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SoundGround >> Henry Threadgill


11/1/12 2:18 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 11/01/12 2:22 AM
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For reviving the Ronald Shannon Jackson thread, and talking about this composer whom had thought of as an instrumentalist, primarily... we can blame Hugo for putting this into my head to impose on y'all. Another name. Henry Threadgill. (Yeah, it's hard not to say "Henry MOTHERFREAKIN' THREADGILL. But I'll control myself).

Here's a guy who did not come up through Ornette Coleman, but whose music shares a lot with that of some of those who did. That said, he's also sui generis, just playing and working and scuffling in Chicago for a long time. Henry Threadgill. He plays alto sax and flute; mostly is known as a composer and bandleader. I was listening to him a lot in the 90s (though he really came up in the 70s). He's still around. He writes really beautiful things, sometimes really noisy things, crazy-dense things, super grooving things... often all of that at once.

I thought of him because of discussing guitarists "with" other guys on the Ronald Shannon Jackson thread. And this features a guy named Masujaa, who plays really amazing stuff on here; but this is a big band piece, the guitar is not the point. One thing that makes it sound like it has a lot in common with Ornette and company ("harmolodic music") is exactly the use of the electric guitar with all the horns.

Tuba is sick, too. Marcus Rojas, playing what you'd usually have a bass doing.

Henry Threadgill put out LOTS of great recordings. The one that caught me was called "Too Much Sugar for a Dime"; and particularly the first tune, which is called "LIttle Pocket Size Demons". Turn it up.

11/1/12 11:31 AM
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hugomma
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Another one of these guys, huh?  Looking forward to it.  Thanks dude.

11/2/12 12:01 PM
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DasBeaver
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Oh yeah, I had this out not too long ago (thanks to you).
Little Pocket sized demons kills me everytime!
11/2/12 12:21 PM
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hugomma
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DasBeaver - Oh yeah, I had this out not too long ago (thanks to you).
Little Pocket sized demons kills me everytime!

You knew about this guy already?!?  I have to rely on Ali to turn me to this stuff.

11/2/12 4:39 PM
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Ali
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There's a cover of it on a recent piano trio record by Vijay Iyer. Amazing that it can be done at all in that format... and it's spectacular, too. But the original... kills me every time, too! Thanks for showing up to say so DasBeav.
11/3/12 10:29 PM
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Ali
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Threadgill in 2001 released two recordings, one with an electric band called Make a Move (the band, not the recording). The other an acoustic band called Zooid. I bought the Make a Move record, which I think is great -- one of the better things he did after "Too Much Sugar..."

Here's a tune called "Don't Turn Around".



I'm not sure (have to look it up) but I think the guitarist was a young Liberty Ellman, who is a really interesting composer, himself.
11/3/12 10:32 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 11/03/12 10:32 PM
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And this... I'm happy to find on youtube. A cover of Little Pocket Size Demons, done by Vijay Iyer. Piano trio... it's ridiculous that this could be done. Holy#$%`! It could.

This is more interesting if you've absorbed the original (first post). But it's great either way.

11/9/12 10:43 AM
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Ali
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Before the name got taken by a French pop/electronic band, Air used to mean a sax/bass/drums trio. Threadgill was one third. Steve McCall on drums and Fred Hopkins on bass.

Their record "Air Lore" was covers of old time stuff, standards and ragtime and such. Done modern. Threadgill's melodic imagination is huge. This was around 1979:

11/9/12 2:36 PM
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DasBeaver
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hugomma - 
DasBeaver - Oh yeah, I had this out not too long ago (thanks to you).
Little Pocket sized demons kills me everytime!

You knew about this guy already?!?  I have to rely on Ali to turn me to this stuff.


Of course doesn't everybody?
Although, I did think he was a guitarist...and Ali gave me the cd....

I really like that Air Lore song!
11/9/12 9:01 PM
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Ali
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That's cool, DasBeav... Air really deserves their own thread. I don't have those records. By the time I started looking for them, they were hen's teeth. But now they're up on youtube. The internet is TRIPPY. (Cue old man's voice).

The first video I considered embedding is from the same record, really awesome... and particularly so because of Steve McCall's drumming being both 1920's New Orleans march and some avant-garde freakish unidentifiable thing at the same time. "Ancient to the Future" as another band of similar ambitions put it. I picked the one I did because of Threadgill in particular... all three of those guys are really worth listening to, though.

All of which is me typing too much. But that is to say... there's a bunch on youtube to explore.
11/24/12 11:14 PM
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hugomma
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Finally got to this.  Wow, a great piece indeed, although it's easy to get lost in the great solos and instrumentalists, particularly this damn Masujaa guy and the wha insanity from 1:27-2:04. 

TTT for later, when I have time to dig into the rest of this.


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