Anthony Braxton on recording the album For Alto

RUFFIN: NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT

RUFFIN: IN 1968, NEA JAZZ MASTER ANTHONY BRAXTON RECORDED A GROUNDBREAKING DOUBLE LP CALLED FOR ALTO, THE FIRST RECORD COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF SOLO SAXOPHONE.

ANTHONY BRAXTON: I recorded For Alto because I wasn't strong enough as a pianist to do a solo concert. I have always had a great love for solo piano music, especially Schoenberg and Stockhausen. And so I made the decision to do the solo music on the alto saxophone, which is my strongest instrument.

To Pianist Cecil Taylor up, hot

RUFFIN: ON FOR ALTO, BRAXTON DEDICATED EACH COMPOSITION TO A MUSICAL INFLUENCE OR CLOSE FRIEND, INCLUDING AVANT-GARDE ARTIST JOHN CAGE AND FREE JAZZ PIONEER CECIL TAYLOR.

ANTHONY BRAXTON: From the beginning, I have tried to use the music to establish personal connections or to honor the men and women who have helped me. So this was merely an attempt to say thank you to Mr. Cage, thank you to Cecil Taylor for the inspiration that they gave me.

And I remember saying to the cosmics how grateful I was to be born with all these opportunities.

THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH ALTO SAXOPHONIST ANTHONY BRAXTON WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

Excerpt of "To Pianist Cecil Taylor" composed and performed by Anthony Braxton from the album, For Alto, used courtesy of Delmark Records and used by permission of Synthesis Music [BMI].