In the waning days of the 1993 tour, and the soon after disbanding of his finest — and longest standing — band, this single concert of the seven nights played at Santa Cruz. This double CD documents with a finality just what the quartet had achieved in its eight years together. Braxton had realized within this group of musicians a goal he had previously thought unattainable: the ability to interchange any composition from any of his periods with any other — and within each other — in a small group setting. And given the far-reaching musical tenets each of these "sets of compositions" notated by tracks are, that is no mean feat. The first set takes the now legendary "159" and adds to it the rhythm section improvisation from "30," and the piano saxophone duet from "108a."
In 2003 Anthony Braxton Quartet went on a European tour which has become legendary. The members of this quartet were Kevin O'Neil on guitar, Kevin Norton on percussion and Andy Eulau on bass. The concept of the tour was to perform jazz standards and during the tour the quartet performed over 60 different ones. The results of the tour were two 4-CD sets entitled 23 Standards (Quartet) 2003 and 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 released by Leo Records. Both sets received tremendous critical acclaim. Reviewers noted that Braxton performed jazz standards in an entirely new way. Rather than echoing, aping or diminishing the tradition he was reinventing it making both the past and present much richer than it was before. Now we are releasing the remaining 19 standards (no duplication with previous volumes), totalling 4.5 hours of music. The set is a must not only for Braxton's followers but for all jazz fans at large. Limited edition 500 copies.
Since he released the completely solo For Alto in 1968, the accepted image of Anthony Braxton has been that he is more a theoretician and art music composer than a jazz musician. Therefore, it might seem strange that Mosaic Records is giving his Complete Arista Recordings one of their fabled box set treatments. But Braxton is both – and much more. This set – as well as the original Arista recordings – were produced by Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic/Blue Note label head. The sheer scope of these recordings is staggering. What we get in this amazingly detailed collection is the weightiest argument yet for Braxton's range and depth of field as a musical thinker and his role as a pillar of modern jazz.