Music Program

Friday, September 9, 2005

$10 members/students; $15 general

To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, please click here.

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
Resurrection music

Fire Into Music

Presented at:

Jemeel Moondoc (alto saxophone)
Steve Swell (trombone)
William Parker (contrabass)
Hamid Drake (drums)

These four extraordinary musicians have joined forces in an all-star quartet that will make their Buffalo debut fresh from a performance at the Guelph Jazz Festival.

Jemeel Moondoc studied music with Ran Blake in Boston in the early ‘70s, where he also played in the James Tatum Blues Band. He then went to Wisconsin University and Antioch College, playing alto and soprano saxophones in Cecil Taylor’s student orchestras. He moved to New York in 1972, where he met and played with avant-garde luminaries William Parker and Roy Campbell, and formed his decade spanning Ensemble Muntu. In 1984 he formed the 15-piece Jus Grew Orchestra. Moondoc’s approach combines the looseness of bar room blues with post-Coleman multi-key valency. Moondoc remains a strikingly individual musical mind in a jazz scene too often willing to conform to the standards of the past.

Steve Swell studied trombone in the mid-seventies with Roswell Rudd in New York City. He eventually moved into professional music life joining Lionel Hampton’s Band in 1983 then Buddy Rich’s Band in 1984. After leaving the Rich band he joined Jaki Byard and the Appollo Stompers and Makanda Ken McIntyre’s small ensemble. He then joined Jemeel Moondoc’s Jus Grew Orchestra in 1984 and has been a leading voice on the trombone in the downtown scene, playing with numerous outstanding artists such as Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Elliott Sharp, Butch Morris, and William Parker. Swell also leads several projects of his own such as his Unified Theory Of Sound and Slammin’ The Infinite.

William Parker was raised in the Bronx and made his early public and recorded appearances in the New York loft world of the Seventies. During this time he became a staple member of Music Ensemble (ca. 1974-78), Jemeel Moondoc’s Ensemble Muntu (1974-81) and Other Dimensions in Music (ca. 1978- present). Through working with Karen Borca, he became a regular in Jimmy Lyon’s groups and through working with Lyons, he became bassist for the Cecil Taylor Unit. He was part of the Unit throughout Lyon’s last years (1981-87) and subsequently in Taylor’s Feel Trio and small groups until the early Nineties. In 1993 he launched his own ensembles, In Order to Survive and the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. Parker is one of the central stylists of the bass’ recent history and is a pillar of the musical community in New York City.

Hamid Drake is widely regarded as one of the greatest percussionists in improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion styles and instruments, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers Peter Brötzmann, Fred Anderson, and Ken Vandermark. Drake was born in Monroe, LA, in 1955, and later moved to Chicago with his family. He took drum lessons with Fred Anderson's son, eventually taking over the role as percussionist in Anderson's group. As a result, Anderson also introduced Drake to George Lewis and other AACM members. Drake also performs world music; by the late '70s, he was a member of Foday Muso Suso's Mandingo Griot Society. Drake has also worked with Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, and David Murray.

Some publications related to this event:
September and October, 2005. - 2005