Straight No Chaser podcast

From our blog friends at Straight No Chaser

Thu, 1 October 2009
Podcast 162: FONT salutes Bobby Bradford

Every year, the Jazz Standard in New York presents a Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), conceived and cu rated by acclaimed player, composer, and bandleader Dave Douglas. This year’s FONT honors the great Bobby Bradford, who will travel from the West Coast to appear on at the Jazz Standard with different combos in weekend performances October 1-4, 2009. Other trumpeters appearing to salute Mr. Bradford will be Jeremy Pelt, Ambrose Akinmusire, Avishai Cohen, Eddie Henderson and David Weiss.

Bradford, who at age 75 stands at perhaps our greatest living avant-garde trumpeter, is best known for his work with saxophonist Ornette Coleman and clarinetist John Carter, both major figures in pushing the limits of their respective instruments. He has also led his own group, the Mo’tet, and been a part of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. As an educator, Mr. Bradford has taught at Pomona College in California for four decades. His most famous student may be noted saxophonist David Murray, who will sit in with his former teacher on October 3rd and 4th.

Bradford will perform with a quintet and an octet, but he indicated when we spoke last week that the different band size would not create any special problems. “The music is not scored for a particular instrumentation, so the tunes we play will be the same tunes each night. The additional players are really strong, and they enhance the performance considerably.” He added that finding scores for some of the music he played with the John Carter Octet was difficult, with a certain discrepancy existing in some of the written scores. The band – which each night will include Bradford on trumpet, Marty Ehrlich on saxophones and clarinet, and Andrew Cyrille on drums, supplemented by others – will get just one rehearsal on Friday afternoon, “That’s asking a lot for anyone. No disrespect for New York players – these are the best you could have, but we want to play pieces like (John Carter’s) ‘Castles in Ghana’ and that takes work.”