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Vision Festival 2010: Day 2, June 24, 2010

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Prologue | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 Muhal Richard Abrams, Joseph Jarman, John TchicaiVision FestivalAbrons Arts CenterNew York CityJune 24, 2010 Never has the Vision Festival tradition of honoring the lifetime achievement of seminal figures in the avant jazz world seemed more timely. In an eight-day period, which saw the passing of previous honorees Bill Dixon and Fred Anderson, the award for Chicago AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams was spectacularly apt. News of Anderson's death in ...

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John Tchicai: Four Ways

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New York Art Quartet Old Stuff Cuneiform 2010 John Tchicai's Five Points One Long Minute Nu Bop 2010 John Tchicai In Monk's Mood Steeplechase 2009 Various Artists Treader Duos Treader 2009 With nearly 50 years of recording, Danish saxophonist John Tchicai has a lot of history behind him. Forward looking from the start, he moved to New York ...

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John Butcher & Mark Sanders / Alex Ward & Roger Turner / John Tchicai & Tony Marsh: Treader Duos

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These three contrasting reeds/drums duos are a fine record of the concert at which they were recorded, in February 2008 at St Giles-in-the-Fields church, London. Each of the three tracks lasts about twenty five minutes, long enough for the duos to give a good account of themselves. The three tracks give an opportunity to hear some fine improvisers as well as to compare their differing approaches to the combination of reeds and drums.

The album opens with John Butcher and Mark Sanders already sounding warmed-up and tuned into each other. Sanders lays down a delicate pattern of cymbals alongside which ...

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John Tchicai at Cafe Oto in London

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John Tchicai / John Edwards / Tony Marsh Cafe Oto London August 24, 2009Having played with John Coltrane on his groundbreaking Ascension (Impulse, 1965), it was no surprise that Danish reedman John Tchicai attracted a large crowd on one of his infrequent London appearances at Dalston's Cafe Oto.

What was more of a surprise was the predominantly young audience, none of whom would have been born when Tchicai first made waves in New York City. Not only were there several musicians in the audience, but also the great writer and photographer ...

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John Tchicai / Hans Joachim Irmler / Jan Fride / Roman Bunka / Hanna Tuulikki / Aby Vulliamy / Chris Hladowski / George Murray: Schlachtfest Session II

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This isn't so much a meeting of minds as it is a meeting of generations; each individual intent on serving the perpetually slippery thing that is The Music. John Tchicai is the individual with the greatest heritage here, and the idea of him coming together with Hans Joachim Irmler of the sonic explorers Faust will always be an intriguing one. Here it yields inscrutable results, the whole musical whole far greater than the sum total of its parts.

Their coming together, just one as it is of many on offer here, perhaps unsurprisingly resulted in fearsomely collective music. Musical personalities, ...

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John Tchicai and Cadentia Nova Danica: Afrodisiaca

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A minor classic so unknown that, until this 2008 reissue, it wasn't even listed at All Music Guide, Danish-born of Congolese-descent saxophonist John Tchicai's 1969 MPS release Afrodisiaca is a sprawling, multi-disciplinary work that rivals better known works like John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965). No less a personal journey, Afrodisiaca stands, nearly forty years later, as a masterpiece that blends Afro-rhythms and harmonic conceits with improvisation of the freest kind, near-classical microtonalism and innovative sonic experimentation. Its reach as an underground classic is so broad that it's even considered by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore to be “beautiful, baby, BEAUTIFUL!"

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Paul Hemmings Trio with John Tchicai: Letter From America

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The Paul Hemmings Trio with saxophonist John Tchicai mixes some styles around on Letter From American, and still comes up with a cohesive set of sounds.“Under a New Mexico Sky" opens the disc with a sludgy rhythm behind John Tchicai's raw, loud saxophone. It sounds like Led Zeppelin, circa 1969, especially when guitarist Hemmings roars in like an amplified band saw. Tchicai is normally tagged as an avant-garde guy who played on an early avant blast--John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965). But here he sounds accessible, if brash and in-your-face.“Venice Beach Boardwalk" has a surf ...

