David Murray Profiled


English: David Murray playing at Cully Jazz Fe...

David Murray

From The Washington Post:

A 20-year-old Murray took jazz by surprise in 1975, when New York was still reeling from the death of John Coltrane. The penetrating certainty and harmonic sparseness of Coltrane’s late work left people awed. Murray made his mark by reengaging with the older, more lyrical styles of Don Byas and Ben Webster, and he built new room in the avant-garde for blues humor and playful ironies.

George Antheil Profiled


Picture of the composer, George Antheil

Picture of the composer, George Antheil 

From ABC Radio National:

Ballet Mécanique is one of the most radical compositions of the 20th century. The score calls for 16 player pianos, three xylophones, four bass drums, a tam-tam, two grand pianos, seven bells, a fire siren, and three airplane propellers. At its premiere in 1926 it caused a riot in Paris at the Theatre du Champs Elysées.

Sonic Liberation 8 Re-imagines Loft Jazz and Chamber Music


From The Key:

Living in New York City between 1976 and 1985, Kevin Diehl found himself in the midst of the fertile loft jazz scene. During that now-legendary period, some of the most influential and forward-thinking musicians of the last half-century gathered together in Soho, forging a new sound building on the 1960s avant-garde and asserting their independence from major record labels and nightclubs. They were a group fueled by the communitarian spirit of organizations like Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and St. Louis’ Black Artists Group (BAG). During the period that Diehl lived in New York, these rich hybrid musics cross-pollinated with one another and planted the seeds that would grow into his long-running group Sonic Liberation Front once he returned to Philadelphia.

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa pays homage to Charlie Parker his way


Rudresh Mahanthappa

Rudresh Mahanthappa

From the Chicago Reader:

Like so many of today’s most interesting jazz musicians, the saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa regularly creates disparate contexts, hybrids, and concepts to develop new music. The son of Indian immigrants, he’s explored the music of the subcontinent in multiple environments: some have been explicit, such as the remarkable 2008 album Kinsmen (Pi), where he collaborated with the Indian classical-music saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath; others have been more subtle and integrated, such as the 2006 duets collection Raw Materials (Savoy) he made with pianist and fellow Indian-American Vijay Iyer. On other records he’s developed his compositions around cryptology and number theory (Codebook [Pi]), while yet another celebrated one of his mentors and musical heroes—the saxophonist Bunky Green.

Matthew Shipp Talks Herbie Hancock’s Memoir Possibilities, and Not Dying for Your Art


English: Herbie_Hancock_Tollwood_062

Herbie Hancock

Matthew Shipp opines on Herbie Hancock.

To a jazz pianist like me, who was deep in the learning phase in the ’70s, Herbie Hancock was a musical and industry force who had to be reckoned with. He was ubiquitous and he spanned so many different movements and stylistic shifts that any aspiring jazz musician had to deal with his impact. As a keyboardist, composer and bandleader, he reflected the mutations of jazz in his era, and even though Hancock was never a primary influence or inspiration for me, he could not be ignored.

Rudresh Mahanthappa Interview and Profile


Rudresh Mahanthappa

Rudresh Mahanthappa 

From DownBeat:

Rudresh Mahanthappa wasn’t interested in hearing Blue. I had offered to play some of the controversial note-for-note reconstruction of Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue by the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, but the alto saxophonist declined. Repeating jazz history has never interested him much. Mahanthappa, 43, prefers taking jazz to new places, whether on his dozen or so acclaimed, wide-ranging albums as a leader, or in collaboration with artists such as Vijay Iyer, Bunky Green, Danilo Pérez, Jack DeJohnette and Rez Abbasi.

Ken Vandermark Profiled and Interviewed


English: *description: Ken Vandermark photogra...

Ken Vandermark 

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark is one of the most persuasive, personified arguments for why every state’s liquor laws should be amended to allow minors to attend concerts if accompanied by a parent or guardian. While still in his tweens, Ken was enjoying jazz clubs in his hometown of Boston at the side of his father Stu, who wrote for jazz/improv bible Cadence Magazine. “I was out three nights a week at hundreds of shows like Art Blakey and Johnny Griffin. That’s where I fell in love with jazz, figuring out that they were playing the same pieces different ways every night. I was captivated by that.” His epiphany arrived when his dad gave him free-jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee’s “Tenor” album at the age of 17 from a stack of Cadence promos.