23 Standards (Quartet) 2003
CD LR 402/405
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Anthony Braxton returns with a 4-disc set that resumes where 2001's 8 Standards left off. 23 Standards features the same quartet as the previous release, again touring the archives of jazz and popular song composition to come up with a refreshing and varied program of familiar tunes to work with. Joining Braxton, longtime collaborator Kevin Norton executes percussion, and Andy Eulau plays bass. Remarkable newcomer guitarist Kevin O'Neil exhausts his fretboard on every track, maintaining carpal tunnel inducing runs and tasteful chorded accompaniment. For all his startling compositions with scary chemical equation titles and librarian persona, here Braxton leaves no doubt how rooted in the jazz tradition he remains.