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Leroy Jenkins

Born in Chicago, composer and violinist Leroy Jenkins was one of the most important musicians to emerge from the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), the legendary collective of which he was a member until his death in 2007. Like many of the Association's members, Jenkins studied under the legendary Walter Dyett at DuSable High School, where he learned the alto saxophone. He received a music degree (in violin) from Florida A&M University, where he studied composition and the classical masters of the violin. Subsequently, he taught music both in Mobile, Alabama (1961-5) and in the Chicago schools (1965-9)

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2020

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by John Sharpe

With so few performance opportunities since March, and musicians in continuing limbo, the continued stream of new releases has been a surprise, but a welcome one. For me, and many others, music has been a source of solace in an otherwise dreadful year. That makes it all the more invidious to pick and choose between honest ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alexander Hawkins, Tomeka Reid: Shards and Constellations

Read "Shards and Constellations" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Il fulminante incontro tra una coppia di improvvisatori e ricercatori tra i più in vista a livello internazionale, ben noti anche da noi per le collaborazioni con musicisti italiani, quali sono il pianista inglese Alexander Hawkins e la violoncellista statunitense Tomeka Reid, dà vita a cinquanta minuti di una musica perlopiù inquieta, imprevedibilmente serpeggiante e interamente ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May

The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Shaman!

Read "Shaman!" reviewed by Chris May

California-based tenor saxophonist and composer Idris Ackamoor, who has one foot in magical realism and the other in the politicised school of spiritual-jazz, relaunched his 1970s band the Pyramids in 2015. A year later, the group released the acclaimed We Be All Africans, which was followed in 2018 by the equally noteworthy An Angel Fell (both ...

AACM: Together We Are Stronger

Read "AACM: Together We Are Stronger" reviewed by Chris May

With the passing in 2017 of the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Phil Cohran, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, formed in Chicago in 1965, lost the last two of the four musicians who organised its inaugural meeting. But with two succeeding generations of standard bearers stepping up to the plate, the AACM ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alexander Hawkins and Tomeka Reid: Shards and Constellations

Read "Shards and Constellations" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although they have not recorded together previously, pianist Alexander Hawkins and cellist Tomeka Reid are both improvisers with omnivorous musical tastes and soaring ambition. Hawkins has fronted his own ensembles over the years—perhaps the most notable example being Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel, 2014)—but he's been active in freely-improvised contexts as well, working with everyone from ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Adam Rudolph: Ragmala and Prototypical Music

Read "Adam Rudolph: Ragmala and Prototypical Music" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Adam Rudolph has been seeking to push the boundaries of musical creativity for decades, developing a unique concept of composition, ensemble interaction, and conducting. As many writers have commented, his music resists critical commentary due to its prototypical nature. Said another way, Rudolph's music doesn't sound like anything else, and its antecedents are so varied that ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

ECMFest at SFJAZZ

Read "ECMFest at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

ECM Fest SFJAZZ San Francisco, California October 24-27, 2019 ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by in Munich In 1969 Karl Egger, Manfred Eicher and Manfred Scheffner had the brilliant foresight to found ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) in Munich, Germany. The label has ...


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