StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Percussionist and composer Tyshawn Sorey


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This week, let's check out some videos of percussionist and composer Tyshawn Sorey, who's coming to St. Louis with his trio to perform in a concert presented by New Music Circle at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, April 16 at The Stage at KDHX.

Sorey, a New Jersey native who also plays trombone and piano, earned a master's degree in composition from Wesleyan University and now is pursuing a doctorate at Columbia University in NYC, studying primarily under trombonist, electronic musician and composer George Lewis.

Touted by the New York Times in 2009 as one of “Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now," Sorey has recorded or performed with musicians including Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Steve Lehman, Joey Baron, Muhal Richard Abrams, Pete Robbins, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Butch Morris, Sylvie Courvoisier, and many others.

As a composer, Sorey has written works in a variety of genres and released four albums as a leader. His most recent recording is 2014's Alloy, which features music combining formal composition and improvisation performed with pianist Cory Smythe and bassist Chris Tordini, who will play with him here in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any video online of the Alloy trio. So instead, today's post presents a sampling of performances featuring Sorey, starting with a full set by Fieldwork, a cooperative project with pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Steve Lehman, that was recorded in January 2015 at The Stone in NYC.

After the jump, you can see Sorey playing with two more piano trios- the first featuring pianist Dave Burrell and bassist Henry Grimes, the second with pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Mark Helias- both recorded in July 2015 at The Stone.

Next up is an undated video of Sorey's own quartet, performing an excerpt from his extended work “Acts". That's followed by a duo improvisation with saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, recorded in January 2015 in Macedonia.

The final clip is a brief interview with Sorey, in which he talks about being a drummer who also composes. For more about Tyshawn Sorey, read the interview he did in 2012 with AllAboutJazz.com, and his 2011 “Before and After" blindfold test from Jazz Times magazine.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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