music clip of the day


Tag: Joe McPhee

Thursday, September 30th

sounds of New York

Jaimie Branch (trumpet), Darius Jones (alto saxophone), Joe McPhee (soprano saxophone), William Parker (bass), Ronnie Burrage (drums), Juma Sultan (percussion), live, New York, 2018



random sights

other day, Chicago

Monday, June 21st

sounds of Chicago

Joe McPhee (tenor saxophone, voice), Tomeka Reid (cello), live, Chicago (Corbett vs. Dempsey [art gallery]), 6/19/21



random sights

yesterday, outside Chicago (Dean Nature Sanctuary, Oak Brook)

Tuesday, April 25th

Is any alto player more eloquent?

Joe McPhee (alto saxophone), William Parker (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums), live, New York, 2014



art beat

Paul Strand (1890-1976), Abandoned Window, 1944


Monday, September 12th


Joe McPhee (alto saxophone) & Ingebrigt Haken Flaten (bass)
Live, Milwaukee, 2015



art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Gas, 1940 (America after the Fall, Painting in the 1930s, through 9/18/16)



Thursday, February 26th

Soundtrack for your day?

Peter Brotzmann Tentet,* live, Atlanta, 2002

*PB, reeds; Ken Vandermark, reeds; Mats Gustafsson, reeds; Mars Williams, reeds; Joe McPhee, trumpet; Jeb Bishop, trombone; Fred Longberg-Holm, cello; Kent Kessler, bass; Hamid Drake, drums; Michael Zerang, drums.

Wednesday, September 17th

tonight in Chicago

These guys will be at the Hideout, as will I.

Survival Unit III (Joe McPhee, tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet; Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello; Michael Zerang, drums), live, Denmark (Copenhagen), 2013

I could live a thousand years and never tire of going out in the dark to hear music.



art beat: Monday at the Art Institute of Chicago (brief stop after lunch)

Josef Koudelka (1938-), Slovakia, 1963 (from Gypsies)
Nationality Doubtful, through September 21st


Wednesday, March 12th

not for the faint of heart

Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet,* live, France (Le Mans), 2004



musical thoughts

Q: What would people be surprised to know that you listen to?

Bill Clinton: Brötzmann, the tenor sax player, one of the greatest alive.

Oxford American, 2001 (annual music issue)


*PB, reeds; Ken Vandermark, reeds; Joe McPhee, pocket trumpet, tenor saxophone; Roland Ramanan, trumpet, wooden flute; Toshinori Kondo, trumpet; Jeb Bishop, trombone; Fred Longberg-Holm, cello; Kent Kessler, bass; Michael Zerang, drums; Paal Nilssen-Love, drums.

Thursday, August 8th

There are all kinds of blues, too.

Joe McPhee Survival Unit 3 (JM, alto saxophone; Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello; Michael Zerang, drums), live, London, 2010



reading table

Dream Song 40
By John Berryman (1914-1972)

I’m scared a lonely. Never see my son,
easy be not to see anyone,
combers out to sea
know they’re goin somewhere but not me.
Got a little poison, got a little gun,
I’m scared a lonely.

I’m scared a only one thing, which is me,
from othering I don’t take nothin, see,
for any hound dog’s sake.
But this is where I livin, where I rake
my leaves and cop my promise, this’ where we
cry oursel’s awake.

Wishin was dyin but I gotta make
it all this way to that bed on these feet
where peoples said to meet.
Maybe but even if I see my son
forever never, get back on the take,
free, black & forty-one.

Back in the ’70s, when I was in college, I heard John Berryman read his poetry, an experience that opened my ears and mind in all kinds of ways. He moved so swiftly, and gracefully, from one register to another, leaping back and forth between high and low as if nothing could be more natural. Today he joins a select group—tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, trumpeter Lester Bowie, singer Dorothy Love Coates, poets Wislawa Szymborska and William Bronk—in the MCOTD Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, June 26th


I’ll be at the Hideout, a small club on Chicago’s northwest side, seeing this Ethiopian dancer, this baritone saxophonist, and an array of other dancers and musicians.

Melaku Belay (dance), Ken Vandermark (baritone saxophone), Joe McPhee (alto saxophone), Milwaukee, 6/22/13



reading table

wind blowing
paper fans rustling

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), 1823 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Thursday, 9/20/12

shhhh . . .

Joe McPhee, “Old Eyes” (for Ornette Coleman), live, New York, 2009

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