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Paul Flaherty


Paul Flaherty (born November 6, 1948, Hartford, Connecticut) is a legendary American saxophonist who plays primarily in free improvisational idioms.

Alto and tenor saxophonist Paul Flaherty is New England's purveyor of the ecstatic jazz pulse. Even before his 1978 debut Flaherty remained unshakable in the pursuit of soul healing and demon dashing through freedom music. That first record, In the Midst of Chaos was cut with his local clan, under the banner Orange. For the next 20 years Flaherty remained exclusively in the great North East and recording over a dozen blasting, freely improvised albums with drummer Randall Colbourne, and others, for Cadence and their own Zaabway imprint. Since 2001 Flaherty's notoriety has risen in tandem with his hyper-acclaimed duo with drummer Chris Corsano and collaborations Dream/Aktion Unit (with Jim O'Rourke and Thurston Moore), Cold Bleak Heat, Dredd Foole, Joe McPhee, Steve Baczkowski, Marc Edwards, and many others.


Article: Festivals Talking

Moers Festival Interviews: Virginia Genta

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Virginia Genta" reviewed by Martin Longley

There is a tradition in the small German city of Moers, although its aims are far from traditional in orientation. Unless we consider the already sixty-year history (at least) of jazz-derived free improvisation. The Moers Festival has run since 1972, originally bent on exploring the vitality of free jazz, and still resolved towards that direction today, ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Brand New Releases from Engin Özşahin And More

Read "Brand New Releases from Engin Özşahin And More" reviewed by Bob Osborne

On this edition of the show a selection of new releases including Engin Özşahin, Location Location Location (Anthony Pirog, Michael Formanek, and, Mike Pride), Henry Threadgill, The Jazz Warriors, Paul Flaherty with Jim Matus & Larry Derdeyn, Tania Giannouli, Kaisa's Machine (Kaisa Mäensivu) , Will Bonness, No Fast Food (Phil Haynes, Dave Liebman and Drew Gress) ...


Article: Album Review

Rasmussen, Flaherty, Rowden, Corsano: Crying in Space

Read "Crying in Space" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The question to be answered during this live performance was, “Will there be enough space for all the musicians' voices to be heard?" Recorded at Firehouse 12, in June 2019, this new ensemble is an adaptation of various duos and familiar trios. Saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano have performed and recorded numerous discs together ...


Crying in Space

Label: Relative Pitch Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: The Hesitant Nature of Doubt (Shadow Chase); What to Expect When Faking Your Own Death; Industrial Sabotage Friday.


Article: Album Review

Chad Fowler: Alien Skin

Read "Alien Skin" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Freely improvised music, saxophonist Paul Flaherty dubbed it “the hated music." Experiencing Alien Skin brings to mind another quote, this one from a shampoo commercial from the late 1980s: “Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." A beautiful alchemy is this session captured in the fall of 2021. It contains a three-horn front line of Chad Fowler, ...


Article: Album Review

Albert Ayler: At Slugs’ Saloon 1966 Revisited

Read "At Slugs’ Saloon 1966 Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With Albert Ayler it has seemingly always been “what If." What if he had survived that plunge to his death in the East River in 1970? Setting aside the question of whether he was murdered or committed suicide, how would he have altered the course of music if he lived beyond those 34 years? At the ...


Article: Album Review

Paul Flaherty / Mike Roberson / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt: Borrowed From Children

Read "Borrowed From Children" reviewed by John Sharpe

Four determinedly free players, who have existed outside of the big city bubbles for some 40 years, now unite for the first time on Borrowed From Children. Out of sight maybe, but not out of mind, as a voluminous discography on a multitude of independent labels attests. Perhaps most comprehensively documented is reedman Paul Flaherty, who ...


Borrowed From Children

Label: 577 Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Crude Gray Sky; Dark Leaves Linger; Brazen Eyes; An Old Man Gone.


Article: Album Review

Paul Flaherty / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt / Mike Roberson: Borrowed From Children

Read "Borrowed From Children" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's misquote a Rolling Stones' lyric here, with the music of Paul Flaherty “you can always get what you want," and maybe to a greater extent, “you get what you need." For more decades than he might want to count, the saxophonist has been making his self-described 'hated music.' We're talking hate as in a bugaboo, ...


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