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MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Pi Recordings 2016 Releases

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Over the 15 years of its existence, Pi Recordings has been the home of musical innovators both established and up and coming. Its catalogue includes works by such legends as composer and woodwind player Henry Threadgill, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and other members of the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The imprint is also where such rising talents as trumpeter Amir ElSaffar and guitarist Liberty Ellman launched their careers. Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang helm Pi and limit ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up: Old Locks And Irregular Verbs

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Here, one modern era jazz innovator pays homage to another modern era jazz innovator. The premise for this album is framed on Henry Threadgill's friendship and admiration to the late composer-conductor Butch Morris who cunningly established a new twist on large ensemble conduction processes. And the Ensemble Double Up is viewed as an extension to Threadgill's long-running Zooid band, now featuring two alto saxophonists and two pianists. Consequently, he doesn't play alto sax on this outing, devised on a four-part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up: Old Locks And Irregular Verbs

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The premiere of Old Locks and Irregular Verbs--Henry Threadgill's tribute to his longtime friend and colleague, musical pioneer Lawrence D. “Butch" Morris--was easily one of the most talked about events at the 2014 edition of New York's Winter Jazzfest. The buzz factor and expectation surrounding this work and the band performing it was so strong, in fact, that it was scheduled for two performance slots. For any other act at a festival that prides itself on diversity, that might've been ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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Innovative multi-reed player and composer Henry Threadgill is no stranger to adventurous projects. Starting with the groundbreaking trio Air four decades ago he has not stopped expanding his creative boundaries. The ambitious multi-part suite In for a Penny, In for a Pound highlights the unusual instrumentation Threadgill has always incorporated in his groups. Each movement is written for and coalesces around one of the members of Threadgill's current ensemble Zooid. The cinematic “Ceroepic" features drummer Elliott Humberto Kavee ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Threadgill Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound

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Renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill has led a number of critically acclaimed groups since his formative days as a founding member of the AACM, but none have endured as long as Zooid. Formed in 2001, the unit has undergone a few personnel changes over the years, although guitarist Liberty Ellman and tuba player/trombonist Jose Davila have been involved since the ensemble's inception. The current configuration is completed by cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee, making this particular ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Threadgill Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound

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Don't call this jazz. In a 2013 interview with Larry Appelbaum at the Library of Congress, saxophonist, flautist, and composer Henry Threadgill, in so many words, denounced the association of labelling his music with a diluted categorization. Having performed with free thinking musicians like Muhal Richard Abrams and Anthony Braxton; lead highly regarded and out of the mainstream groups such as Air, Very Very Circus, and currently and arguably his best ensemble, Zooid; Threadgill continues to orbit around forward thinking ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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No artist manages to marry compositional specificity and independent thought to the degree that Henry Threadgill does. And while his singular vision(s) with groups like Air and Very Very Circus have already earned him a place in the history of this music, when all is said and done, his work with Zooid may be his most important contribution to the ever-evolving art form of jazz. On In For A Penny, In For A Pound, Zooid delivers what ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill: Very Very Threadgill 2014

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Henry Threadgill Harlem Stage Gate House Very Very Threadgill New York, NY September 27-28, 2014 Henry Threadgill isn't one to repeat himself. In nearly 40 years of recording, he's only repeated a few compositions. So why would a retrospective of his work by a mere recapitulation? Very Very Threadgill--held Sept. 27 and 28 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse in upper Manhattan--was a tribute comprised of realizations, not reunions. Pieces from the past were ...


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