paul secor

Henry Threadgill

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Henry Threadgill's gotten a fair number of mentions on this Board (tho not enough), but even though Air had a thread, I couldn't find a thread devoted entirely to Mr. Threadgill. So unless I overlooked something, this is it.

I recently purchased Song Out of My Trees on Black Saint, and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not familiar with much of Henry Threadgill's post Air work, so I'd like to know about that. I'm sure that many of you (I imagine that Mssrs. Sangry and Nessa will be in the forefront) have much to write about Mr. Threadgill's work - with Air, pre-Air, and post Air - so fire away.

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Great idea. Henry has definitely created his own musical world. Not much valuable "pre-Air" but I recommend Muhal's Young At Heart/Wise In Time. Search out the About Time dates. They are all fine. Then buy the rest. :)

I just read your post in another thread where you said "Threadgill is sort of hit and miss with me" so I guess the above won't be of much help.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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I should have qualified the "hit or miss" comment by saying that I've only heard a few non-Air Threadgills (three, to be exact). I enjoyed the one I wrote about in the Black Saint/Soul Note thread - Song Out of My Trees - and was somewhat indifferent to the two others - on Arista Novus and Columbia. After hearing Trees, I wonder if I dismissed (and sold) those too soon.

I hope that this thread will engender some interesting discussion about Henry Threadgill.

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The Arista/Novus was an early failure. The Columbia dates have to be taken in context between the About Time/RCA series and the following dates. The "relatively" commercial slant of the Columbias come into a sharper focus "in context".

Fear not. Henry will not disappoint.

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Threadgill's material is a little more difficult to apprehend than the majority of elder statesmen in the avant-garde. He's very much created his own sonic realm, innovating in the large group area where some of the most forward looking of his peers stuck/stick to more conventional jazz combo formats. If Air was the apotheosis of the small-group pianoless context, than Threadgill's larger bands have set a standard in the way of organizing less traditional instrumentation. We all know the cat can play, compose, and groove. Not just that, though--the cat can lead, and he can orchestrate. I haven't always been bowled over by his material, but I have to respect the craftsmanship and ingenuity of his enterprises. He holds a special place in my heart for learning how to make constructive use of the electric guitar.

As far as albums are concerned... he hasn't done too much sideman work, no? Where he's popped up, he's been an asset. Mr. Nessa mentioned the Muhal album--which is great for the piano solo alone, btw--but any chance to hear Henry in a more typical AACM-ish format is a plus. Also--I wasn't reall hip to it until recently, but he does some fine work on David Murray's Ming (one of those perpetual top-10 of the 80s albums that, for whatever reason, never really gets talked about). The solo album that pops up (in my mind) right now is Spirt of Nuff...Nuff on Black Saint. It's Very Very Circus: Henry, trombone, two tubas, two guitars, and drums. There's some terrific ensemble work here, wonderfully oblique coloration with the characteristic Threadgill vibe--dark, funky, and strangely comical. The only thing that sort of detracts from the proceedings is the consistent density of the sound--the bottom frequencies are just hard core--but the spirit keeps things buoyant.

Nice call with the thread, btw. :tup

Edited by ep1str0phy

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What about the Pi CDs?

I like both of them.

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As far as albums are concerned... he hasn't done too much sideman work, no? Where he's popped up, he's been an asset.

Case in point:

f92545jintm.jpg

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Fear not. Henry will not disappoint.

My sentiments exactly. Henry Threadgill is a treasure.

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AIR was a treasure and a marvellous act to see on stage.

THREADGILL is a great musician and have a quite impressive body of work under his own.

My favorites are SPIRIT OF NUFF... NUFF (BLACK SAINT), SONG OUT OF MY TREES (BLACK SAINT), MAKIN' A MOOVE (COLUMBIA), EVERYBODY'S MOUTH'S A BOOK.

But I think than his best of the best and the two that I am listening to most often, are CARRY THE DAY (COLUMBIA) and WHERE'S THE CUP? (COLUMBIA).

Seems than the COLUMBIA years was a great run for THREADGILL.

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Fear not. Henry will not disappoint.

My sentiments exactly. Henry Threadgill is a treasure.

it is wonderful to be in the company of others who respect henry threadgill as i do. air , and the sextette, and very circus circus, and the awesome x-75(4 basses and 4 flutes and amina myers). what more can the man possibly have to give?

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Those Pi sides are killer too. Carpe diem on that label, because I can't see them lasting forever. Too much good music for a world that's not particularly interested.

One thing I've always dug about henry is that he always, always, plays w/some killer drummers. From Steve McCall to Gene Lake to Daphnis Prieto, he gets great players and sets them up in settings that encourages their greatness. Not every bandleader knows how to do that.

Not even every composer knows how to do that. Too often, the tendency is to create a vision and then get the players to fit into it. Henry's vision depends/demands that the vision fits into the players. Not every player is gonna be up to that, but the ones that are are more than up to it. That's why there ain't no bad Henry Threadgill records.

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I don't know how I could have forgotten that I have X-75 Volume 1 in my collection. That's a great one. I wonder if there were plans for a Volume 2, or if the Volume 1 was just something Henry Threadgill threw out as part of the title.

In the early 80's, I used to visit a friend who lived on East 12th St. in NYC. There was a large banner for Air hanginging from the building across the street from hers. I guessed that Henry Threadgill or someone in the group lived there - my friend wasn't sure. I don't usually waste time with regrets, but I do wish that I'd walked over and talked with whoever lived there.

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I don't know how I could have forgotten that I have X-75 Volume 1 in my collection. That's a great one. I wonder if there were plans for a Volume 2, or if the Volume 1 was just something Henry Threadgill threw out as part of the title.

