Larry Ochs was born May 3, 1949 in New York City and studied trumpet briefly but concentrated on tenor and soprano saxophones. He has worked as a record producer and founded his own label, Metalanguage Records in 1978, in addition to operating the Twelve Stars studio in California.
A co-founder the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Larry worked in Glenn Spearman’s Double Trio. A frequent recipient of commissions, he composed the music for the play Goya’s L.A. in 1994 and for the film Letters Not About Love, which was named best documentary at SXSW in 1998.
He has played in a trio called Room, and the What We Live ensemble. He formed the group Kihnoua in 2007 with vocalist Dohee Lee and Scott Amendola on drums and electronics, releasing Unauthorized Caprices in 2010.
Avant-garde saxophonist Larry Ochs has released twelve albums as a leader, another twenty-three with Rova and a half dozen with Glenn Spearman, Fred Firth and Maybe Monday, dave Rempis and Darren Johnston. He has performed with Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, Donald Robinson, continues to perform and record.
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Connie Crothers was born on May 2, 1941 in Palo Alto, California and began studying classical piano at age 9. She went on to major in music and composition at the University of California at Berkeley. While matriculating her teachers put less emphasis on emotional expression and more on procedure, structure and compositional rigor, which did not find a likeable place in her mind.
She subsequently became a student of pianist Lennie Tristano. After Tristano’s death in November 1978, she founded the Lennie Jazz Foundation and recorded a memorial concert album in his honor.
Her debut recording Perception was released in 1974 on the Steeplechase label. She went on to record another twenty albums as a leader over the course of her career and four as a sidewoman. In 1982 she recorded the album Swish with drummer Max Roach for New Artists Records, a label she and Roach founded. She also recorded in groups with, among others, Bud Tristano, Linda Satin, Richard Tabnik and Cameron Brown.
Pianist Connie Crothers, who mainly played in the avant-garde and free jazz genres, passed away of lung cancer in Manhattan, New York City on August 13, 2016.
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Matt Lavelle was born on April 11, born 1970 in Paterson, New Jersey and began his music career with a high school big band tour of the Soviet Union in 1988. He followed this with a five-year period of study with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran who played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday and others.
During this period of study he played trumpet in Hildred’s band, then made his move on New York City and played straight-ahead jazz until 1995 when he relocated to Kingston, New York and studied the bass clarinet. Four years later Lavelle returned to New York seeking out what is known as the Downtown community. He has studied with Ornette Coleman adding alto clarinet to his instrumental arsenal.
Lavelle has played and toured with William Parker, Sabir Mateen, as well as with his own trio, an improvisation collective known as Eye Contact. He was key in the resurgence and return of avant jazz man Giuseppi Logan, helping him return to playing after a 45-year absence, and recording a new record released in spring 2010.
trumpet, flugelhorn and bass clarinet player Matt Lavelle, who has released a dozen albums as a leader or in duo and has recorded another ten as a sideman, continues to perform, record and tour.
Linda Sharrock was born Linda Chambers on April 2, 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and began singing in church choirs as a child. Interested in both folk music and jazz, she studied art while in college and became interested in avant-garde music.
She performed with Pharoah Sanders in the mid-1960s and late in 1966 she married Sonny Sharrock and professionally began using the spelling Lynda. She worked with him and Sanders into the early 1970s, as well as with Herbie Mann.
One of her best-known performances is on the 1969 Sonny Sharrock album Black Woman, released on Vortex Records. She toured Istanbul, Turkey in 1973 and recorded with Joe Bonner in 1974. After her divorce in 1978 she returned to using Linda, though she kept his surname.
A move to Vienna, Austria saw Sharrock working with Franz Koglmann, Eric Watson, and Wolfgang Puschnig well into the 1990s. She worked with ensembles such as the Pat Brothers, Red Sun, and AM4 in the 1980s, and with Harry Pepl in 1992.
Suffering a stroke in 2009 which left her partially disabled and aphasic, she briefly withdrew from the scene before returning in 2012. Since then the avant-garde and free jazz vocalist Linda Sharrock has appeared and recorded in France, Austria, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Slovenia, with various ensembles under the Linda Sharrock Network label.
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Steve Kuhn was born on March 24, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York City and began studying piano at the age of five. He studied under Boston, Massachusetts piano teacher Margaret Chaloff, mother of jazz baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff. She taught him the Russian style of piano playing and at an early age he began improvising classical music.
As a teenager Steve appeared in jazz clubs in the Boston area with Coleman Hawkins, Vic Dickenson, Chet Baker, and Serge Chaloff. After graduating from Harvard University, he attended the Lenox School of Music where he became associated with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Gary McFarland. His professors included Bill Evans, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, and the members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This experience with some of the most forward-thinking innovators of jazz improvisation and composition culminated with his joining trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s group for an extended time and for a brief time in John Coltrane’s quartet at New York’s Jazz Gallery club.
Kuhn has appeared or recorded with Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Oliver Nelson, Gary McFarland, Art Farmer, Joe Henderson, Scott LaFaro, Harvie Swartz, Pete LaRoca, Sheila Jordan, Billy Drummond, David Finck, and Miroslav Vitous. In 1967 he moved to Stockholm, Sweden where he worked with his own trio throughout Europe until 1971. Moving back to New York City he formed a quartet while continuing to play European gigs and appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Known as an avant-garde pianist in his early career, he was associated with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca during the Sixties that produced several notable recordings. He was part of the quartet on the landmark recording Sound Pieces led by saxophonist, composer, and arranger Oliver Nelson with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Grady Tate. Among other critically acclaimed recordings there was The October Suite composed by Gary McFarland for Kuhn and an ensemble which included strings, woodwinds, and reeds.
For decades he has led all-star trios that have included such players as bassists Ron Carter and David Finck, and with drummers Al Foster, Jack DeJohnette, and Joey Baron. Pianist Steve Kuhn is the composer of the jazz standard The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers, has recorded several live albums at New York City jazz clubs and continues to lead a trio and compose.
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