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Lonnie Plaxico: Being Your Own Bird

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Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] Electric and acoustic bassist Lonnie Plaxico has been on the jazz scene in New York since 1980. He is on hundreds of recordings with everyone from Art Blakey, Cassandra Wilson, Jack Dejohnette, to Ravi Coltrane. He has 13 CDs as a leader, the latest being Ancestral Devotion (Plaxmusic, 2009). I first played with Lonnie Plaxico in 1999 on some gigs with trombonist Robin Eubanks. Lonnie barely knew me, but he recommended me for a nine-week tour with Cassandra Wilson. I was a member of Plaxico's first ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lonnie Plaxico: West Side Stories

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Six original compositions and several familiar pieces give Lonnie Plaxico's eleventh album a heavy dose of spontaneity. With pianist George Colligan, drummer Kenny Grohowski, tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, trumpeter Alex Norris and several influential guests on board, the session rocks hard with a contemporary edge.

The theme of West Side Stories points to the neighborhood where Plaxico grew up: Chicago's West Side. He was brought up with a wide variety of musical forms, from funk, groove and soul to swing, pop, bop and mainstream jazz. Like most of us, the bassist has always enjoyed the spontaneity that comes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lonnie Plaxico: West Side Stories

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West Side Stories, Lonnie Plaxico's eleventh recording as a leader, draws from memories of growing up in Chicago and listening to a variety of sounds from the '70s--R&B, popular music and smooth jazz--as well as his collaboration in the development of advanced M-Base musical concepts in the '80s. To coin a phrase from none other than the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Plaxico might just be one the hardest working bassists in the business. He is a player with clear abilities, intensity and keen ideas who has contributed to many recordings, including releases by Art Blakey's Jazz ...

INTERVIEWS

Lonnie Plaxico

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Lonnie Plaxico's first recording on Blue Note is a treat for a musician who, in his early 40s, already has an exciting veteran career in jazz circles, although he played mostly R&B in Chicago. He left his native Windy City to come play for Wynton Marsalis. The famed trumpet player heard a demo tape from Plaxico and asked him, during Christmas, to come immediately to New York. Such a move, 20 years ago, led to gigs with Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Steve Coleman, a stint with Art Blakely, an even longer stay with Cassandra Wilson, as well as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lonnie Plaxico: Live at Jazz Standard

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The M-BASE Collective, when it first emerged in the ‘80s, championed a style that was about rhythmic unpredictability that was nevertheless mathematical in its precision, and a new way of looking at harmony that differentiated it from the post bop language of the young lions of the time. Bassist Lonnie Plaxico has the advantage of having worked seriously in both camps, and with his latest live release, Live at Jazz Standard he continues to straddle the line, although he clearly tends to lean towards the M-BASE side. The result is a mixed programme; while the talents of the members of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Lonnie Plaxico Group: Live at the Jazz Standard

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Bassist Lonnie Plaxico is perhaps best known for his associations with Greg Osby and M-Base, and for being the long-time bassist for Cassandra Wilson. He was the leader of several recordings made for the now static Muse label in the '80s and '90s. On January 29, 2003, Plaxico was leading an energetically funky sextet at New York City's Jazz Standard. The pieces populating this live disc are closer to Plaxico's Art Blakey experience than to his M-Base involvement. That is to say that this is superb contemporary hard bop. The spirit and association of Bu is big, very big. Plaxico's ...

INTERVIEWS

Lonnie Plaxico: Striving for Originality, Noteriety

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The story of bassist Lonnie Plaxico starts out like a classic tale. Local kid makes it out of Chicago’s projects by learning to play an instrument, finding himself, and making music his life’s work. He goes on to play bass with a Who’s Who list of musicians, including a long tenure with one of rising star vocalists, the dazzling Cassandra Wilson. But nowadays, Part II of that tale smacks of cold hard reality. A sharp musician with a vision tries to get some acclaim with his own band. Without “star” appeal, the picture is clouded by a music ...



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