Anthony Braxton 1962-1969



Generated on Sun, Jan 07, 2007


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Date: 1961-62?
Location: Chicago Vocational High School, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Cute  (Neal Hefti)
b.Harlem Nocturne  (Earle Hagen, Dick Rogers)
c.Lil' Darlin'  (Neal Hefti)

Additional unknown personnel and titles. Braxton played in a group called the Melody Makers while at Chicago Vocational High School, playing swing and standards such as the tunes listed.


Date: 1961-63?
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Take Five  (Paul Desmond)
b.Blue Rondo A La Turk  (Dave Brubeck)

"Well, by the time I met Roscoe Mitchell [in 1963], I had been kicked out of maybe 500 sessions for calling 'Take Five' and 'Blue Rondo A La Turk.' And I was discovering that as an African-American who was deeply involved in the music of Paul Desmond, there seemed to be a context of complexities that I would have to get used to." AB, Panken Interview, 1995.


Date: ca. 1963
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Ari Brown (p), Reggie Willis (b), Jerome Cooper (d)

a.Milestones [aka Miles]  (Miles Davis)

Additional unknown titles. This was Braxton's first group - note Ari Brown on piano back then! They played in sessions clubs on the South Side around 58th Street and 70th Street. Different bands would take the stage. "We'd usually hold the stage," according to Braxton. The repetoire was bebop and standards. AB interview, 11/10/05.


Date: mid 1963
Location: Wilson Junior College, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell (sax), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Milestones [aka Miles]  (Miles Davis)
b.Bye Bye Blackbird  (Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson)

Omit Joseph Jarman (sax) on b. Omit Roscoe Mitchell (sax) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (as) on b.

Additional unknown personnel. "At that session, I sat in--this was before Roscoe showed up. I think I got lost on ‘Milestones…’ [laughter] I think it was maybe the first time I'd played with a rhythm section. I was so nervous and excited. Anyway, when Roscoe came in, everyone did the equivalent of backing to the walls, sweating with fear. And by the way, Roscoe had a sound that was like forte to the 26th power. He was playing something like seven reeds; the guy was out. He came up to the bandstand, called up his guys, a tenor player, trumpet player, saxophonist, maybe Jack DeJohnette on drums; they started playing ‘By By Blackbird.’ Mike Heffley, I can not begin to describe it; all I can say is they played the head; he took the first chorus. I said, well, you know, it's okay. He took the second chorus; hmm, fairly interesting; third chorus: whoa, this is kind of interesting; fourth chorus: goddamn, what the fuck; fifth chorus: GODDAMN; sixth chorus: MAMMA, HELP! seventh chorus: KILL ME, FUCK IT; eighth chorus: I'LL JUMP OUT THE MOTHERFUCKING WINDOW, I'M GIVING UP MUSIC AND LIFE!! I'LL BE A MOTHERFUCKING SHOE SALESMAN!!! When Roscoe Mitchell finished his solo on ‘By By, Blackbird,’ my life had changed. I joined the army a week later. . . . I had to get away from everything I knew about, and try to make some sense out of what was happening, because no longer, by 1963, was music something that I enjoyed or something that was fascinating: it became something that toally dominated my whole psyche, all-encompassing; and it was so powerful that it was basically like someone turning you upside down and shaking you." AB, Heffley, Third Millenial Interview, part 6. mheffley.web.wesleyan.edu/ab3m.

Further comments


Date: 1963-64
Location: Fifth Army Band, Fort Sheridan, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (cl, as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. "I talked it over with my music teacher, Jack Gell, and then I took, and passed, a test for the Fifth Army Band. This was an Area Band, the bands that the generals use, so they always keep their instruments, they don't do any fighting. I went to basic training first, then I was stationed with the Fifth Army Band in Highland Park, Illinois, for about a year and a half. It was an excellent group, some of the best musicians I ever played with, even though it was a very racist organization: I was only the second black person in it. . . . " FIM 45. Braxton has also referred to his army experience as "the worst thing that ever happened to me." Radano 58. Braxton took basic training with the 113th Army Band in Fort Knox, Kentucky. "The Fifty Army Band had a radio show; every week they'd play different kinds of music -- Broadway musicals, arrrangements of Tristan and Isolde, The Sound of Music. It was very educational for me." FIM 46.


