in all:

01_Composition 64 (Braxton)

02_Ornithology (Braxton/Parker)

03_Composition 65 (Braxton)

04_Music for Trombone and Bb Soprano (Lewis)

This one is, I thought, less "austere" than the Mitchell - Braxton duet, which to some extent may be explained by the live concert setting which means they have an audience to interact with. Again, a great sense of rapport, almost intutitive, between the two. Great playing, needless to say, and an ability to do the classics and add their own prsonalities to it. Not at all inaccessible, as one may have thought, a sense of humour throughout which is easily noticed by the audience. Long stretches of virtuoso playing and an uncanny talent to make their instruments "speak". At some point, I was thinking of "Peter and the Wolf" as the two almost "act out" imaginary characters.

Very enjoyable and one to come back to. More to come, but I'll have to figure out what will be up next. Stay tuned!


kinabalu said...

mp3 version:


flac version:



gilhodges said...

Many thanks Kinabalu! A tremendous pairing of AACM stalwarts. Speaking of which, we all await with great anticipation George Lewis's book on the history of that venerable Chicago institution. All hail Braxton. All hail Lewis. All hail Kinabalu.

adc said...

Many thanks for this! I'd heard of this but never thought I'd get to here it.

1009 said...

picked this up somewhere a while ago but happy to have the upgrade.


centrifuge said...

nice one, k :)

let's hope people aren't put off by the instrumentation - there is so much warmth and humour in here (along with many other, more expected qualities). write-up coming soon at IYKWIS, creative orch first though...

kinabalu said...


is the book out or not? I saw a review in "The Wire", but the UofChicago site says fall08. Anyhow, a required read.


absolutely! I spent yesterday evening listening through two new arrivals, both Sackvilles lps. One was the Braxton "Trio and Duet" album which has two entirely different slices of our man; with Leo Smith and Richard Teitelbaum on one side and Brax with Dave Holland doing standards on the other. This seems to be available on cd, so I might have to sit on this one for the time being.

The other is the Roscoe Mitchell solo sax album and having listened to it once, I do see affinities with Braxton, but perhaps a somewhat more "austere" side to it, if that's the right word. I haven't been able to locate any cd reissue, so it should be the next one up. After that another Braxton, another Mitchell and one Bowie. I shall keep the AACM flag flying for a while.

Jason Guthartz said...

Lewis' book is out. In fact, I have a copy on a table right here beside me. The "official" release date -- in the U.S. at least -- is in May (I got my copy at an event here in Chicago last week where Lewis was in discussion/performance with Nikki Mitchell & Douglas Ewart).

centrifuge said...

sounds good jason :)

kinabalu, i haven't heard trio and duet but i understand it is currently in print (or at least readily available?), so fair enough to leave off that one, i'll catch up with it when i get round to it..! (i will get round to it - is that his first recording with teitelbaum?)

looking forward to the mitchell, and good for you flying that flag, i trust readers appreciate what a public service you're performing here... {{{*}}}

1009 said...

the seminary co-op in chicago has the book now:


not cheap & of course you'll have to pay for shipping. perhaps i'll post an mp3 of me reading the whole thing...

kinabalu said...

Alternative links:

mp3 version:


flac version:



matt w said...

Thanks for posting this! I like this a lot -- I think I like it better than the Donaueschingen duo though I have to go back to it and listen again. Anyway it's interesting to hear them play shorter pieces instead of one big medley.

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

just duets said...

kinabalu. thanks for the continuous growing of my duets collection. after Roscoe and a Sam Rivers/Holland Live at Nancy that completes my IAI albums, one on CD the other vol. 1 on LP, i will say it was a good day. also a rare Dickerson with Richard Davis from Steeple Chase. there r never enough DUETS out there. :-)

just duets said...

indeed Elements of Surprise

Anonymous said...

So..... where is toilet? Hehe))) Joke, relax ;)
Thank you

Solomon said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

can someone re-up this gem ? preferably in flac

also looking for the rare out of print Anthony Braxton Quartet ‎– At Moers Festival (Ring Records) release in flac

Anonymous said...

any chance for a Lossless re-upload of "Anthony Braxton/George Lewis Duo - Elements of Surprise" & if you have it Anthony Braxton Quartet ‎– At Moers Festival (Ring Records).
thank you very much in advance
Alex in Solex

mew23 said...

New link for "Elements of Surprise"

jeff said...

Many thanks for the reup mew23!! This one of the few legitimate recordings where Braxton and Lewis play together that I have never heard. They were a formidable foils for one another and a front line that never failed to produce fireworks!!!!!!

dogon ad said...

Thanks mew23. I previously had only in low bitrate. Now in lossless!!!