Anthony Branker is an American composer and conductor who is releasing his eighth album on the Origins Records label. He is certainly one of the most important current American composers, and this work makes us question the fundamental issues of inclusion and belonging, as well as the circumstances of exploitation and the zones of refuge experienced by people of African origin.
There is a real intellectual commitment in which the music is the filament on which this masterpiece is laid. It is rare for me to be impressed by an album to this extent, here all the conditions are met, both the intellectual pretext and the musical proposal served by excellent artists: WALTER SMITH III – TENOR SAXOPHONE, PHILIP DIZACK – TRUMPET, REMY LE BOEUF – ALTO & SOPRANO SAXOPHONES, PETE MCCANN – GUITAR, FABIAN ALMAZAN – PIANO, LINDA MAY HAN OH – DOUBLE & ELECTRIC BASS, DONALD EDWARDS – DRUMS, ALISON CROCKETT – VOCALS & SPOKEN WORD, ANTHONY BRANKER – COMPOSER & MUSICAL DIRECTOR.
The voice of Alison Crockett, perfectly placed, touches us with an emotional sincerity, we swallow each of her words that put our little feverish brains into action, a talent like this cannot be invented. Anthony Branker’s compositions are luxuriously packaged in both classical and jazz forms, blending and intermingling to the point of no longer knowing what planet we are on, except for that of an exceptional composer, in front of whom one can feel small, due to the grandeur of his work. Musical beauty in the service of thought, or perhaps the reverse, the composer clearly loves instruments, knows how to perfectly showcase them, and uses them to prolong the reflections that Alison Crockett’s voice gives us. We come out of this musical proposal, like a play, with images in our heads and deep questions about the propositions that are made to us.
It would be wonderful to see this work on stage, to enjoy the reality of this wonderful gift that Anthony Branker gives us. I would like to thank Mr. Anthony Branker without whom we could not have made this review. The teams of Paris-Move and Bayou Blue Radio placed the “indispensable” sticker on the cover, without a word, completely impressed by this album.
PARIS-MOVE, January 25th 2023