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Jemeel Moondoc

A powerful and vastly underrated avant-garde alto saxophonist, Jemeel Moondoc blended the free-form melodic thought of Ornette Coleman and the sharp edge of Jackie McLean or Charles Tyler with the sort of ferocious "energy playing" usually reserved for tenorists. Moondoc began playing piano as a child, studied clarinet and flute, and settled on alto around age 16; he subsequently studied with Cecil Taylor at various colleges in the early '70s. In 1972, he moved to New York, where he formed Ensemble Muntu with trumpeter Roy Campbell, bassist William Parker, and drummer Rashid Baker. The group recorded for its own Muntu label in the late '70s, and Moondoc also led solo sessions for labels like Soul Note and Cadence through the early '80s. However, financial difficulties forced Moondoc to break up his large ensemble (the Jus Grew Orchestra) and essentially retire from music for over a decade, working as an architect's assistant

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Vision Festival 2019

Read "Vision Festival 2019" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti

Photos from Vision Jazz Festival 2019 held in New York from June 11 to 16. This year's festival was dedicated to Andrew Cyrille and featured Milford Graves, Kidd Jordan, Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Brotzmann, Marc Ribot, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Yoshiko Chuma, Melvin Gibbs, Jemeel Moondoc, Marty Ehrlich, Matthew Shipp, Rob Brown, Steve Swell, Kris Davis, ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

New York's 24th Annual Vision Festival

Read "New York's 24th Annual Vision Festival" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

Although Europe has a plethora of creative improvised music festivals throughout the year, drawing on a large audience base of appreciative fans, one festival in the USA stands out as the beacon of hope and encouragement for this music in its native land. Now in its 24th year, New York's Vision Festival, presented by Arts for ...

The Astral Revelations

Label: Rogue Art
Released: 2018
Track listing: Cosmic Nickelodeon; Blues For Katie; Here Now, Gone Now; Ornette Gone By.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jemeel Moondoc Quartet: The Astral Revelations

Read "The Astral Revelations" reviewed by John Sharpe

On The Astral Revelations alto saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc breathes new vitality into the legacy of the loft jazz era where he first made his name. It's a reputation most forcefully burnished in retrospect by the sumptuous box set Muntu Recordings (No Business, 2010), which showcases Moondoc alongside such future luminaries as bassist William Parker and the ...

Meet Jacob Cartwright

Read "Meet Jacob Cartwright" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Our August Super Fan is a visual artist with a special affinity for improvisational music, which has spilled over into his jazz-themed painting series. In jazz, as in art, Jacob Cartwright values the past while embracing the forward momentum of the new. Plus he's really “down with the jazz cats"--read on to see what we mean! ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Vision Festival 2018

Read "Vision Festival 2018" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti

Photos from Vision Jazz Festival 2018 held in New York from May 23 to 28. This year's festival was dedicated to Dave Burrell and featured Archie Shepp, Roscoe Mitchell, Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, Patricia Nicholson, Hamid Drake, James Brandon Lewis, Joelle Leandre, Nicole Mitchell, Mary Halvorson, Matthew Shipp, Nasheet Waits, Aruan Ortiz, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jaimie Branch, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Vision Festival 2018

Read "Vision Festival 2018" reviewed by John Sharpe

23rd Annual Vision Festival Roulette New York, NY May 23-28, 2018 Introduction The Vision Festival somewhat surprisingly but reassuringly stands proud as the longest-lived annually produced jazz festival in New York. While the central plank remains what the Festival terms avant jazz, it's interspersed with poetry, dance, art, and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2

Read "Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Part 1 | Part 2 Edgefest Ann Arbor, MI October 20-21, 2017 On the last two days of the festival, the Edgefest audience was treated to even more of the eclectic, explorative music that was present in abundance on Wednesday and Thursday. Edgefest-goers who were able ...


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