35

Henry Threadgill Zooid: In For A Penny, In For A Pound

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Fresh off his significant contribution to Jack DeJohnette's Made In Chicago (ECM, 2015), composer/saxophonist/flautist Henry Threadgill and his most long-established group, Zooid, return for the ensemble's most creative and ambitious collection. Almost thirty years ago, Threadgill told Chicago's Pulitzer winning writer, Studs Terkel, of the influence of marching bands that he saw in that city's frequent street parades. That influence—along with that of his founding status in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians—are apparent in the adventurous collection In For a Penny, In For a Pound.

Joining Threadgill are original group members, guitarist Liberty Ellman, trombonist/tubaist Jose Davila and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee along with violincellist Christopher Hoffman who came on board with Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp (Pi Recordings, 2012). Bassist Stomu Takeishi, a long time Threadgill colleague and part of Zooid since 2009, does not appear on In For a Penny, In for a Pound, resetting the ensemble to its quintet formation.

Only two of the six compositions on this double-disc set clock in at under fifteen minutes. One of those—the opening title track—sets the stage for Threadgill's uniquely abstract approach to composition. Here, he and Ellman weave through harmonic textures with a nimbleness that floats above the surface. Within "Ceroepic (for drums and percussion)," the earlier reference to parading marching bands takes on life. Threadgill has developed an approach of composing individual pieces in phases and if one were to imagine the passing of parade musicians, those here-and-gone themes and formats, it becomes palpable imagery on In For a Penny, In for a Pound.

Each of the three remaining long-form pieces is designated as a feature for a particular instrument or combination of instruments. The ubiquitous nature of changing patterns and textures makes the relatively brief featured contributions all the more engaging. The dynamic is especially notable in "Tresepic (for trombone and tuba)" where Davila bottoms-out the pitch for a time in contrast to the more pervasive lightness of the piece. While each piece includes elements of harmony and conflict, the compositions are devoid of jarring disruptions and are atmospherically ethereal.

Threadgill uses "epic" in these naming conventions not in a self-aggrandizing manner but to define the far-reaching scope of the compositions. He continues to be a composer of great complexity and feeling, creating alternating atmosphere and mood within each of his compositions, tying them together in unexpected ways. In a career that spans four decades, Threadgill is as relevant as ever and In For a Penny, In for a Pound is unique and memorable.

Track Listing

In For A Penny, In For A Pound (Opening); Ceroepic (For Drums And Percussion); Dosepic (For Cello); Off The Prompt Box (Exordium); Tresepic (For Trombone And Tuba); Unoepic (For Guitar).

Personnel

Henry Threadgill: alto saxophone, flute, bass flute; Jose Davila: trombone, tuba; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Christopher Hoffman: violoncello; Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums, percussion.

Album information

Title: In For A Penny, In For A Pound | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Pi Recordings

Listen

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.


MUSICSTACK

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers

AMAZON

CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more

HD TRACKS

Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads

CD UNIVERSE

Specializing in music, movies and video games

REVERB

Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

More

Read Bluebeard
Bluebeard
Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet
Read Battle Lines
Battle Lines
Steve Fidyk
Read Calling
Calling
Anansi Trio
Read That Time
That Time
London Jazz Composers Orchestra
Read Day By Day
Day By Day
Cory Weeds
Read Silver Dollar
Silver Dollar
Jason Stein
Read Four Questions
Four Questions
Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra