Jazz saxophonist Dewey Redman, a long-time associate of Ornette Coleman and a key exponent of his music, died on Saturday at the age of 75. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Redman met Coleman as a teenager and played with him in their high school band. But it wasn’t until the tenor saxophonist moved to New York in 1967 that he made a mark with the free-jazz pioneer, performing on a series of brilliant recordings for Blue Note. In the early 70s Redman became a key member of Keith Jarrett’s quartet with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Charlie Haden—another crucial collaborator of Coleman’s. Once Ornette began exploring an electric style, Redman continued to play Coleman’s music; the group Old and New Dreams featured fellow alums like cornetist Don Cherry, drummer Ed Blackwell, and Haden. Redman also made many solo records along the way and regularly led his own groups. He played with his latest quartet in New York just over a week ago.
A story on the cover of today’s New York Times arts section notes that Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Band, a dazzling group made up of the progeny of trumpeter-composer-educator Phil Cohran, has moved to New York, where it’s still earning its keep by busking on street corners. (The paper's Web site also has video footage of the group.) Hopefully, one of these days the group will make an album that captures its freewheeling spirit; better opportunities would surely follow.
Andrew Fenchel, the brains behind the crucial experimental music presenter Lampo, heads to Russia today along with musicians Kevin Drumm, Jessica Rylan, and Joe Colley for a project he organized with Alexei Borisov called “Sound Exchange.” According to Fenchel, the group will travel “to Moscow, Saint Petersburg and another smaller city in between called Yaroslavl. They'll meet and play with a group of Russian artists from Moscow and Saint Petersburg in a series of concerts and workshops. I'll also be meeting other curators, music journalists, musicians--with the thought that Lampo may invite other Russian artists to Chicago in the future.” He adds that “a lot of the pioneering work in electronics, music and synthesizer technology was done in Russia. So, as part of the trip, we'll be doing some work at the Moscow State Conservatory with a machine called the ANS Synthesizer--a one-of-a-kind synthesizer built in the 1930's that translates drawings done on big glass discs into sound.”
Lampo’s fall season kicks off on September 30 with the U.S. debut of the Swedish collective called Skull Defekts (Henrik Rylander and Joachim Nordwall).