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Thumbscrew helps Anthony Braxton celebrate 75 years by recording some of his lesser-known compositions

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and conceptualist Anthony Braxton was born in Chicago on June 4, 1945, and the celebration of his 75th birthday has taken a major hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. At least nine 2020 events have been cancelled so far—the only live performance that hasn’t yet been stricken from the calendar for this year […]

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Brooklyn-based saxophone and drum duo meld composition and improvisation seamlessly

Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey have been married to each other since 2010 and playing together since 2007, working as a duo as well as within larger ensembles, where they’ve collaborated with avant-garde jazz musicians such as Tim Berne and Mary Halvorson. Though the duo initially focused on improvisational music, a 2016 tour […]

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Cellist and former Chicagoan Tomeka Reid celebrates the release of her quartet’s second album

Next time you think you’re busy, look at Tomeka Reid’s schedule. Even though the cellist was already committed to touring Europe with Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, she just assumed the position of Darius Milhaud Distinguished Visiting Professor at Mills College in Oakland, California (even though she’s based in […]

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Drummer Tom Rainey’s trio with guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock makes improvised music with an uncanny tune-like sensibility

I had listened to Hotel Grief (Intakt) several times before I noticed that leader and drummer Tom Rainey, guitarist Mary Halvorson, and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock were credited for improvising all five pieces when the recording was made live at New York’s Cornelia Street Café in April 2014. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that […]