This interview was originally published at One Final Note in October 2002. When one reflects on the innovators who were fundamental in propelling the second wave of the new music movement in the 1960s, Bill Dixon's name always appears near the top of the list. His accomplishments as a musician and educator are vast, a small sampling of which includes his work as architect of the Jazz Composers' Guild in 1964; the formation of the Black Music Division at Bennington College, Visiting Professor in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin, and Distinguished Visitor in the ...read more
At last Bill Dixon's almost mythical Intents And Purposes sees the light of day once again. The only sadness is that the trumpeter died in June 2010 before his monumental early masterpiece could resurface. Painstakingly transferred from the two-track masters, the disc is lovingly presented as a facsimile of the original LP with the album cover and liner notes duplicated and the CD, in an inner sleeve, sporting the RCA Victor label. Dixon is on record as saying that he would rather it never be reissued if it couldn't be done with the relevant amount of fidelity to the philosophy ...read more
Intents And Purposes has long been revered as Bill Dixon's singular masterpiece. Out of print for years, the late trumpet innovator's magnum opus has been lovingly remastered and reissued on CD, by International Phonograph Inc., in a deluxe mini-LP styled package that replicates the original 1967 issue, providing an important opportunity to reevaluate this seminal work. Since his decisive involvement in 1964's October Revolution in Jazz and lengthy tenure at Bennington College in Vermont (1968-1995), Dixon has been renowned for his skills as an organizer and an educator rather than his pioneering advancements as an instrumentalist and composer. ...read more
Introduction by AAJ Contributor Clifford Allen.
It is rare in the climate of this music to be presented with a view of an artist that is truly multifaceted, even though the collected works of most artists operate at a number of levels and, on occasion, in a number of media. Bill Dixon is probably best known as a trumpeter and composer; he is also a visual artist, professor (Bennington College, 1968-1996), and has created an expansive body of written material, only a small amount of which have been published. These writings include journals, letters, lectures, and short pieces that, in ...read more
Back in 2007 Firehouse 12 Records announced itself in an audacious declaration of intent with release of Anthony Braxton's 9 CD+DVD box set Nine Compositions 2006. Now in a move of similar ambition the label has gone someway to redressing the imbalance in composer/trumpeter Bill Dixon's recorded output, with this handsome two CD + DVD set which is undoubtedly one of the events of the year. It follows hot on the heels of two other important orchestral works in a 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur (Aum Fidelity, 2008) and Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey, 2007), but surpasses ...read more
Bill Dixon Tapestries For Small Orchestra Firehouse 12 2007
When this double-CD/single-DVD set hits the market in November 2009, trumpeter Bill Dixon will be 84 years old. In an ideal world--and on the basis of this release that's the world Dixon inhabits--age wouldn't be an issue. His work is that of a questing spirit not in thrall to the ageing process. Dixon's life and music were celebrated at the Vision Festival in 2007, but both are still in a state of evolution and progress.
The ensemble assembled here deserves all the plaudits it should ...read more
Trumpeter and composer Bill Dixon is one of those rare figures in creative music who was both there as it took its initial steps and currently remains at the forefront of contemporary improvisation. In the last two years, he has directed or co-led orchestral configurations and recorded and performed with hand-picked small groups of international renown. The modern brass language and its expansion of vocal sounds into areas hitherto rarely occupied by any instrument certainly are reflected in Dixon's years of solo work and sculpting of sound.
Chapter Index Prologue Early History Teaching, Mentoring and the ...read more