Date: 1964
Location: Fifth Army Band, Fort Sheridan, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (cl, as), Sonny Seals (ts)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. In the Fifth Army Band, Braxton met tenor saxophonist Sonny Seals, who exposed him further to the new music of Coltrane and Dolphy. During this period Braxton was able to get into the city to take lessons with Jack Gell, see and play gigs, and heard John Coltrane three times in the year and a half before he shipped off to Korea. Braxton also was active with the civil rights group CORE during this period. Radano 62.


Date: 1965-66
Location: Eighth Army Band, Seoul, South Korea
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (cl, ts)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. "Then I went into the Eighth Army Band and was stationed in Korea under General Westmoreland." FIM 46.


Date: 1965-66
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Label: [private recording]

Anthony Braxton (as), Joseph Stevenson (b), David Lee (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. "While it was hardly an inspirational gig ('There were a lot of those players who didn't care about music, and I had to sneak out at night to practice'), a cadre of talented, serious jazz musicians managed to escape their bases regularly to rehearse and play clubs and concerts in Seoul and elsewhere. A favorite partner was the effervescent drummer David Lee, presently [1968] working in New Orleans ('He's my main man - a monster!'): another was career Army man Joe Stevenson, a really fine bassist. In this stimulating atmosphere, Anthony composed and perfected his style." John Litweiler, notes to Three Compositions of New Jazz, 5/5/68. Joseph Stevenson was a Staff Sergeant and Drum Major. "I met a lot of good musicians who were interested in improvised music, so there were sessions. I had my own group in Korea - it was very nice." FIM 46. Litweiler recalls that Braxton played him a tape he brought back from Korea of this group. Litweiler corresp. 12/7/05.


Date: October 1965
Location: Knight Field, Yongsan Army Garrison, Seoul, South Korea
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ww)

a.The United Nations Command March  (Joseph Stevenson)

Additional unknown personnel. "Staff Sergeant Joseph W. Stevenson [bassist in Braxton's group], Drum Major for the Band, wrote 'The United Nations Command March' in 1965. An Army bandsman for 15 years, Stevenson was encouraged by a former bandmaster to compose the march. . . . The 'UNC March' was introduced on Knight Field during a special ceremony in early October 1965." 8th Army Band web site. www.8tharmy.korea.army.mil/band/history.


Date: 1965-66
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. "I have been interested since the mid-60s in trying to explore composite possibilities. When I was in Korea, I played with the Korean folk musicians. When I went to Japan, for the little moment I was there I studied with the Japanese musicians." AB, Heffley, Third Millenial Interview, part 5. mheffley.web.wesleyan.edu/ab3m. "It was basically free improvisation, but they were playing folk instruments . . . I came back from Korea with about 40 records of Korean folk music. And Indian music. My main man was Ali Akbar Khan." AB interview, 11/10/05.


Date: November 1966
Location: Archway Lounge, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Charles Clark (b), Alvin Fielder (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Just returned from Army service, altoist Anthony Braxton, with bassist Charlie Clark and drummer Alvin Fielder, recently played at the new Archway Lounge." db 12/1/66 (Archway Lounge was at 61st and South Park.) As soon as he got back to Chicago, Braxton's cousin Rafiki Woodard took him to an AACM concert and Braxton met up with Roscoe Mitchell. Radano 113. "The kid had returned from the war and was now able to stand on his own." Joseph Jarman, Mixtery. Braxton recalls that this trio had played other gigs before the Archway. AB interview, 11/10/05. Alvin Fielder recalls working in a trio with Braxton and Jenkins for a few months -- the musicians got paid $10 a night. AF interview 8/11/06. Fielder played fairly regularly with Braxton and Jenkins, as well as Kalaparush, for some period of time.


Date: November 1966
Location: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Lester Bowie (t), Leonard Smith (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Photos in Composition Notes Book A p. 120b by Terry Martin. Photo also in Coda, March 1967.


Date: November 1966?
Location: Archway Lounge, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Roscoe Mitchell (ww), Anthony Braxton, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake (as), Lester Bowie (t), Phillip Wilson (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Braxton recalls one gig in the period where several AACM musicians played together at the Archway with musicians from St. Louis - Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill. Braxton believes this to be the first time all these musicians played together. AB interview, 11/10/05.


Date: ca. November 20, 1966
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Roscoe Mitchell (ldr), Anthony Braxton, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell (ww), Abshalom Benshlomo [aka Virgil Pumphrey] (as), Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d), Muhal Richard Abrams (unk)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Braxton's cousin Rafiki took him to an AACM concert by the Richard Abrams ensemble within a day or two after Braxton got back to Chicago from the Army. Braxton renewed his acquaintance with Roscoe Mitchell there and soon joined the AACM. The Figi Donation contains an AACM flyer for a 20 November 1966 concert by the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. On the back Figi handwrote the list of musicians given above, who were presumably the performers in that concert. The Abraham Lincoln Centre (700 E Oakwood) was the main home for AACM concerts from 1965 to 1968.


