Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two new albums by composer, saxophonist and clarinetist Anthony Braxton. Although Braxton's music has been much criticized, Kevin calls him one of his heroes. Braxton's new albums are "19 Solo Compositions 1988" and "Seven Compositions (Trio) 1989."
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of a 1964 session featuring pianist Paul Bley. In the early years of his career, Bley worked closely with pianist Charles Mingus and saxophonist Ornette Colemen. Since the 60s, he's led his own small groups.
Sun Ra's recent releases reveal the pianists' enduring interest in free improvisation and spectacle. Jazz critic Francis Davis says one is a prime example of the musician's ensemble work; the other is unlistenable.