How Many Henrys Are There?

Wrote about the Threadgill Mosaic box for DownBeat, relistening to all the glory contained therein back in the late fall. But something grabbed me last week again, and I’ve been been spinning the Air cuts and the Make a Move stuff. Here’s the review…

There’s a classic Henry Threadgill interview that finds the bandleader describing the trio Air as an “octopus,” with tentacles reaching out three different ways while still working as one. Nice image, and on point as well. The 66-year-old saxophonist has long had a talent for making music that seems larger than the number of participants would suggest possible. Clever is an adjective that’s occasionally applied to his arrangements, and indeed, compositional sleight of hand is a cornerstone of his art. You can hear it develop throughout the myriad bands and various eras documented on the eight discs of The Complete Novus and Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill and Air.

Members of the AACM in the early 70s, Threadgill, drummer Steve McCall and bassist Fred Hopkins were responsible for some of the decade’s most novel small-group abstractions. As Air, they…click for full review

Here’s HenThread talking orchestration schemes, and a Sextett jewel.

Jason Crane talks to Hank Shteamer about the Mosaic box.

David Adler profiles Henry.

Howard Mandel profiles Henry.

3 responses to “How Many Henrys Are There?

  1. Man! Air was so good. Saw them D-troit back in 73 or 4 and then once at Roger Williams Park with Andrew Cyrille which I heard about from your show on the radio. Loved that radio show whatever it was called that day. Working on a trap-fishing boat out of Newport back then and trying to get someone to tape the show every thursday so’s I could dig it when I got home. Just wanted to say thanks for all the good stuff then and now with the blog. So glad to find this.

  2. yep, i remember that RWP gig. Think I’ve got a blaster-made cassette of it somewhere. Thanks for the love re: radio show. Yes, it cycled through a series of names, some lasting on one episode. Not The Background, Impeach Reagan, Hospital Waiting Room, Beating The Bushes, can’t recall what else. You still in Rhode Island? JM. twitter = @hapboym

  3. Well, we moved down to S.C. about twenty years ago but still come up for most of the spring and summer to Newport, still work on the trap boat every year, though they say this might be the last year. Commercial fishing is in hard times you most likely know, its going away fast in Newport except for the lobstering which is hanging in there.. When the ice company moved up to Fall River a couple years ago, that told everybody something. Its all ovah! Got to have that waterfront property for condos I guess.
    Back to Air, Me and a friend wore that record ‘Air Lore’ out back in Michigan. I finally found it again a while back and it stands the test of time for me. Love to hear the box set you were talking about. Thanks again and keep up the good work. That bike ride down the hill in Vallpraiso was Killer! p.s. One time I wrote to Dan Fergason at the Boudin Barndance and told him you two guys were my two favorite radio men ever. He wrote back thanks and said you were friends.

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