Date: ca. December 5, 1966
Location: Robin's Nest Lounge, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Lester Lashley (tb), Amina Claudine Myers (org), Charles Clark (b), Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d)

a.Sneakin'  (Amina Claudine Myers)
b.Curse of Almon Ra  (Anthony Braxton)
c.Lost Lamb  (Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu])
d.8th House of Death  (Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre)
e.Chant of the Oppressed  (Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre)
f.Blues For Eros  (Julian Priester)
g.Number 7  (Anthony Braxton)
h.Our Versionova  (Amina Claudine Myers, Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu])
i.8th House of Death  (Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre)

"From that point, after getting out of the Army, I met Claudine [Amina Claudine Myers]. Amina and Ajaramu [a veteran AACM drummer aka Gerald Donovan] gave me my first concert, gave me the opportunity to have the first performance in Chicago. We worked together for a period of a couple of years." Anthony Braxton, Panken Interview, 1995. "Ajay's Members" was a group led by Ajaramu that played during 1966 and 1967. Ajay's Members played a concert on December 5, 1966 at Robin's Nest Lounge (7100 S. Stony Island) (db 1/12/67). The Figi Donation contains both a postcard ad for this concert, as well as an undated program for a "Concert for Ajay's Members" with the compositions listed above. Presumably the concert program is for this December 5, 1966 concert. "Curse of Almon Ra" was an early composition that did not receive a number in Braxton's Catalog of Works. AB interview 11/10/2005. The piece "Number 7" does not appear to be the same work that ultimately became "Composition No. 7." Figi's handwritten note on the back of the program says "Braxton gets the forced sweetness, the stilted attack of a player in a 20s tango band." In Coda (March 1967) Litweiler describes a similar lineup playing a piece by Braxton called "Number 10."


Date: Fall 1966 - Spring 1967
Location: Phamous Lounge, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Charles Clark (b), Thurman Barker (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Nearby at the Phamous Lounge (1900 E. 71st St.) is the Anthony Braxton Quartet . . . on Thursdays." db 1/26/67. Maurice McIntyre was also a regular member of this group. "Almost immediately, the partnership of Braxton and Jenkins was formed. It has lasted through a series of groups from their original quartets and quintets of solo players (including the challenging Maurice McIntyre, whom Anthony calls 'The most important tenor saxophonist since Coltrane') through an overtly Mitchell-Abrams-influenced period into the present trio and quartet." John Litweiler, liner notes to Three Compositions for New Jazz, 5/5/68.


Date: Fall 1966 - Spring 1967
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Amina Claudine Myers (org), Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Braxton seems to have played pretty regularly with the "Gerald Donovan Sextet" during this period. HW 54. An ad in the Figi Donation shows that Ajaramu was playing regularly at the Robin's Nest starting in late January 1967 with "well known local and out of town musicians." Ajaramu and Myers were also playing regularly at the Hungry Eye with AACM members sitting in.


Date: January 1967
Location: Reynolds Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Lester Lashley (tb), Charles Clark (b), Steve McCall (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Photo (by Terry Martin) in Composition Notes Book A p. 120a.

Further comments


Date: January 1967
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Joseph Jarman (ldr), Anthony Braxton, Joseph Jarman (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. John Litweiler recalls one of Braxton's first AACM performances being a Jarman concert at the Lincoln Center in January 1967, "in which Braxton played a solo alto sax composition by Henry Threadgill." (JL to JP, 12/7/05)


Date: January 22, 1967
Location: Mandel Hall, Reynolds Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. Anthony Braxton's group filled in for Andrew Hill who failed to make his scheduled concert at U of C. db 2/23/67 and 3/23/67.


Date: Early 1967 (Tuesdays)
Location: Phamous Lounge, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Charles Clark (b), Thurman Barker (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.Composition 6B  (Anthony Braxton)

"Composition No. 6B was written in 1967 as a vehicle for my creative quartet music. During the early part of that year I had the opportunity to form an ensemble for the purpose of playing at a club on the south side of Chicago. For a period of four to five months my quartet (including Charles Clark, Thurman Barker, Leroy Jenkins and myself) would perform every Monday at the 'Famous Lounge.'" (Composition Notes Book A p. 44) (db 2/9/67, 2/23/67 and 3/9/67 list Anthony Braxton playing the Phamous Lounge on Tuesdays).


