Bassist Reggie Workman has spent almost 50 years participating in the shaping of modern jazz, playing with groups led by Art Blakey, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, using those experiences to form his own unique brand of improvising and composing. Just a few months short of 70, Workman continues to record and tour, as well as teach at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Lately he has focused his considerable energy towards organizing the Sculptured Sounds Music Festival, a series of shows taking place on Sundays this month at Saint Peter's Church.read more
Why would someone leave the John Coltrane Quartet? That question still stigmatizes Workman forty years after his departure, overshadowing his impressive collaborations as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (with Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan), and with Yusef Lateef, Sam Rivers, Andrew Hill, Archie Shepp, and Freddie Hubbard. So I asked. The following is my conversation with Reggie Workman, a groundbreaking bassist unfairly labeled 'avant-garde' and the before mentioned Trane water he has carried for far too long, unedited and in his own words.
FRED JUNG: Let's start from the beginning.
REGGIE WORKMAN: Because of ...read more