Archive for the ‘Artist Profile’ Category

The incandescent piano of Vijay Iyer

Posted: December 11, 2014 by Mike in Artist Profile

From Livemint:

Of the performers who have made it to the A-list, pianist-composer Vijay Iyer perhaps shines the brightest. A critics’ favorite and Grammy award nominee, Iyer has been fulsomely praised as an extravagantly gifted pianist and composer who is bringing a new sensibility in intricate improvisations, which is much in evidence in the albums he has released in the past few years.

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From peoplesworld:

A favorite elder statesman and unsung hero of Free Jazz, who served as a powerful conduit between the Black Arts Movement and the Downtown avant garde, passed away suddenly on November 19, just days shy of his 76th birthday. Will Connell had been planning a week-long residency over the Christmas season at the Stone in New York City, intended as a retrospective into his 50-plus years in the music as well as a showcase for his current projects.

English: Mirrored version of File:RobertWyatt ...

Robert Wyatt

From The Guardian:

Back in the lairy crash-pad days of the early 1970s, you wouldn’t have pegged Wyatt, or any of his friends and fellow prog-rock players in the so‑called “Canterbury Scene”, as future national treasure material. In some ways, Wyatt’s widely cherished status doesn’t make much more sense today. A free jazz drummer and long-time Communist party member with a fondness for obscure European surrealists …


The fantasy only deepened on arriving at the West Broadway building where the composer, vocalist, dancer, choreographer, director and filmmaker Meredith Monk has lived and worked since 1972. A star and survivor of that long-ago downtown scene, she marks the 50th anniversary of the start of her professional career this year, an ideal moment to honor her pathbreaking work, which has inspired artists as different as Merce Cunningham and Björk.

Lindsay Cooper Profiled

Posted: November 21, 2014 by Mike in Artist Profile

A year after her passing, Lindsay Cooper is profiled in anticipation of next week’s Henry Cow reunion.

When Lindsay Cooper stepped on to the stage of the Battersea Arts Centre, picked up her bassoon and started to play, I was transfixed. As a group, Henry Cow projected a radical image, rejecting the trappings of rock-star status and, it seemed, 4/4 time as well. But what really stood out was the presence – unusual at the time – of three female musicians. Dagmar Krause sang with stark intensity, Georgie Born played a mean bass guitar, and Lindsay Cooper brought an instrument that is normally hidden in the back rows of an orchestra right into the front line.


For most jazz musicians, the process of building a career is drastically different from the “American-Idol-overnight-sensation” model. Saxophonist and composer Tony Malaby, who performed Monday night at the Icehouse in Minneapolis, is a good example. Malaby has been a stalwart of the New York City jazz scene for nearly 20 years, has released 10 albums as a bandleader and has been a member of bands led by luminaries such as Charlie Haden, Paul Motian and others. Lately, though, Malaby has been getting some overdue attention in the jazz press.

English: Frode Gjerstad, moers festival 2008

English: Frode Gjerstad, moers festival 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From, some words in anticipation of a Friday concert in South Carolina.

Nowadays, when Norwegian free jazz saxophone colossus Frode Gjerstad performs in a trio, it’s typically with two fellow countrymen: bassist Jon Rune Strøm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. But when Gjerstad first started playing jazz, he didn’t have many people to play with.