Date: February 11, 1967
Location: Reynolds Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (cl, as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Lester Lashley (tb), Rodney Crosby (p), Charles Clark (b), Thurman Barker, Alvin Fielder (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.Ann And June  (Anthony Braxton)
b.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)
c.Impressions  (John Coltrane)

Omit Anthony Braxton (cl) on c. Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts) on c only. Lester Lashley (tb) on c only. Rodney Crosby (p) on c only. Alvin Fielder (d) on c only.

db 3/27/67 and 5/18/67. This concert, held in conjunction with a Liberal Arts conference at U of C, drew 200 people. The first quartet was Alvin Fielder/Richard Abrams/Lester Lashley/Maurice McIntyre. Braxton played with his quartet, and at the end brought everybody back (with Rodney Crosby replacing Abrams on piano) to play Impressions. John Litweiler wrote an extensive review of this concert in the 5/18/67 Down Beat.


Date: March 14, 1967 (Tuesdays)
Location: White Elephant (911 S. Kedzie), Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Leonard Jones (b), Thurman Barker (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Altoist Anthony Braxton brought a quintet . . . into the White Elephant for a run of Tuesdays, which began March 14." db 5/4/1967. Braxton is also listed at the White Elephant on Tuesdays in the 5/18/67 issue.


Date: March 19, 1967
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Postcard ad in the Figi Donation. "The quartets of Abshlom Ben Shlomo and Anthony Braxton and the Leonard Jones Quintet gave recent concerts at Lincoln Center. The programs were produced by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians." db 4/20/67.


Date: April 16, 1967
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Joseph Jarman (ldr), Nate Vincent (ww), Anthony Braxton (as), Fred Anderson (ts), Michael Davis (t), Lester Lashley (tb), Christopher Gaddy (p), Charles Clark, Leonard Jones (b), Thurman Barker, Alvin Fielder (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn), Carolyn Revis (vc), David Moore (spk)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Altoist Joseph Jarman led 13 pieces at Abraham Lincoln Center April 16." db 6/1/67. "At a recent concert with twelve pieces Jarman devoted himself entirely to direction, while relative newcomer Anthony Braxton took over the alto chair. The instrumentation on this occasion was trumpet, trombone, three saxophones doubling woodwinds, piano, violin, two cellos, two basses and two percussion - the mathematics is saved by Lester Lashley playing trombone and cello, but not playing bass, which he could have done with equal facility." Terry Martin, "The Chicago Avant-Garde," Jazz Monthly, Mar. 1968. It seems Martin is referring to this 1967 concert.


Date: 1966-68?
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Roland Kirk (ldr), Roland Kirk (ww), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Mr. Kirk was one of the first guys to let me play with him in Chicago." Charlie Parker Project liner notes. This was probably after his stint in the army.


Date: May 12, 1967
Location: Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Charles Clark (b), Thurman Barker (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

db 6/15/67.


Date: May 24, 1967
Location: Lutkin Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Muhal Richard Abrams (ldr), Anthony Braxton (ob, cl, as), Joseph Jarman (rec, ss, as), Muhal Richard Abrams (cl, p), Fred Anderson (ts), Gordon Emmanuel (vib), Lester Lashley (b, vc), Thurman Barker (per)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

The program for this concert is in the Figi Donation. The program was in "suite form" -- Step I - mediation - ritual - Step II - mediation II - Step III - rejoicing - intermission - Step I - mediation III - rejoicing II - Step II - contemplation - The Flight. HW 54. This is Braxton's first documented performance under the leadership of Muhal Richard Abrams, although he must have been playing with Abrams' Experimental Band for several months. Abrams' role as a mentor for the younger AACM musicians, including Braxton, was immensely important. "Musically and intellectually, Braxton learned through Abrams to trust his instincts, to follow his passions, to pursue openly and freely interests that would contribute to his creative ends. He received from him encouragement to listen widely, to compose his own music, and to develop an approach that, complementing the organization's commitment to radical innovation, would express his own personal character." Radano 114. HW 54 lists Braxton as playing with Abrams in Milwaukee on May 22-26, but from the db reference (6/29/67) it appears more likely that Abrams was actually playing a solo gig there.


