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Bill Dixon

Bill Dixon has been a driving force in the advancement of contemporary American Black Music for more than 45 years. His pioneering work as a musician and organizer in the early 1960’s helped lay the foundation for today’s creative improvised music scene in New York and beyond. In 1964, he founded the all-star artists collective, the Jazz Composers’ Guild, and produced and organized The October Revolution in Jazz, an unprecedented New York festival that helped put the so-called “new thing” on the cultural map.

A mentor to countless musicians, through both his teaching and his role as a producer for Savoy Records, Dixon turned his focus to education in the late 1960’s, serving for nearly 30 years on the faculty at the prestigious Bennington College, where he founded the historic Black Music Division in 1973.

With the notable exception of Cecil Taylor’s Conquistador (Blue Note), Dixon has recorded almost exclusively as a leader since 1962, most frequently for the Soul Note label in the 1980’s and 90’s. Still a prolific composer at age 82, his work as a composer and improvisor can also be heard on the critically acclaimed February 2008 CD, Bill Dixon with the Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey), and in July 2008 he recorded a new collection of original music with an all-star nonet for the Firehouse 12 label.


17 Musicians in Search of a Sound is pure Dixon, massive in scale and rigorous in execution...this is not a mere concert souvenir, but a significant statement. Dixon’s music is about the process of its becoming; while its expansions into dense, eventful fanfares and contractions into hushed, detailed dialogues may be scripted, the sound of the music is not...as group improvisations go, this one is remarkable for its poise and balance....it’s about great players subsuming their identities into an ensemble.
—Bill Meyer, DownBeat

...Dixon has fashioned a work around which new formal paradigms will need to be constructed. Dixon’s music explodes category: it is neither free nor through-composed, though elements of both approaches are often discernible. I hope this fine addition to his discography, coupled with a renewed interest in his work, will allow more of Dixon’s orchestral compositions to be performed by equally sympathetic interpreters.
—Marc Medwin, Signal to Noise

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Rob Mazurek
Ziv Taubenfeld
clarinet, bass


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

With (Exit) To...



Cecil Taylor e Bill...

Triple Point Records





Intents And Purposes

International Phonograph Inc.


The Complete...



Tapestries For Small...

Firehouse 12 Records




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