Artist Profile

Richard Pinhas Profiled

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Source: Cyclic Defrost.

There’s always been a mystique surrounding French guitarist and electronic musician Richard Pinhas, partly due to his association with French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard. In 1974 Pinhas completed his PhD in Philosophy from the Paris Sorbonne, where he had studied with Deleuze, with his dissertation, “Science-Fiction, Inconscient et Autres Machins’ (Science Fiction, the Unconscious and Other Things), about time and connections between science fiction, such as Frank Herbert’s cult novel Dune and analogue electronic music.

Early Ornette Coleman Remembered

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Source: All About Jazz.

June 11th 2015 was one of those momentous days in jazz history that can truly be said to signal the end of an era—it was the day Ornette Coleman died. It is a mark of his stature that, on the day in question, when jazz fans told each other, “Ornette is dead” no-one ever asked, “Ornette who?” As with Elvis or Miles, one name was sufficient. There have been other Colemans, but there was only ever one Ornette…

Frank Rosaly Profile and Interview

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Source: burning ambulance:

Percussionist Frank Rosaly is a busy guy. He’s just released his second solo album, and is featured on the latest discs from the Rempis Percussion Quartet and cornet player Josh Berman‘s trio. Malo, released on the Utech label like its predecessor, 2013’s Centering and Displacement, is made up of five discrete pieces ranging from just under four minutes to nearly 14, creating haunting/haunted moods that mix percussive eruptions with carefully deployed interludes of silence. Rosaly strikes, rubs and scrapes a wide variety of drums, small objects, and other surfaces, and brings in subtle electronics as well. The results are noisy, at times furious, but also dark and brooding; the CD absolutely lives up to its title (“evil” in Spanish). It’s easy to recommend it to fans of dark ambient music, noise, modern composition/New Music, or avant-garde metal, not quite so easy to encourage jazz fans to check it o

Thinking Plague Profiled

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Source: The Stash Dauber.

Over the last three decades, Johnson and his revolving cast of players (28 at this writing) have had a complex and convoluted history, creating a body of work that spans six albums (so far), with another in the works. Asked (by phone, from his home in Colorado) what has sustained him through his band’s lengthy trajectory, Johnson said, “Some kind of compulsion or insanity. I grew up in a time when it seemed that a person could do serious music and make a living. Having a full-time day career [now retired, the Navy veteran worked for years as a community college counselor] and the band required me to have two different personas and two different stores of energy.”

A Guide to Iannis Xenakis’s Music

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Source: The Guardian. This is an older article but I don’t think we featured it previously, and it serves as a good intro to Xenakis.

It sounds like something out of a film script. A Greek man in his early 20s fights for his homeland as part of the Communist resistance at the end of the second world war. Shrapnel from a blast from a British tank causes a horrendous facial injury that means the permanent loss of sight in one eye. He is sentenced to death after his exile to Paris (a sentence that was later commuted to a prison term, with his conviction finally quashed with the end of the junta in 1974). By the time he returns, he has become one of the leading creative figures of the century: an architect who trained, worked, and often transcended the inspiration of his mentor and boss, Le Corbusier; an intellectual whose physical and mathematical understanding of the way individual particles interact with each other and create a larger mass – atoms, birds, people, and musical notes – would produce one of the most fertile and prophetic aesthetic explorations in musical history; and above all a composer, whose craggily, joyously elemental music turned collections of pitches and rhythms and instruments into a force of nature, releasing a power that previous composers had only suggested metaphorically but which he would realise with arguably greater clarity, ferocity, intensity than any musician, before or since. This is the music of Iannis Xenakis.

Ernest Dawkins’ Other Chicago Jazz Fest

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Source: Chicago Reader.

Later this month, Dawkins leaves for Europe with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, led by drummer Kahil El’Zabar and also featuring Wilkes; in October, New Horizons headlines the Durban Jazz Festival in South Africa. He’s also preparing for this year’s Englewood Jazz Festival, which happens Saturday, September 19, in Hamilton Park; it’s the 16th installment of the annual showcase, which he founded in 2000 and supported in part with his own money for several years in the mid-aughts, after the initial funding stream dried up.

Tyondai Braxton Profiled

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English: Tyondai_Braxton, moers festival 2008

Source: Wilmette Week.

As an experimental musician, Tyondai Braxton is aware that once he starts talking about one of his projects, he is susceptible to sounding like an asshole. It comes with the territory, really. Whenever an artist working along the avant-garde fringe is pressed to explain inscrutable ideas, there’s a risk of making the music even more impenetrable—and of coming off like a total wanker.

But for Braxton, explaining himself is part of his process. As he sees it, interviews are a gesture of inclusiveness, a way of opening up the music rather than walling it off to anyone who isn’t a composition major. If he seems, as The New York Times observed, “openly self-conscious of any pretension” when discussing his art, it’s because he’s careful not to violate the spirit in which it was made.