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Article: Lyrics

Le Nuove Avventure di Phillip Johnston

Read "Le Nuove Avventure di Phillip Johnston" reviewed by Vic Albani


Il sessantaquattrenne signor Phillip Johnston è un avanguardista autentico da tempi non sospetti. Famoso ai più per essere stato uno dei fondatori di quella straordinaria fucina creativa che risponde al nome di Microscopic Septet dove passano o sono passati Joel Forrester, ma anche di John Zorn, Don Davis, Richard Dworkin, David Hofstra, Dave Sewelson, George Bishop, ...

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Article: Album Review

Microscopic Septet: Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues

Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Since its inception, the Microscopic Septet has endeavored to uphold co-founder Phillip Johnston's motto to “break all the rules and respect all the saints." Coming out of New York's internecine jazz wars of the early 1980s, with avant-gardists and traditionalists each denying the other side's legitimacy, the Micros tried to bridge the divide: showing that respect ...

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Article: Album Review

Microscopic Septet: Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues

Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Saxophonist Phillip Johnston founded The Microscopic Septet in 1980 when the group briefly counted John Zorn as one of its members. They recorded four albums and were a regular presence in New York's downtown scene before disbanding in 1992. In 2006 Cuneiform Records re-released the four albums leading to the reformation of the group and presently, ...

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Article: Album Review

Microscopic Septet: Manhattan Moonrise

Read "Manhattan Moonrise" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


In the 80s, the band engendered a cagey slant on mainstream swing and then morphed into the risk-taking New York downtown scene, eventually garnering widespread attention and sell-out crowds at the Knitting Factory and other hip venues. They regrouped in 2006, carrying the torch for what has become a singular sound, ingrained in classic jazz stylizations, ...

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Article: Album Review

The Microscopic Septet: Friday the Thirteenth: The Micros Play Monk

Read "Friday the Thirteenth: The Micros Play Monk" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


If two creative star trajectories were ever meant to cross, it was those of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk and the Microscopic Septet. Sure, Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron had a pretty good Monk gig going, and Sphere was a great tribute band lead by Monk's longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse (followed by Gary Bartz). But, the Micros...here ...


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