We went to Paris because it made no sense to stay in Chicago after 1969. We were dying. And I had been reading about Europe for years. I thought there was a possibility people would be more interested in the music. I went on ahead of Leo and Leroy. I took a plane to Paris; I had a one-way ticket and fifty dollars in my pocket.
- from Graham Lock: Forces In Motion: The Music and Thoughts of Anthony Braxton
'Given that the methods used in contemporary art have changed (to say the least) I want to discuss the empirical aspects of that which we have realised, hopefully, that one who understands us will help a part of society that has normally (in contempt) moved up to reject its hatred towards our music. Since Ornette Coleman, the actual music, by the experience of 'jazz', broke the western chains (by extension) which had victimized it and we can now perceive the appearance of a new art that has a lot of promise.'
The snippet from Graham Lock's book, and the excerpt from the liner notes clearly show part of Braxton's motivation to be in Paris at this time. Equally, Braxton's composition 6G, or B-Xo/ N-O-1-47A, with performers being given balloons to do with as they see fit, shows a response to some of the ideas that had come from John Cage. Braxton's notes above are careful to put this in the context of what he sees as a much deeper musical tradition, although I think this is optimistic on his part - it would probably be truer to say that he was trying to understand what this approach could offer him and equally he was being scrutinised for what he might bring. There is an element of self-consciousness in this piece, and others from this period, which changes its character later (e.g. in some of the duos with Derek Bailey), and eventually disappears.
This was recorded on 10th September, 1969 for BYG Actuel, at the Saravah Studios in Paris.
Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, logs, siren etc.)
Anthony Braxton (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, flute, sound machine, chimes etc.)
Leroy Jenkins (violin, viola, flute. mouth organ, hohner organ, harmonica, etc.)
Steve McCall (drums, darbouka, percussion, etc.)
1. The Light on the Dalta (Leo Smith)
2. Simple Like (Leroy Jenkins)
3. B-Xo/ N-O-1-47A (Anthony Braxton)