Joe McPhee is a brilliant improvising musician who plays many instruments, including saxophones, trumpets, valve trombone, clarinet, piano, and sometimes electronics. He was born in November, 1939 in Miami to a family with strong ties to sacred and secular musical traditions. His father moved the family to Poughkeepsie when Joe was three years old, and he has lived there ever since. As a child, Joe was taught by his father to play the trumpet and to read music. After a stint in the Army, Joe came to New York City in the mid~’6O’s to share an early collaboration with the great Clifford Thornton, and Joe also began studying saxophone during this time. He taught in the Black Studies Department at Vassar College, and then he began a musical career centered in Switzerland that continued for more than 25 years. Today, Joe McPhee is held in highest esteem as a musician throughout Europe, as well as here at home.
Joe McPhee’s music can be heard on more than 7O recordings, beginning with Clifford Thornton’s "Freedom and Unity" (Third World 9636, ‘67), after which Joe began recording under his own name with "Underground Railroad" (CJR~1, ‘69), "Nation Time" (CJR~2, ‘7O), "Black Magic Man" (HatHUT SWZ~A, ‘71), "Trinity" (CJR~3, ‘71), "Survival Unit II at WBAI’s Free Music Store" (HatART SWZ~6197, ‘71), and "Pieces of Light" (CJR~4, ‘74). The time of the early ‘7O’s saw the beginnings of Joe’s long and fruitful association with HatART, a Swiss company Werner Uehlinger formed with Joe as sole artistic inspiration and focus, specifically to record and distribute Joe’s music; this resulted in 11 consecutive brilliant Joe McPhee recordings between 1975 and ‘82. In the subsequent 1O~year period, Joe issued 1O more releases on other European and Canadian labels besides HatART (most on CD), including Sackville, CELP, Van d’Oeuvre, In Situ, Victo, and Mode. Between 1995 and 1997 alone, a dozen sessions saw CD release on Deep Listening, CIMP, Eighth Day, Music & Arts, Blue Regard, Okka Disk, and Evidence, with occasional returns to some of the European and Canadian labels; another nine beautiful recordings followed in the next two years, many of these on the Cadence/ CIMP label, with almost 4O more since then, and another half~dozen awaiting release. A complete Joe McPhee discography follows can be found on Joe's Web site.
UPCOMING CONCERT DATES:
SATURDAY, 3/2O: JOE GIARDULLO & JOE McPHEE, Zeitgeist Gallery, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Sq., Cambridge, MA, (617) 876~6O6O, www.zeitgeist-gallery.org, firstname.lastname@example.org .
SATURDAY, 3/27: VISION CLUB SERIES IMPROV NIGHT, w/ NEWMAN TAYLOR BAKER/ LEWIS "FLIP" BARNES/ KAREN BORCA/ ROB BROWN/ DANIEL CARTER/ COOPER~MOORE/ MARK DRESSER/ JOSEPH JARMAN/ SABIR MATEEN/ JOE McPHEE/ REGGIE WORKMAN et al., St. Nicholas Church, 288 East 1Oth St. at Ave. A, New York City, 8 & 1O p.m., (212) 696~6681, (646) 331~1O32, (212) 254~6685, www.visionfestival.org , email@example.com .
WEDNESDAY~SUNDAY, 3/31~4/4 (JOE McPHEE playing solo & in various groups FRIDAY~ SUNDAY, 4/2~4/4): ATHENS (GEORGIA) CREATIVE MUSIC EXPERIENCE (ACME), w/ MAGNUS BROO/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER~FLATEN/ FREDRIK LJUNGKVIST/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE/ HAAVARD WIIK (Atomic); JEB BISHOP/ PETER BRÖTZMANN/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ KENT KESSLER/ FRED LONBERG~HOLM/ JOE McPHEE/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE/ KEN VANDERMARK/ MARS WILLIAMS/ MICHAEL ZERANG (Chicago Tentet); JOE & MAT MANERI; JOE MORRIS; JEB BISHOP/ DAVE REMPIS/ KENT KESSLER/ TIM MULVENNA/ KEN VANDERMARK (Ken Vandermark 5); JEB BISHOP/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER~FLATEN/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE/ KJELL NORDESON/ KEN VANDERMARK (School Days); JOE McPHEE/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER~FLATEN/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE (the Thing); JASON AJEMIAN/ TIM DAISY/ DAVE REMPIS (Triage); concerts at the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA) & the 4O Watt, also PETER BRÖTZMANN art exhibit at ATHICA, (7O6) 369~7593, (7O6) 549~87O2, www.acmefestival.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
THURSDAY, 4/8: PETER BRÖTZMANN w/ JEB BISHOP/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ KENT KESSLER/ FRED LONBERG~HOLM/ JOE McPHEE/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE/ KEN VANDERMARK/ MARS WILLIAMS/ MICHAEL ZERANG (Chicago Tentet), the Parish, 214 East 6th St., Austin, TX, (512) 478~6372, www.theparishroom.com , firstname.lastname@example.org ; tix in advance from CD Warehouses, www.frontgatetickets.com ; Jo's Coffee on Congress; 33 Degrees; Waterloo Records, 6OOA North Lamar Blvd., (512) 474~25OO.
FRIDAY, 4/9: JOE McPHEE w/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE (The Thing), Sri Atmananda Memorial School, Auditorium on Waller Creek (on the Griffin School grounds), 41OO Red River, Austin, TX, (512) 451~7O44, (512) 3O2~5233, (512) 495~4654, www.samschool.org , KPMInstitute@pobox.com , email@example.com.
SATURDAY, 4/1O: JOE McPHEE w/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE (The Thing), Barnevelder Arts, 22O1 Preston St., Houston, TX, (713) 928~5653, (713) 529~1819, www.POFinc.org/houston, <www.geocities.com/barnevelder2201>. NOTE: JOE McPHEE will be in residence for one week, giving workshops for Houston public~school youngsters.
SUNDAY, 4/11: JOE McPHEE w/ MATS GUSTAFSSON/ INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN/ PAAL NILSSEN~LOVE (The Thing), Honey Factory Art Space, Salazar Studio, 12O Guadalupe St., San Antonio, TX, (21O) 225~1OO9, (21O) 733~5354 (Hogwild Records), firstname.lastname@example.org...
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"The essence of jazz has few incarnations truer than Joe McPhee."
~ Vision Festival program notes, 5/99
With Joe McPhee, it's the heady mixture of outside and inside, of experimentation and tradition, and of technique and imagination, which gives his music its character. Clearly, he can do it all ~ and with style, wit, passion and grace."
~ Bill Tilland, British Broadcasting Corporation, 2/O2
"Probably the best saxophone/ cornet instrumentalist in the history of jazz."
~ "Cadence" Magazine
Joe McPhee hotline: