Anthony Braxton/Joe Fonda – Duets 1995 (CF 079)
Fonda’s talents for traversing the in and the out primed him for a set of duets with Anthony Braxton, recorded at Wesleyan University in 1995 and originally issued by Konnex as 10 Compositions (Duet) 1995. Braxton, too, has a love for the vanguard of jazz history as well as his own explorations and he calls upon Fonda to meet him in the middle for Cole Porter’s “All of You” and Vernon Duke’s “Autumn in New York”. Fonda in turn supplies two pieces of his own and the pair spends a little over half an hour working through Braxton’s compositions 136, 173 and a pairing of 147 and 168. While these are probably the most ‘important’ tracks on the disc — and it’s always interesting to hear Braxton’s compositions pared down to duo — it’s the standards that steal the show. Braxton has for decades had to insist that he is a jazz saxophonist and does know how to swing and his joyful, knotty solos here more than prove the case.