Date: Spring 1967?
Location: Regal Theater, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

George Hunter (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as, ts), George Hunter (bar)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. At some point, Braxton played in George Hunter's band at the Regal Theater at 47th and South Park. The orchestra played back up behind acts such as Sam & Dave, the Impressions and the Del-Vikings. FIM 43-44. Braxton's best recollection is that his Regal stint came after he got out of the army. He remembered Hunter fondly as someone who worked to help musicians get work - not just in his own band, but with others as well. AB interview, 11/10/05. I have been able to confirm that the Impressions played at the Regal for a week starting May 26, 1967, which likely means that this was the period when Braxton was playing there. (Chicago Defender 5/27/67.) During this period Braxton also played behind various R&B acts with the Morris Ellis band.


Date: June 7, 1967
Location: Sound Studios, Chicago, IL
Label: Delmark

Muhal Richard Abrams (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Muhal Richard Abrams (p, vc), Charles Clark, Leonard Jones (b), Thurman Barker (d), Leroy Jenkins (vn), David Moore (spk)

a.The Bird Song - 23:00  (Muhal Richard Abrams)
     Delmark LP 12": DS 413 - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1968)
     Delmark CD: DD 413 - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1991)

Also bells, bird whistle and tambourines. HW and FM wrongly give recording date for "The Bird Song" as 12/21/67. CD liner notes show the date as 6/7/67, as does Jazz Records 1942-1980, vol. 1 by Erik Raben. Chuck Nessa also has confirmed that "The Bird Song" was recorded at the June session, at which he was present. HW and FM also mistakenly credit this song to Leo Smith. The original LP label credits Bird Song to Abrams, with poetry by David Moore, and the song is registered under Abrams' name at BMI. Smith did not perform at this session and may not even have arrived in Chicago yet.


Date: June 1967
Location: University of Chicago Law School Auditorium, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Lester Bowie (t)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. John Litweiler recalls this concert and believes it was a quintet that may have included Leroy Jenkins. JL to JP 12/7/05.


Date: July 29, 1967
Location: Christ Methodist Church (6401 S. Sangamon St.), Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

The Anthony Braxton Quartet, sponsored by Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Chicago Area Draft Resisters (CADRE), advertised in Chicago Maroon, 7/28/67, and Chicago Defender, 7/29/67.


Date: Summer/Fall 1967
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Muhal Richard Abrams (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Muhal Richard Abrams (p)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. "During summer/autumn 1967 Braxton was concerting regularly with Richard Abrams and his group." HW 54.


Date: August 6, 1967
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Postcard ad for Anthony Braxton Quartet in Figi Donation.


Date: 1967?
Location: Arkansas
Label: [no known recording]

Sam Moore, Dave Prater (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Sam Moore, Dave Prater (v)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Addiitonal unknown personnel. Braxton went on tour as part of the band with Sam & Dave. One night somewhere in Arkansas Braxton decided to play a "post-Ayler" solo. He got fired that night and returned to Chicago. JP interview 11/10/05.


Date: October 13, 1967
Location: The Commons, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional unknown personnel. Anthony Braxton Quintet. Chicago Tribune, 10/13/67.


Date: October 15, 1967
Location: First Unitarian Church, Deerfield, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), John Gilmore (p), Charles Clark (b), Steve McCall, Bill Quinn (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

db 11/2/67.


Date: Fall 1967
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Malachi Favors (b)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

HW 54. Chicago Area Draft Resisters (CADRE) Benefit.


Date: December 21, 1967
Location: Sound Studios, Chicago, IL
Label: Delmark

Muhal Richard Abrams (ldr), Muhal Richard Abrams (cl, p), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Gordon Emmanuel (vib), Charles Clark (b), Thurman Barker (d), Penelope Taylor (v)

a.My Thoughts Are My Future - Now And Forever - 09:43  (Muhal Richard Abrams)
b.Levels And Degrees Of Light - 10:33  (Muhal Richard Abrams)
Both titles on: -     Delmark LP 12": DS 413 - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1968)
-     Delmark CD: DD 413 - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1991)

Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (cl) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (as) on b. Omit Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts) on b. Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (p) on b. Omit Charles Clark (b) on b.

HW and FM give recording date for "My Thoughts Are Now" as June 7, 1967, but the December date is correct per Chuck Nessa. CN to JP, 11/8/05.


