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Julius Hemphill


Julius Hemphill - alto and soprano saxophone (1928 - 1995) For over thirty-five years Julius Hemphill earned a reputation as one who broke down boundaries and defied labels. A prodigious composer who wrote luscious and shimmering sonorities with the ever-present tang of the blues, Hemphill was as comfortable writing for full orchestra as he was for his Sextet or Big Band. He composed for theater and multi-media productions and worked with some of this generation’s most acclaimed writers and choreographers who sought his unifying consciousness for collaborative projects. An improviser of immense talent and saxophonist who could coax the best out of any musical unit, Hemphill performed in almost every major jazz festival and hall in North America and Europe, including the Berlin, Montreal, Kool, Rome, Paris, Den Haag (North Sea), and Warsaw festivals. Born in 1938, Julius Hemphill divided his attention between music and sports while growing up in the fertile musical environment of Fort Worth, Texas


Article: Album Review

Roots Magic Sextet: Long Old Road

Read "Long Old Road" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The poet Jayne Cortez once wrote “I'm taking the blues back to where / the blues stealers won't go / I'm talking the blues back home." For Roots Magic, back home isn't the crossroads where Robert Johnson made that infamous deal with the devil, but the peninsula in Southern Europe we call Italy. Long Old Road ...


Article: Album Review

Russ Johnson Quartet: Reveal

Read "Reveal" reviewed by Troy Dostert

While he has appeared on seemingly countless releases as a sideman, trumpeter Russ Johnson remains chronically under-recorded as a leader. It thus comes as a cause for rejoicing whenever one sees his name at the top of a release. Thankfully, Calligram Records has helped redress that problem with Reveal, Johnson's latest offering featuring a quartet with ...


Article: Interview

Tobia Bondesan: Frenesia Creativa

Read "Tobia Bondesan: Frenesia Creativa" reviewed by Libero Farnè

Lo devo all'amico Vladimiro Pelliciardi se anni orsono ho conosciuto l'esistenza del collettivo BlueRing Improvisers e se, nel primo anno del Covid, ho avuto l'occasione di incontrare a Bologna i giovani Tobia Bondesan e Giuseppe Sardina. Pelliciardi è un personaggio poliedrico, vulcanico, dalle iniziative imprevedibili: nell'arco di oltre un quarantennio ingegnere, sassofonista, insegnante, trakker su percorsi ...


Article: Album Review

Patrick Brennan Sonic Openings: Tilting Curvaceous

Read "Tilting Curvaceous" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The quintet project Tilting Curvaceous is saxophonist/composer Patrick Brennan's sixth leader/co-leader date since the late 1990s. His duo recording Terraphonia (Creative Sources Recordings, 2019) with guitarist Abdul Moimême demonstrated a strong affinity for free improvisation within unconventional settings and uncommon concepts. Brennan is joined by trumpeter and flugelhorn player Brian Groder. The native New Yorker has ...


Article: Album Review

Marc Ducret: Palm Sweat — Marc Ducret Plays The Music Of Tim Berne

Read "Palm Sweat — Marc Ducret Plays The Music Of Tim Berne" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is a through line working within Palm Sweat -Marc Ducret Plays the Music of Tim Berne. The guitarist covers compositions passed to him by composer and saxophonist Tim Berne as he was leaving Brooklyn for his home in France just as the Covid19 lockdowns were beginning. The connections between Ducret and Berne are quite obvious. ...


Article: Album Review

Tim Berne & Matt Mitchell: One More Please

Read "One More Please" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

If the word accessible is even a thing in the vast musical vernacular of alto saxophonist Tim Berne and the ever willing collaborator pianist Matt Mitchell, they take full advantage of it on One More Please, their fourth duo date. Berne's music, more akin to an alien abduction than tangible through-lines, has its Gordian ...


Article: Interview

Tom Skinner: The Son Of Kemet Shines A Light

Read "Tom Skinner: The Son Of Kemet Shines A Light" reviewed by Chris May

Tom Skinner has been a vital presence on the alternative London jazz scene for close on twenty years. Yet, remarkably, only now in November 2022 is the drummer and composer releasing his first album under his own name. Voices Of Bishara features Skinner alongside four friends and fellow radicals: tenor saxophonists Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings, ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Julius Hemphill, Nels Cline and Eberhard Weber

Read "Julius Hemphill, Nels Cline and Eberhard Weber" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

I have been having temporary difficulties in uploading my recent radio shows. While I work on that, here is a program from July 27, 2021, that features the usual wide variety of musicians. This show includes Julius Hemphill, Nels Cline, Brian Woodruff, and Eberhard Weber. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait To Get ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Cello Songs

Read "Cello Songs" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The cello has never been a prominent instrument in jazz, but for decades there have always been musicians who have tried to explore its potential in improvisational contexts. Here are current releases from two of them. Erik Friedlander A Queens' Firefly Skiptone 2022 Erik Friedlander's album shows ...


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