This guy—one of my all-time musical heroes (someone I’ve been listening to for over 30 years)—makes you move. He makes you feel. He makes you think. What more could you ask for?
Henry Threadgill, alto saxophone
With His Very Very Circus, live, New York, 1995
With his Society Situation Dance Band (featuring Craig Harris, trombone), live, Germany (Hamburg), 1988
Like a lot of live performances (especially ones where the musicians haven’t had many chances to play together [as no doubt was the case here]), this gets better as it goes along. At first, things are a bit tentative and raggedy. Then, at around 1:50, trombonist Craig Harris starts to find his way. By around 2:15, the horns and strings begin to sound more cohesive. By around 3:30, the drummers, having gotten more comfortable with the tempo and structure, start to push the groove harder. At around 8:00, with everything going full steam, Threadgill, feeling Harris feeling it, suddenly breaks things down, leaving just the ’bone and the electric guitar. And with that, the performance jumps out of its skin.
With Judith Sanchez Ruiz (dancer), live, New York, 2008
Music should go right through you, leave some of itself inside you, and take some of you with it when it leaves.—Henry Threadgill