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YEAR IN REVIEW

Attarian's Dozen: The Twelve Best Recordings from 2018

Read "Attarian's Dozen: The Twelve Best Recordings from 2018" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The year 2018 was, musically speaking, a good year. The label Pi Recordings did it again with six magnificent albums, three of which made it in my top twelve. In addition, two feminist themed gems are included as well as four by master pianists. An intimate and adventurous duet, a meeting of great minds and a unique genre-bender round up the list. Below are the releases in no particular order. Henry Threadgill Dirt... And More Dirt ...

RADIO

Henry Threadgill, Ben LaMar Gay and other great new releases

Read "Henry Threadgill, Ben LaMar Gay and other great new releases" reviewed by Jennifer DeMeritt

This week we check out new releases by some of the most exciting and innovative jazz musicians working today, from established names like Henry Threadgill and Nik Bärtsch to exciting up-and-comers like Ben LaMar Gay. Happy listening! Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Ben Lamar Gay “Swim Swim" from Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun (International Anthem) 0:16 Host speaks 3:40 Ben Lamar Gay “Music for 18 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt...And More Dirt

Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pi Recordings, under the leadership of Seth Rosner, got its start in 2001 with the simultaneous release of two CDs from avant-garde reedman Henry Threadgill, Everybody's Mouth's A Book, featuring the band Make a Move, and Up Popped The Two Lips, by the Threadgill group Zooid. This was a re-emergence for Threadgill; his three-record deal with Columbia Records had ended in 1996, with the release of Where's Your Cup. He has since made the most of his relationship with Rosner's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt...And More Dirt

Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

One of only three jazz musicians to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music, for his 2015 Pi Recordings release In for a Penny, In for a Pound, Henry Threadgill is the avant-garde member of a triumvirate that includes the mainstream in Wynton Marsalis and free jazz with legend Ornette Coleman. A musical illusionist, Threadgill can create a scope of orchestration that is disproportionate to the size of its source. He can generate tremendous power and emotion without pyrotechnics or mawkishness, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery

Read "Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

Henry Threadgill Tilton Gallery Plain as plain, in plain sight New York, NY November 17, 2017 Henry Threadgill is writing a memoir. Or has written it. Or is asking people to write it for him. It may be an audiobook. It might not be about the events of his life, but it seemingly is, or will be, about the events of Nov. 17 and 18. Or maybe none of this is true.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Pi Recordings 2016 Releases

Read "Pi Recordings 2016 Releases" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up: Old Locks And Irregular Verbs

Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up: Old Locks And Irregular Verbs

Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "In For A Penny, In For A Pound" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "In for a Penny, In for a Pound" reviewed by Troy Collins

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "In For A Penny, In For A Pound" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "In for a Penny, In for a Pound" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

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 ...