Saxophonist Bunky Green bristles at the idea of playing by the rules. On more than one occasion, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin native was on his way to jazz stardom, but each time his principles guided him elsewhere. This is a significant reason why the highly influential musician has mostly remained unsung and out of the spotlight for decades, instead focusing his energies on his role as a leading jazz educator. For the past two decades, Green has served as the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Florida at Jacksonville. During the early days of his career, ...read more
Apex is a cross-generational collaboration between ubiquitous 39 year-old poll-winner Rudresh Mahanthappa and undersung 75 year-old legend Bunky Green. Supported by an all-star rhythm section, the ideally paired alto saxophonists are joined by Mahanthappa's regular bassist François Moutin and stellar pianist Jason Moran, with newcomer Damion Reid and the renowned Jack DeJohnette alternating on drums. Encompassing a diverse range of material, Apex showcases the saxophonists' fervent interplay in collusion with an empathetic, highly responsive rhythm trio.A rising star, Mahanthappa's partiality for intricate structures based on mathematical and linguistic concepts has occasionally resulted in his work being labeled overly ...read more
Apex is an alto sax summit of huge proportions--a prodigious work of collaboration and stirring performances--boasting Rudresh Mahanthappa, one of today's rising stars, and Bunky Green, a lesser known master who has influenced innovators such as Greg Osby and Steve Coleman. Like another memorable 2010 release, Dual Identity (Clean Feed), which featured Mahanthappa and alto conceptualist Steve Lehman, the music here is another no-holds-barred outing between seminal artists. Though there's a 36 year age difference, Mahanthappa's fearless horn is equally matched by Green who, impressively at 75, continues to peel the paint off walls with an angular ...read more
Vernice Bunky" Green (born Apr. 23rd, 1935) is a product of Wisconsin, where he was raised and learned to play the alto saxophone. His first big break came when Charles Mingus briefly hired him in the '60s--an association that left a lasting influence on Green's own style. Green left Mingus to relocate in Chicago where he performed regularly, appearing with such players as Sonny Stitt, Yusef Lateef and Louie Bellson among others. His style was ever-evolving and succeeded in integrating traditional and contemporary improvising techniques. Green has a list of wide-ranging musical heroes that he credits for ...read more
This release is a welcome reminder that Bunky Green is alive and well--and one of the dozen most important alto sax players in the country. In spite of notable associations with bands led by Charles Mingus, Sonny Stitt and Yusef Lateef, Green's available catalog until this release consisted of a single disc, Healing the Pain (Delos, 1990). But Green was befriended by Steve Coleman, and we have this recording as a result. Part of Coleman's genius is getting talent, ranging from a young Cassandra Wilson to an elderly Von Freeman, to be noticed by labels and audiences. Coleman produced this ...read more
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