Date: 1967 or early 1968 (first solo concert)
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Improvisation  (solo improvisation)

First Solo Concert. Fully improvised. "His interest in structure dated from the first solo concert he gave, in 1967. This was supposed to be an improvised concert: 'I imagined I was just going to get up there and play for one hour from pure invention, but after ten minutes I'd run through all my ideas and started to repeat myself. I felt like, 'Oh my God, and there's still fifty minutes to go!' I thought, hmm, I better make sure this doesn't happen again. So the question became, How to proceed?'" FIM 27. I have found no documentation of the dates of these solo concerts. In interviews, Braxton has referred to this first concert taking place in 1967, but others on the scene (Martin, Litweiler, Nessa) do not recall hearing of Braxton's solo music this early. Braxton told me the first concert could have been a year or even a year and a half after his return from the army. AB interview, 11/10/05. I think late 1967 or early 1968 is when the first concert probably took place. According to Joseph Jarman, Muhal Richard Abrams expected all AACM members to perform an unaccompanied all solo concert to enhance their understanding of musical form. (Radano, 131-32, citing Kostakis and Lange, "Joseph Jarman Interview," Coda (Dec. 1977).) Jarman dates his own first solo concert to 1967 or 1968. Roscoe Mitchell did a solo set at a December 8, 1967 AACM concert (probably with little instuments), and Mitchell, Bowie and Favors performed solos in the studio in March 1968.

Further comments


Date: February 4, 1968
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Braxton's Group." HW 54, db 2/22/68, Figi Donation.


Date: Early 1968?
Location: Reynolds Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as), Leo Smith (t), Muhal Richard Abrams (p), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.Composition 6D  (Anthony Braxton)
b.Composition 6E  (Anthony Braxton)

Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (p) on b.

Composition Notes I 52, 57 list these compositions and personnel as having been first performed in the Fall of 1968. However, given that they received studio recordings in the Spring, it is more likely that they were composed in the Fall of 1967 or early 1968.


Date: Early to mid 1968? (second solo concert)
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Composition 8C  (Anthony Braxton)
b.Composition 8A  (Anthony Braxton)
c.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"This concert would be the first exclusive concert of designed solo music for the creative improvisational instrumentalist (on a single-lined instrument with extended improvisational materials." (Composition Notes Book A p. 119) After the first fully-improvised and unsatisfactory (to Braxton) solo concert, Braxton began to compose the "language music" solo compositions that were ultimately collected in composition no. 8. In the unpublished liner notes to "For Alto," Braxton wrote: "Most of the music on this record has been performed at different recitals that I have given in Chicago. At Lincoln Center on the South Side of Chicago and at the Parkway Community Center in '68." delmark.com//rhythm.braxton.htm. Based on the Composition Notes, 8A and 8C were played at the first concert of composed solo music (i.e., the second solo concert). 8G and stages one through three of 8I were also premiered at concerts at Lincoln Center. Presumably compositions 8B, 8D, 8E and 8F were also premiered in those concerts.


Date: March 1968/69?
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center?, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Composition 8I  (Anthony Braxton)
b.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Braxton's liner notes to Saxophone Improvisations Series F indicate that Composition 8I was first performed at Lincoln Center in March 1968. The Composition Notes are more precise and indicate that stages 1 to 3 of Composition 8I were first performed at Lincoln Center, but that stages 4 and 5 were composed and premiered in Paris in 1971. (Then in handwriting on the next page the notes say "stage 4 & 5 written later 1972.") The Series F liner notes say that Composition 8J was premiered at Parkway Community Center. Not only is that a different venue, but the Composition Notes state that "Composition No. 8J was written in 1971." The Lincoln Center site is probably correct if the concert was March 1968, because AACM did not move into Parkway until the end of the year. However, it is also possible that the premiere of compositions 8I and 8J actually took place at Parkway in 1969.


Date: March 27, 1968
Location: Sound Studios, Chicago, IL
Label: Delmark

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (f, mus, cl, ss, as, acc, sd), Leroy Jenkins (rec, h, bd, cym, vn, vl, s-w, w), Leo Smith (kaz, t, mp, xyl)

a.Composition 6E - 20:03  (Anthony Braxton)
     Delmark LP 12": DS 415 - Three Compositions Of New Jazz (1970)
     Delmark CD: DD 415 - Three Compositions Of New Jazz

also mixer (AB), bird whistle (LJ). The early critical reaction to Three Compositions of New Jazz fit the mold that Braxton's music was too "cold" and "Western." Typical was the comment of Will Smith in Jazz and Pop (April 1970): "The failure of Braxton's own album is that it lacks a rhythm section and thus has little impetus. The music is rather like the wanderings of contemporary 'serious' composers--cold, detached, and somewhat static." Radano 147.


