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Steve Grossman has died

Saxophonist Steve Grossman has died aged 69. The date of death is being reported by the newspaper Le Soir as 13 August although cause of death and further details are not known so far. Hailing from New York, Grossman was best known for his work …

Published: 17 Aug 2020. Updated: 10 months.

Saxophonist Steve Grossman has died aged 69. The date of death is being reported by the newspaper Le Soir as 13 August although cause of death and further details are not known so far.

Hailing from New York, Grossman was best known for his work with Miles Davis and with Elvin Jones. With Miles he is on such albums as Live at the Fillmore East; A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West, Big Fun and Get Up with It.

Under his own name his records for the Dreyfus label in the 1990s displayed a remarkable playing personality on both ballads and more driving material and attracted a new generation of fans. I heard him around this time at Ronnie Scott's where he was a regular visitor for quite a few years and interviewed him for a piece published in the Jazz on CD magazine. A powerful player there was also a lot of tenderness in his sound beneath the toughness of his fundamental approach.

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Parker (Evan!) with Strings

Intakt records have announced details of a new Alexander Hawkins Large Ensemble project recorded during Lockdown that will mark the acclaimed avant pianist-composer's 40th birthday on its release next year. Hawkins explains via the label: "The …

Published: 17 Aug 2020. Updated: 10 months.

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Intakt records have announced details of a new Alexander Hawkins Large Ensemble project recorded during Lockdown that will mark the acclaimed avant pianist-composer's 40th birthday on its release next year.

Hawkins explains via the label: "The genesis of this particular project was a commission in 2018 from conductor and composer Aaron Holloway-Nahum, for an hour of music for the Riot Ensemble. The first incarnation of the music was performed in early 2019, effectively as a concerto for two improvising soloists – Evan Parker and myself. (It's an echo no musician could miss […] As I began to consider recording the music, I wanted to revise and expand it. Studying my scores, I noticed motivic connections between the movements, not all of which had been consciously made. I then noticed that a huge amount of what I'd written over the last few years – whether completed pieces or scraps in notebooks – was effectively worrying away at different transformations of this handful of (themselves connected) motivic kernels: and this fact provided the way forward for the expansion of the material. This recording session was a first opportunity for so many of us on the album to play music after the lockdown, and my hope is that even a small bit of the joy we all felt at being able to make something together has found itself into the music."

Photo of Hawkins (centre) with trumpeter Percy Pursglove (left) and Evan Parker, via Intakt.