Marti and I were thrilled to learn this week that composer, alto saxman and flautist Henry Threadgill has won the Pulitzer Prize for his outstanding 2015 album In for a Penny, In for a Pound (Pi Recordings).
Long associated with the AACM (the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Threadgill has been on a 14-year run with his band, Zooid: guitar, tuba, trombone, cello, and drums. While his music is a melange of composed and improvisational, it isn't really jazz (as he explains in the hour-long interview embedded on this page). Yet it is highly accessible. Marti is not the music junkie that I am, but she was introduced to Threadgill's work years ago via his previous, more dissonant, ensemble Very Very Circus and has loved his creative output ever since.
Henry Threadgill's Very Very Circus. From Too Much Sugar For A Dime. Very Very Circus consisted of Henry Threadgill, Jhony Rudas, Miguel Urbina, Mark Taylor, Marcus Rojas, Edwin Rodriguez, Masujaa Gene Lake, Brandon Ross.
Here's Henry Threadgill being interviewed by Larry Appelbaum, senior music reference librarian and jazz specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. (October 26, 2013.)
This is Henry Threadgill and Zooid's full concert at the Library of Congress (October 25, 2013.)