Pianist and composer Dave Burrell was an important part of the free jazz scene of the 1960s, recording with Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown, Archie Shepp and others. His new CD with his Full-Blown Trio, Expansion, marks Burrell's first recording for a U.S. label in almost 40 years.
The icon's new album plays like a collection of discreet singles, with each performed in a different style, genre and mood. In this way, the album isn't a return to form, in part because David Bowie never took one form to begin with.
Composer, conductor and pianist Lukas Foss led several orchestras in his career, and took the Brooklyn Philharmonic from a community orchestra to a vital part of New York City's music scene. Foss died Feb. 1. He was 86.
He's part of the free-jazz movement in New York City (along with saxophonist David S. Ware, bassist William Parker and violinist Mat Maneri). One of his influences has been avante-garde pianist Cecil Taylor. Shipp's style has been described as "a distinctive combination of Mr. Taylor's percussive attack and Chopin's languid rubatos." He's been recording since the early 1990s, and has over 20 albums to his credit as leader and sideman. Since 1999, Shipp has been artistic director the Thirsty Ear Records' Blue Series.
Rudd is known for his work with groundbreaking groups and musicians like Herbie Nichols, the New York Art Quartet, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and Carla Bley. He has been playing traditional and avant-garde jazz for some 60 years. His latest CD is a live recording with Archie Shepp called Live in New York.
Juan Garcia Esquivel was the icon of space age bachelor music, producing innovative recordings of pop music in the 1950s and sixties. He died in his home in Mexico on January 3rd at the age of 83. In 1994 his work was re-issued on the CD, Esquivel!: Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (Bar/None). Yvonne de Bourbon, one of Esquivel's ex-wives, and a former performer in his live show.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead begins a new six-part series we call Avant-Garde Made Easy, highlighting some of the important modern jazz mavericks of the so-called Avant Garde. We begin the series with pianist, composer, and band leader Sun Ra.
We remember jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie. He died Monday at the age of 58 from liver cancer. Bowie was a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, founded in 1969. Bowie was known for his flamboyant performing, his sense of humor and theatrics, and his off kilter interpretations of R&B classics. (REBROADCAST from 11/3/89) (THIS INTERVIEW CONTINUES AFTER THE FLOATER).
Minimalist composer Steve Reich. He's considered one of our foremost living composers. There's a new CD "Reich Remixed" (Nonesuch) a dance album in which American, British, and Japanese DJ's pay tribute to Reich, by sampling and reassembling his music. Reich will be the subject of this summer's Lincoln Center Festival. And Reich's "Triple Quartet" written for and performed by the Kronos Quartet, will have its world premiere on May 22nd at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Composer Philip Glass. His latest work is a new score for the 1946 Jean Cocteau film adaptation of "La Belle et la Bête" ("Beauty and the Beast"). Glass's score includes four voices who sing a libretto, based on the screenplay. Glass has toured the live music-film event in Europe and the United States. One reviewer called it "a beautiful, superbly integrated work." (Time, Dec. 19, 1994). (The score is available on Nonesuch Records.)
Sonny Sharrock was a guitarist. His genre was the free-jazz movement of the late 1960's Jon Pareles said in the New York Times that Sharrock's "guitar solos streaked and clanged, using blistering speed and raw noise to create music that had both the openness of jazz and power of rock." (Rebroadcast of 10/23/1991)