- Henry Threadgill
Infobox musical artist
Name = Henry Threadgill
Img_size = 150
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = Henry Luther Threadgill
Born = Birth date and age|1944|2|15|mf=y
Origin = flagicon|USA Chicago,
Alto saxophone, Flute
Jazz Avant-garde jazz
Musician Bandleader Composer Sideman
1960s – Present
Henry Threadgill (born
February 15, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American composer, saxophonistand flautist.
Life and career
Threadgill first performed as a
percussionistin his high school marching band before taking up the baritone saxophoneand later a large portion of the woodwind instrumentfamily. He soon settled primarily upon the alto saxophoneand the flute.
AACM and Air
He was one of the original members of the legendary
AACM(Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) in his hometown of Chicagoand worked under the guidance of Muhal Richard Abramsbefore leaving to tour with a gospel band. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, playing with a rock band in Vietnamin 1967 and 1968. He was discharged in 1969.
Upon his return to Chicago he rejoined fellow AACM members
Fred Hopkinsand Steve McCall, forming a trio which would eventually become the group "Air", one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed avant-garde jazzgroups of the 1970s and 1980s. In the meantime, Threadgill had moved to New York Cityto begin pursuing his own musical visions, which explored musical genres in innovative ways thanks to his daringly unique group collaborations. His first group, "X-75", was a nonet consisting of four reed players, four bass players and a vocalist.
In the early 1980s, Threadgill created his first critically acclaimed ensemble as a leader, "Henry Threadgill Sextet" (actually a septet), which released three LP's on
About Time Records. After a hiatus, during which Threadgill formed "New Air" with Pheeroan Aklaffreplacing the late Steve McCall on drums, Threadgill re-formed the "Henry Threadgill Sextett" (with two t's). This group recorded three CD's on the Novus Recordslabel. The six albums the group recorded feature some of Threadgill's most accessible work, notably on the album " You Know the Number".
The group's unorthodox instrumentation included two
drummers, bass, cello, trumpetand trombone, in addition to Threadgill's alto and flute. Among the players who filled these roles were drummers Aklaff, John Betsch, Reggie Nicholson and Newman Baker; bassist Fred Hopkins; cellist Deidre Murray; trumpeters Rasul Siddikand Ted Daniels; cornetist Olu Dara; and trombonists Ray Anderson, Bill Loweand Craig Harris.
Very Very Circus and beyond
During the 1990s, Threadgill pushed the musical boundaries even further with his ensemble "Very Very Circus". In addition to Threadgill, the group's core consisted of two
tubas, two electric guitars, a tromboneor french horn, and drums. With this group he explored more complex and highly structured forms of composition, augmenting the group with everything from latin percussionto French horn to violinto accordionand an array of exotic instruments and vocalists.
Threadgill composed and recorded with other unusual instrumentations, such as a flute quartet ("Flute Force Four", a one-time project from
1990); and combinations of four cellos and four acoustic guitars (on "Makin' A Move").
By this time Threadgill's place amongst the upper echelon of the avant-garde was secured, so prolific in fact that he was signed by
Columbia Recordsfor three albums (a rarity for musicians of his kind). Since the dissolution of "Very Very Circus", Threadgill has continued in his iconoclastic ways with ensembles such as "Make A Move", "Zooid" and "Make A Move" included guitarists Brandon Rossand James Emeryand drummer J.T. Lewis. "Zooid", a sextet with tuba, acoustic guitar, cello and oud(played by Moroccan Tarik Benbrahim) has been the primary vehicle for Threadgill's most current compositions throughout the 2000s.
His sound and influences
Although Threadgill's musical roots are in
jazz, the bluesand gospel music, he is considered to be one of the premier "creative" or avant-gardecomposers in music today. His compositions are truly American, often representing a melting pot of musical genres; at any given time you may hear cleverly mixed elements of traditional African music, Latin music, folk music, New Orleans brass and operain addition to his more obvious influences. His compositions can be a very complex affair, with textures so dense and intricate (and in later years so strictly scored) as to border upon being through composed. While this seems to be in contrast to the loose, improvisatory feel of much jazz, his best compositions still bring that feeling to the forefront.
Threadgill has recorded or performed with many of the legends of the jazz avant-garde, including
Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, David Murray and Bill Laswell.
Personal life and family
He has a daughter with choreographer Christina Jones, a founding member of the [http://www.urbanbushwomen.org Urban Bush Women Dance Company] . Threadgill's daughter with Jones, [http://www.pyeng.com/indexfiles/home.html Pyeng Threadgill] , is an up and coming soul-blues artist with much of her father's flair for genre-bending experimentation. His long time wife/partner [http://www.sunnysiderecords.com/artist.php?id=310 Senti Toy's] debut album was named best of pop 2007 by the Wall Street Journal.
Discography (as leader)
X-75 Volume 1"
When Was That?" (Henry Threadgill Sextet)
Just The Facts and Pass the Bucket" (Henry Threadgill Sextet)
*1984: "Subject to Change" (Henry Threadgill Sextet)
You Know the Number" (Henry Threadgill Sextett, Novus Records)
Easily Slip into Another World" (Henry Threadgill Sextett, Novus Records)
Rag, Bush and All" (Henry Threadgill Sextett, Novus Records)
Spirit of Nuff...Nuff" ("Very Very Circus")
Live at Koncepts" ("Very Very Circus")
Song out of My Trees" (Threadgill compositions and arrangements, although he doesn't play on all the tracks himself.)
Too Much Sugar for a Dime" ("Very Very Circus", Axiom Records)
Carry The Day" ("Very Very Circus", Columbia Records)
Makin' a Move" (half "Very Very Circus", the other half performed by small ensembles of cellos, guitars and piano; Columbia Records)
Where's Your Cup" ("Make A Move", Columbia Records)
Everybody's Mouth's a Book" ("Make A Move", Pi Recordings)
Up Popped the Two Lips" ("Zooid", Pi Recordings)
Pop Start the Tape, Stop" ("Zooid", LP only)
* [http://www.gregsandow.com/threadg.htm GregSandow.com: Fried Grapefruit: The Life of Henry Threadgill] biography written for Columbia Records, as part of the press kit for Threadgill's first Columbia album, "Carry the Day"
* [http://www.ejn.it/mus/threadgi.htm Europe Jazz Network: Henry Threadgill]
* [http://aacmchicago.org/members/Threadgill.html AACM: Henry Threadgill]
* [http://www.furious.com/perfect/threadgill.html Henry Threadgill] by Dave Kaufman (November '97)
* [http://pirecordings.com Pi Recordings] has released some of Threadgill's latest work
* [http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/bio.php?id=63 biography by Iridium Jazz Club]
* [http://www.hardedge.tv/ Hardedge] has released some of Threadgill's post-2001 work
*Lars Backstrom's [http://discography.backstrom.se/threadgill Discography page]
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Henry Threadgill — (* 15. Februar 1944 in Chicago) ist ein US amerikanischer Jazzmusiker (Saxophon, Flöte, Komposition). Threadgill studierte am American College of Music der Governor s State University. Er arbeitete mit Gospelshows und Bluesbands. Seit 1962 war er … Deutsch Wikipedia
Henry Threadgill — (né le 15 février 1944 à Chicago dans l’État de l’Illinois) est un compositeur, saxophoniste, clarinettiste, flûtiste et percussionniste de jazz américain. Membre de l’AACM, il a notamment animé le trio Air, le septette Very Very Circus … Wikipédia en Français
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