December 2006

Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $22.50 Students / $24 Members + Seniors / $30 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Friday, December 8, 2006 - 8:00pm

Henry Grimes' Spaceship on the Highway Quartet

Fred Anderson, tenor saxophone
Marshall Allen, alto saxophone
Henry Grimes, bass
Avreeayl Ra, drums

A "free-form summit dominated by stratospheric eruptions." -Downbeat

Please join us for the east coast debut of Spaceship on the Highway, a new quartet of jazz masters and elder statesmen.

Philadelphia native Henry Grimes performed with Anita O'Day, Sonny Rollins, and the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. A versatile instrumentalist, Grimes (quite remarkably) performed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival with the Benny Goodman Big Band, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, and Thelonious Monk. In 1961 he became a respected contributor to the Free Jazz movement, working regularly with Cecil Taylor, Perry Robinson, Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler and Don Cherry. By 1967, however, Grimes disappeared completely from jazz. Following three and half decades of destitution, he resurfaced in 2003, after residing in a South Central Los Angeles hotel for nearly 20 years. He now performs regularly with many of the leaders of modern Jazz.

Chicago's Fred Anderson, an "old-school" musician in terms of grounding and early influences, was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He studied with Gene Ammons, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young, and has reflected that training throughout his career, while also easily absorbing the new ideas pioneered by Ornette Coleman and other free theorists. It is this ability to merge old and new that has made Anderson a seminal figure in this music. Beginning in the early 90s, Anderson has frequently recorded, often with drummer Hamid Drake, on labels such as Thrill Jockey.

Spaceship also includes Sun Ra Arkestra maestro Marshall Allen, who performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before joining the Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra's formidable reed section for next 40 years. Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of Ra's musical career. As a member of the Arkestra, Marshall Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early sixties, having remarkable influence on most of the leading voices in the avant-garde. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings in addition to collaborating with Phish, Sonic Youth, Digable Planets and Medeski, Martin & Wood.

Percussionist Avreeayl Ra was described by the Chicago Tribune as “an indispensable innovator" who "shapes the music-making swirling around him with remarkable precision and poise; extraordinarily sensitive percussion.” Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, his relationship with the seminal music organization having begun with early studies with co-founder Kelan Philip Cohran. He has performed with Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Henry Byrd (”Professor Longhair”), Malachi Favors, Sun Ra, and Pharoah Sanders.