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Joe McPhee

Tenor and soprano saxophones, alto clarinet, pocket trumpet and valve trombone are the tools of this multi-instrumentalist for whom being a living legend of the Sixties / Seventies New Thing wasn’t enough. In fact, Joe McPhee keeps ‘til this day to take the cause of freedom in music some steps further. With that purpose, his recent electronically-oriented colaborations with Pauline Oliveros under the banner of her “deep listening” concept or with the noisy Nihilist Spasm Band have the same visionary strength as his early association with Clifford Thornton or his free funk album “Nation Time”, a fundamental document of the music played and heard during the emancipatory years of the African-American community. Influenced by the “lateral thinking” notions professed by philosopher Edward de Bono, McPhee has an openness that makes him find inspiration outside the jazz field – for instance, in European improvisation. His colaborations with French saxophonist Daunik Lazro and guitarrist Raymond Boni are among his most interesting realizations, and the same happens with Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson and German Peter Brotzmann. In the United States, Joe McPhee has Roy Campbell Jr., Joe Giardullo, William Parker and Dominic Duval as regular associates. Combining energy and reflectivity, a not so obvious acomplishment, the Po Music activist (a label to avoid all labels) is “one of the last players working in the great tradition of vocalized tonality and instrumental storytelling”, as John Szwed, Sun Ra’s biographer, put it.

Joe McPhee's records on clean feed
Turtle Crossing
Jumala Quintet
Brooklyn DNA
Joe McPhee / Ingebrigt Haker Flaten
Now Is
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten NY Quartet
Human Encore
Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee
Sonic Elements (for pocket trumpet and alto saxophone)
Joe McPhee
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