Pat Thomas / The Locals - Play The Music Of Anthony Braxton
From Edwin Pouncey in this month's Jazzwise:
To the casual listener, finding an entry point into the complex and substantial body of work by US composer Anthony Braxton can seem like a daunting task. It seems the only successful way to truly gain access to Braxton's multi-faceted musical universe is to simply leap right in and enjoy the ride. To some extent this is exactly what UK pianist-composer and improviser Pat Thomas and his group The Locals has proven here.....With clarinet player Alex Ward to the fore, the group storm through a selection of Braxton's early compositions.....that have been loosened from their academic conservatory moorings and given a pounding new groove that floats in the direction of funk. Despite this tweaking, Braxton's original compositional blueprints have not been totally discarded, but used more as a guide that prompts the musicians to take the music in a different (perhaps more accessible) direction. The hardcore Braxton devotee will perhaps be occasionally confounded by Thomas' approach, but throughout this thoroughly enjoyable exercise the spirit of the original force that created this music remains defiantly intact.