Date: April 10, 1968
Location: Sound Studios, Chicago, IL
Label: Delmark

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (f, mus, cl, ss, as, acc, sd), Leroy Jenkins (h, cym, vn, vl, w), Leo Smith (kaz, t, mp, xyl), Muhal Richard Abrams (acl, p)

a.Composition 6D - 12:57  (Anthony Braxton)
b.The Bell - 10:31  (Leo Smith)
Both titles on: -     Delmark LP 12": DS 415 - Three Compositions Of New Jazz (1970)
-     Delmark CD: DD 415 - Three Compositions Of New Jazz

Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (acl) on a. Omit Leroy Jenkins (w) on a.

Also mixer (AB), bird whistle (LJ).


Date: May 19, 1968
Location: Old Town Players (1718 North Park), Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Muhal Richard Abrams (ldr), Muhal Richard Abrams (f, cl, p), Joseph Jarman (ss, as), Anthony Braxton (as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre, John Stubblefield (ts), John Jackson, Leo Smith (t), Charles Clark, Leonard Jones (b), Alvin Fielder (per), Leroy Jenkins (vn), Sherri Scott (v), Rosetta Ewing (dnc)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

db 5/30/68; HW 54. The Figi Donation contains a program for this concert, with Jarman's and Ewing's names added in pen, probably by Figi. The program, in suite form, is The Prayer - The Dance - The Ritual - The Prayer II - Intermission - The Prayer III - The Ritual II - The Prayer IV - The Song - The Ritual III - The Prayer IV.


Date: Summer 1968
Location: Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Roscoe Mitchell (ss), Joseph Jarman (as), Leo Smith (t), Lester Bowie (fh)

a.Composition 2  (Anthony Braxton)

"Composition No. 2 was written in the summer of 1968 for the summer concert season of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. . . . The first performance of Composition No. 2 was done at Lincoln Center in Chicago in a non-public run through. The musicians on this occasion were Leo Smith, Joseph [Jarman], Lester Bowie and Roscoe Mitchell. The instrumentation at that run-through was trumpet, alto saxophone, flugelhorn and Bb soprano saxophone." Composition Notes vol. 1 16.


Date: 1968-69
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as), Leo Smith (t)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

"Leo Smith and I gave a lot of concerts with tape -- we didn't have a synthesizer so we'd go and record sounds, integrate them into the music." FIM 48.


Date: January 1, 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Additional AACM personnel. "The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians celebrated its move to the Parkway Community House with a holiday festival of converts at the end of December. Final event in the festival was to be a New Year's Day affair including every member of the association." db 2/6/69 p. 42. The Parkway Community House was at 500 E. 67th St.


Date: February 2, 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Joseph Jarman (bsn), Anthony Braxton (cbc), Wallace McMillan (bar), Roscoe Mitchell (bsx), Malachi Favors (b), Lester Bowie (bd)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

AACM Concert. "Concerts are being given at the Parkway Community House 7 nights a week." This "unusual (to say the least) instrumentation" was one piece in a 5 hour concert that included a Maurice McIntyre group, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, poet Bruce Rutlin and the AACM big band led by Richard Abrams. db, 3/20/69 at 41-42. HW gives date incorrectly as Feb. 5, 1969.


Date: February 9, 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

AACM flyer for February 1969. "Jazz is alive six nights a week at the Parkway Community House." It is not clear if this was a solo or ensemble concert.


Date: February 22, 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Same flyer as 2/6/69.


Date: early 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr)

a.Composition 3  (Anthony Braxton)

Additional unknown personal. The first runthrough of Composition No. 3 "took place in Chicago in early 1969 at the AACM performance center." Composition Notes vol. 1 26. The piece is scored for eight brass or woodwind instruments, piano and two percussionists. It is not clear whether Braxton conducted or played in the runthrough.


Date: April 18, 1969
Location: Afro Arts Theater, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Wallace McMillan (f), Muhal Richard Abrams (ww, p), Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, John Stubblefield (ww), Anthony Braxton (ss, as), Lester Bowie (t), Mchka Ubu (b), Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)
b.Welcome  (John Coltrane)

Omit Wallace McMillan (f) on b. Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (ww) on b. Omit Joseph Jarman (ww) on b. Omit Roscoe Mitchell (ww) on b. Omit John Stubblefield (ww) on b. Omit Anthony Braxton (ss) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (as) on b. Omit Lester Bowie (t) on b. Omit Muhal Richard Abrams (p) on b. Omit Mchka Ubu (b) on b. Omit Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d) on b.

