A True Pioneer
The world lost a true pioneer when the renowned pianist, composer, and NEA Jazz Master Muhal Richard Abrams passed away on October 29, 2017, at the age of 87. Since co-founding the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) a half-century earlier, Muhal had remained at the forefront of the contemporary music scene, creating wholly original music and serving as a mentor to countless musicians. He composed works commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, the American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and he and his AACM colleagues are responsible for some of the most original new music approaches of the last five decades.
In 2012, saxophonist Bobby Zankel and his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound commissioned and premiered an evening-length composition entitled SoundPath from Abrams. The work has been performed only twice publicly: first, at its premiere in 2012 at a small college venue outside of Philadelphia; and second, at the 2018 October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music. This rich piece is an important contribution of the late composer-pianist, and it deserves to be heard widely.
With Ars Nova Workshop producing, Warriors of the Wonderful Sound stepped into the studio in October 2018 to record this important work, with veteran Abrams collaborator Marty Ehrlich conducting.
Anticipated release date: Autumn 2020