Henry Threadgill autobiography to be published in the spring

Written with Brent Hayes Edwards, a professor at Columbia, Easily Slip into Another World - Henry Threadgill's autobiography - is to be published in May by Knopf. The publisher's blurb is below: An autobiography of one of the towering figures of …

Published: 22 Feb 2023. Updated: 12 months.

9781524749071

Written with Brent Hayes Edwards, a professor at Columbia, Easily Slip into Another World - Henry Threadgill's autobiography - is to be published in May by Knopf. The publisher's blurb is below:


An autobiography of one of the towering figures of contemporary American music and a powerful meditation on history, race, capitalism, and art.

Henry Threadgill has had a singular life in music. At 79, the saxophonist, flautist, and celebrated composer is one of only seven Black composers to have won a Pulitzer Prize. The others are George Walker, Wynton Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Davis, and Tania León. In Easily Slip into Another World, Threadgill recalls his childhood and upbringing in Chicago, his family life and education, and his brilliant career in music.

Here are riveting recollections of the music scene in Chicago in the early 1960s, when Threadgill developed his craft the among friends and schoolmates who would go on to form the core of the highly influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM); the year and a half he spent touring with an evangelical preacher in the mid-1960s; his military service in Vietnam—a riveting tale in itself, but also representative of an under-recognized aspect of jazz history, given the number of musicians in Threadgill’s generation who served in the armed forces; his extended travels to the Netherlands, Venezuela, Trinidad, Sicily, and Goa; the volatile downtown scene in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s; his impressions of the recording industry, as a composer who has worked with a wide range of record companies from small independents (Black Saint, Pi Recordings) to large corporations (Arista/Novus, Columbia); his work as a sideman with an astonishing range of musicians, from AACM stalwarts (Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, and Leroy Jenkins), to Chicago bluesmen (“Left Hand” Frank Craig), to downtown luminaries (David Murray, Billy Bang, and Kip Hanrahan), to world music innovators (Vytas Brenner, Rolando Briceño, Sly & Robbie, and Mario Bauzá); his perspectives on music education and the history of Black music in the United States; and, of course, his work with the various ensembles he has directed over the past five decades.

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Josh Lawrence, And That Too, Posi-Tone ***1/2

While US trumpeter Josh Lawrence so far on our listening journey flickered most on our radar in a different setting stylistically - the far more anarchic Tarbaby sound - here Lawrence corresponds with the Posi-Tone house approach to which he has …

Published: 22 Feb 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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While US trumpeter Josh Lawrence so far on our listening journey flickered most on our radar in a different setting stylistically - the far more anarchic Tarbaby sound - here Lawrence corresponds with the Posi-Tone house approach to which he has contributed a lot as has bassist Boris Kozlov and pianist Art Hirahara. It's often an uptempo swinging-the-bejaysus out of the tune affair in some of its most stimulating passages - the whole thing zinging along. Drum duties on And That Too are split between the great Rudy Royston and Jason Tiemann.

And That Too is quite similar to Call Time (2022) issued last year but you get a traddier wah-wah Jungle quality to a track like 'Silver's Drag' that you don't get here on the upcoming release. 'Hole in the Wall' goes on a bit too much and yet Lawrence's pure and very personal speaking-to-you tone that recalls Ryan Kysor a bit is persuasive even when things become overly relentless. The muted 'Left Hanging' is a welcome bit of balladic balm that finds Lawrence melding well with tenorist Willie Morris III who takes a fine solo here in the JD Allen mould. Seek Morris wailing brilliantly on that earlier release, Call Time.

For horn arrangements look to 'Cantus Firmus' ''the fixed song'' if you like, given a lot of metaphorical licence in the ancient musical term to relocate its meaning, is the feeling of continuum in a jazz tradition that all these players do much to luxuriate in and explore sensitively. And That Too includes a respectful version of Wayne Shorter's 'Nefertiti' introduced lovingly by Hirahara. Lawrence never sounds like Miles as a copyist at all but keeps faithful to the 1960s idiom. He and the band take you tenderly to that destination that you will want to book a return ticket to pronto. Out on 24 February