Memorial concert for bassist Charles Clark, who died April 15, 1969. HW 55. "Braxton's a capella performance on soprano of John Coltrane's Welcome at the memorial tribute to bassist Charles Clark April 18 (DB, May 19) was a moving farewell to that talented young musician." db 6/12/69. "Welcome" was Braxton's favorite Coltrane composition, and this was the last time he performed it. Braxton interview, 3/19/06.


Date: April 25, 1969
Location: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (ww), Leo Smith (t, fh), John Gilmore (p), Malachi Favors (b), Thurman Barker (d)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Concert devoted to music of Eric Dolphy. HW 55; db 6/12/69; Chicago Maroon, 4/25/69.


Date: Late Spring/Summer 1969?
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [private recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (as)

a.Composition 8A - 00:37  (Anthony Braxton)
b.Composition 8B - 19:46  (Anthony Braxton)
c.Composition 8C - 10:19  (Anthony Braxton)
d.Composition 8D - 12:49  (Anthony Braxton)
e.Composition 8E  (Anthony Braxton)
f.Composition 8F  (Anthony Braxton)
g.Composition 8G - 10:01  (Anthony Braxton)
h.Composition 8H  (Anthony Braxton)
All titles on: -     Delmark LP 12": DS 420/421 - For Alto (1971)
-     Delmark CD: DE 420 - For Alto

"For Alto challenged every parameter of the music, tonal, textual, rhythmic and structural. . . . For Alto is one of the genuinely important American recordings. While some landmark performances retain only a mystical aura of their original significance, it remains powerfully listenable and endlessly fascinating." Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (2002 6th ed.) "I recorded that material myself in the basement of the Parkway Community Center and basically gave it to Delmark Records -- and they still wouldn't put it out." FIM 53. The CD lists the recording as "during the summer of 1969." The date must have been in 1969 since the AACM moved from Lincoln Center to Parkway Community House at the end of 1968. The unpublished liner notes written in February 1970 say "the music on this album is almost a year old." delmark.com//rhythm.braxton.htm. So the 1969 date is probably correct. However, FM and HW give "Autumn 1968." There is also tremendous confusion and controversy over the correct attribution of the various tracks on this recording.

Further comments


Date: May 28, 1969
Location: Ida Noyes Library, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (ww), Leo Smith (t, fh), Leroy Jenkins (vn)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Chicago Maroon (5/28/69) lists "Anthony Braxton Trio playing two exercise[s] in space." It is highly likely that this was a performance by the musicians listed, playing Silence and Off the Top of My Head, which were recorded around this time.


Date: probably June 1969
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: [private recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (f, af, wf, cbc, ss, as, bar, per), Leroy Jenkins (h, acc, per, vn), Leo Smith (t, fh, mp, per)

a.a-01Off The Top Of My Head - 17:16  (Leroy Jenkins)
b.b-01Silence - 15:10  (Leo Smith)
Both titles on: -     Freedom LP 12": FLP 40123 - Silence
-     Black Lion CD: BLCD 760221 - Silence/Time Zones (1996)

Omit Anthony Braxton (f) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (af) on b. Omit Anthony Braxton (wf) on b. Omit Anthony Braxton (ss) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (bar) on a. Omit Leo Smith (mp) on a. Omit Anthony Braxton (per) on a. Omit Leroy Jenkins (per) on a. Omit Leo Smith (per) on a.

"The sleeve gives Paris, 18 July 1969 as recording place and date. First Alex Dutilh suggested an earlier date for these recordings, in Chicago shortly before the musicians moved to Europe, then June 1969 at the latest. This date was later confirmed by Braxton himself during a phone conversation with Peter N. Wilson, January 1993." FM 4 (see also Wilson 93-94). Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith has also confirmed that the recording was made in Chicago a couple of weeks prior to leaving town. LS interview, 5/5/2006.


Date: June 6, 1969
Location: Parkway Community House, Chicago, IL
Label: [no known recording]

Anthony Braxton (ldr), Anthony Braxton (ww, as), Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (ts), Wallace McMillan (bar), Leo Smith (t), Muhal Richard Abrams (p, vc), Charles Clark, Mchka Ubu (b), Leonard Jones (b, d), Gerald Donovan [aka Ajaramu] (d), David Moore (spk)

a.[unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

HW 55 provides detailed personnel for this date. db (7/24/69) just says that Braxton led a group at the start of the AACM weekend concert series at the start of June.


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