In the early 80's, I used to visit a friend who lived on East 12th St. in NYC. There was a large banner for Air hanginging from the building across the street from hers. I guessed that Henry Threadgill or someone in the group lived there - my friend wasn't sure. I don't usually waste time with regrets, but I do wish that I'd walked over and talked with whoever lived there.

There was more material from the X-75 sessions but not enough for a 2nd disc. Henry planned to do more later but the project was dropped.

Not sure about the 12th St address but in the early '80s Air had a rehearsal studio at 336 East 13th, between First and Second Avenues.

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Up Popped the Two Lips is a fine record. I'd say, even though it's a later recording, it would make a good entry point into Threadgill's work. Nuff is great, too.

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I don't know how I could have forgotten that I have X-75 Volume 1 in my collection. That's a great one. I wonder if there were plans for a Volume 2, or if the Volume 1 was just something Henry Threadgill threw out as part of the title.

In the early 80's, I used to visit a friend who lived on East 12th St. in NYC. There was a large banner for Air hanginging from the building across the street from hers. I guessed that Henry Threadgill or someone in the group lived there - my friend wasn't sure. I don't usually waste time with regrets, but I do wish that I'd walked over and talked with whoever lived there.

There was more material from the X-75 sessions but not enough for a 2nd disc. Henry planned to do more later but the project was dropped.

Not sure about the 12th St address but in the early '80s Air had a rehearsal studio at 336 East 13th, between First and Second Avenues.

My friend's apartment could have been on E. 13th. It's been a lot of years, and she hasn't lived there since the mid 80's. What you say makes sense.

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I came into Threadgill via Cassandra Wilson's "Days Aweigh" lp. Jumped to the Air set w/ Wilson and then onto the Novus material - "Bermuda Blues" was often grooved right into the table - one of my all time faves (bought that on disc years later btw from a board member's shop long before the board and remember him telling me how Threadgill didn't swing :w ) !

I usually flip on "Spotted Dick is Pudding" from 'Easily Slip...' around Easter (maybe tomorrow) cause it's such a great funereal dirge for that Bunny. His music always comes across to me as having a good old sense of humor about it.

I do recall an excellent BFT ending with a bit "too much sugar" ;) .

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AIR was a treasure and a marvellous act to see on stage.

THREADGILL is a great musician and have a quite impressive body of work under his own.

My favorites are SPIRIT OF NUFF... NUFF (BLACK SAINT), SONG OUT OF MY TREES (BLACK SAINT), MAKIN' A MOOVE (COLUMBIA), EVERYBODY'S MOUTH'S A BOOK.

But I think than his best of the best and the two that I am listening to most often, are CARRY THE DAY (COLUMBIA) and WHERE'S THE CUP? (COLUMBIA).

Seems than the COLUMBIA years was a great run for THREADGILL.

I'd like to add "Rag, Bush And All", a kind of "Spirit Of Nuff...Nuff" part 1, as some of the very best post-Air Threadgill's music. Personally, I love very much the AboutTime and Novus years.

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I don't know how I could have forgotten that I have X-75 Volume 1 in my collection. That's a great one. I wonder if there were plans for a Volume 2, or if the Volume 1 was just something Henry Threadgill threw out as part of the title.

In the early 80's, I used to visit a friend who lived on East 12th St. in NYC. There was a large banner for Air hanginging from the building across the street from hers. I guessed that Henry Threadgill or someone in the group lived there - my friend wasn't sure. I don't usually waste time with regrets, but I do wish that I'd walked over and talked with whoever lived there.

There was more material from the X-75 sessions but not enough for a 2nd disc. Henry planned to do more later but the project was dropped.

Not sure about the 12th St address but in the early '80s Air had a rehearsal studio at 336 East 13th, between First and Second Avenues.

My friend's apartment could have been on E. 13th. It's been a lot of years, and she hasn't lived there since the mid 80's. What you say makes sense.

a great day. i just found my threadgill EASILY SLIP INTO ANOTHER WORLD on novus.

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A few days ago I ordered Nuff Nuff or whatever it's called from Tower, hopefully they'll have it in stock. Until it's delivered, I'm contenting myself with some live recordings I downloaded from the site-which-must-not-be-named.

Out of the two recordings on Pi, which is better? I'm tempted to go with Up Popped the Two Lips to prep for Zooid at the Iridium.

Guy

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I don't know how I could have forgotten that I have X-75 Volume 1 in my collection. That's a great one.

I have always wondered about this one. I have only seen it one time, when a customer brought into the store to rob it in my face! :angry:

I don't think it was ever reissued on CD. Now that Columbia/RCA have merged, maybe Mosaic can reissue it as a Mosaic Select.

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A few days ago I ordered Nuff Nuff or whatever it's called from Tower, hopefully they'll have it in stock. Until it's delivered, I'm contenting myself with some live recordings I downloaded from the site-which-must-not-be-named.

Out of the two recordings on Pi, which is better? I'm tempted to go with Up Popped the Two Lips to prep for Zooid at the Iridium.

Guy

The Zooid was just at the Jazz Gallery, much less pricey than the Iridium and more intimate.

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Out of the two recordings on Pi, which is better?

I can honestly say that both are equally great. Get both and be doubly satisfied. Seriously.

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A few days ago I ordered Nuff Nuff or whatever it's called from Tower, hopefully they'll have it in stock. Until it's delivered, I'm contenting myself with some live recordings I downloaded from the site-which-must-not-be-named.

Out of the two recordings on Pi, which is better? I'm tempted to go with Up Popped the Two Lips to prep for Zooid at the Iridium.

Guy

Alas, Tower cancelled my Nuff Nuff order. On the other hand I picked up Makin' a Move on ebay for $4.41, incl. shipping. :cool:

Guy

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I need WAY more Threadgill in my collection. CARRY THE DAY is all I got, and it's freakin' amazing.

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