Anthony Braxton Project

Chapter Three (MEV/Circle)

1970-1971 Chronology

Returning from his first trip to Europe in early 1970, Braxton settled in New York, staying at Ornette Coleman’s apartment. In March, a group of AACM musicians, including Muhal Richard Abrams, played under the name the Creative Construction Company at New York’s Peace Chuch. Later that night, Braxton sat in with Chick Corea’s trio with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul. In a few months Braxton would join the group, touring as Circle.

"We all came from very different directions. Anthony Braxton came from the Chicago school, with Cage's music and the theatricals you spoke about the other day. And of course Chick came from quite a melodic Latin kind of thing and I came from England, with all that stuff that's going on there...and Barry was from New York, and had played with people like Paul Bley. There's quite a wide variety of viewpoints that came to me in the music which is why it has got such a lot of attention, and I figure that we had many different directions going on in the group." - Dave Holland, interviewed by Bill Smith in Coda, vol. 10, no. 12 (March-April 1973), p.3.

In the meantime, Braxton hooked up with Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) for a tour of the Midwest. The spring and summer of 1970 was also the fabled period when Braxton made a living playing chess in Washington Square Park.

Touring the coasts and Europe with Circle, Braxton gained further public attention. In between Circle gigs, Braxton continued to do solo concerts, and this period yielded several more recordings.

The stream of privately recorded Braxton expands in this period, with several unreleased Circle concerts in circulation.

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