The Bill Dixon Orchestra
17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
AUM Fidelity : 2008
Bill Dixon, trumpet/composer; Graham Haynes, cornet/flugelhorn; Stephen Haynes, cornet/flugelhorn; Taylor Ho Bynum, cornet/flugelhorn; Dick Griffin, tenor trombone; Steve Swell, tenor trombone; Joseph Daley, tuba; Karen Borca, bassoon; Will Connell, bass clarinet; Michel Côté, Bb contrabass clarinet; Andrew Raffo Dewar, soprano saxophone; John Hagen, tenor & baritone saxophones; JD Parran, bass saxophone, bamboo flute; Andrew Lafkas, bass; Glynis Loman, cello; Jackson Krall, drums & percussion; Warren Smith, vibraphone, tympani & drums.
INTERVIEW [edit; 12 min.]
Bill Dixon interviewed by Phil Freeman, 27 April 2008
Everything’s coming up Dixon. This week AUM Fidelity releases Dixon’s 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur, recorded at last year’s Vision Festival. Dixon was honored on that evening a year ago for lifetime achievement, but given his output this year — including an earlier large group work with the Exploding Star Orchestra — and planned work for next year, the award was perhaps given prematurely.
He is also the subject of a major article in the current issue of the Wire, by Phil Freeman. (Freeman shared his interview tapes with us; we’ve included one of the more fascinating chunks above. The entire conversation can be heard here.) There also appears to be a big Signal to Noise story in the works from Clifford Allen, as devined from this comment thread (mind the bile).
The gentlemanly Steven Joerg of AUM Fidelity was kind enough to allow us to post a track from 17 Musicians for one week only. Check it out here through Monday, then go buy your own. This little snapshot is not nearly enough, but we hope it will whet your appetite for the full hour’s worth. The concert was an unalloyed success. Nobody does sound texture and dynamics like Dixon, and for 17 Musicians he really brings the low end out front. “Contour Three” is a decent microcosm of the whole, offering spare, quieter solo and duo passages that build, in sonic waves, to a sustained wail.
Stephen Haynes, a longtime collaborator of Dixon’s, played on the date and is credited as orchestra/production coordinator; he has also been blogging on Dixon. Haynes offers his own thoughts on the recording, and has provided the Signal to Noise reivew. Last year he also posted a number of photos from the concert and related rehearsal.
The title of this post was adapted from a Dixon utterance found here.