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The Paul Hemmings Trio with John Tchicai: Letter From America

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When guitarist Paul Hemmings says that he views jazz through a wide angle lens, he is not making an idle boast. He shows just how adventurous a composer he is on this recording, his third as leader. It goes past his two previous recordings--In and Out (Leading Tone, 2003), which had a strong mainstream approach, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live!) (Leading Tone, 2006), which was a reworking of The Beatles' album recorded in concert.

Hemmings adds John Tchicai (tenor saxophone) to his group that consists of Adam Issadore (drum kit and percussion) and Gaku Takanashi ...

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John Tchicai: Two New Trios

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The Danish-American saxophonist John Tchicai, now resident in France, should need no introduction. He began building his reputation forty years ago on John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse!, 1965), and even now, at over seventy years old, he's still going strong.

On two fine new releases--Witch's Scream, recorded in New York in September 2004, and Good Night Songs, recorded in Amherst in December 2003--Tchicai proves himself still to be a compelling and spirited player, gifted with a sense of humor and drama, whose approach to any given musical piece is always fresh. John Tchicai, Reggie Workman and Andrew ...

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John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

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Justly renowned since the 1960s as one of the most lyrical and imaginative players in the avant-garde, Afro-Danish reedman John Tchicai shows no signs of diminishing creativity, although he recently celebrated his 70th birthday. He has collaborated with Boston-area musicians Charlie Kohlhase and Garrison Fewell in several contexts, but this tour was the first time the three had worked as a trio.

Tchicai plays tenor sax and bass clarinet; Kohlhase tenor, alto and baritone saxophones; Fewell guitar, chopsticks (!) and slide. Both Tchicai and Fewell are credited with percussion, too, though I'll be darned if I can hear any. Recorded ...

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John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

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These three protagonists set out their case for a trio of multiple reeds, guitar and percussion, and in doing so present a programme of music which is as idiosyncratic in itself as that lineup might suggest. On a more fundamental level, they also show that the plurality of improvised music can come up with some cogently individual statements of lasting value.

John Tchicai has a pedigree that goes back to the likes of Coltrane and Ayler, and even in the days when he was working with those two iconoclasts, he had a voice of his own. He proves that's still ...

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John Tchicai Trio: Good Night Songs

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The cryptic ideographs on the cover are suggestive: Good Night Song is like a Japanese haiku or Zen painting that--through economy of means, suggestion, emptiness and space--says more with less. Sans drums and bass, the trio features the leader on tenor, bass clarinet, and vocals; Charlie Kohlhase on tenor, alto, and baritone saxophones; and Garrison Fewell on guitar. The two-CD set, recorded live at the final date of their 2003 tour, presents the group's stark, exposed sound in a sometimes meditative, sometimes lyrically turbulent set.

Tchicai and Kohlhase are seamlessly simpatico, a product of previous pairings, and Fewell's guitar provides ...

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John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

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Good Night Songs is an intimate live recording of three masterful improvisers in a relaxed, contemplative mood. Serene yet challenging, this double album is the culmination of lives spent under the radar exploring free jazz as imperative expression.

Saxophonists John Tchicai and Charlie Kohlhase and guitarist Garrison Fewell converged on a late December evening in 2003 at the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Amherst, Massachusetts for the concert documented here. Within the setting of the church, the trio embarked on a program of restrained, but spiritually uplifting free jazz. Although each member of the trio has equal time, the indefatigable ...

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John Tchicai / Charlie Kohlhase / Garrison Fewell: Good Night Songs

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Good Night Songs documents a 2003 concert by a trio of two saxophonists--John Tchicai and Charlie Kohlhase--with guitarist Garrison Fewell. Though the lineup is unusual, the results are mesmerizing throughout this two-disc set.

Tchicai rose to prominence in the 1960s avant-garde scene in New York. He recorded with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, John Coltrane, and even John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Forty years later he continues to produce music that is pure, passionate and beyond categorization.

There is a subtle reference to Coltrane's A Love Supreme in Tchicai's composition “Ramana Maharshi, and that association is perhaps ...



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