McPhee, Joe / Survival Unit II / Thorton, Clifford
N.Y., N.Y., 1971
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Catalog ID: Hatology624
Squidco Product Code: 6194
Packaging: Cardstock foldover
Recorded live at WBAI's Free Music Store, NY, NY, October 30, 1971 by Chris Albertson.
Joe McPhee-trumpet, tenor saxophone
Clifford Thornton-baritone horn
Byron Morris-soprano, alto saxophone
Harold E. Smith-percussion
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• Show Bio for Joe McPhee
"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.
His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.
In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.
In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
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"Producer's note: I first heard these tapes during my visit to the U.S.A. in 1974. The occasion was my first meeting with Joe McPhee and Craig Johnson of CJR Records. That meeting and the impact of these and other unreleased tapes had on me, are the reason I became a record producer. Originally this release was planned for 988 on LPs. Due to the rapid rise of the CD medium, the original plan was postponed and was eventually forgotten. 1996, 25 years later, Hat Hut Records celbrates its 30th year anniversary with the release of this newly remastered version of the original broadcast."-Werner X. Uehlinger, October 2005 [from the back cover]
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