Magic Triangle Jazz Series: Joe McPhee and Chris Corsano Duo
March 8, 2018
UMass Amherst Campus
Since his emergence on the creative jazz scene in the late 1960s, Joe McPhee has been a deeply emotional composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a thoughtful conceptualist and theoretician. McPhee’s first recordings as leader, Underground Railroad, Nation Time and Trinity appeared on the CjR label. Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger was so impressed with McPhee he decided to form the Hat Hut label in 1974 as a vehicle to release his work. During the 1990’s, McPhee began to attract wider attention and has been performing and recording prodigiously as both leader and collaborator, appearing on such labels as CIMP, Okkadisk, Music & Arts, and Victo. McPhee has performed and recorded in solo and duo as well as a variety of other contexts. In addition to his extensive work with Chris Corsano, McPhee has extensive experience performing with Ken Vandermark, Peter Brotzman and Trio X with Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen.
"McPhee is a stellar improviser, relishing his sound materials so caringly and for so long,” writes Hank Shteamer. "[He's] the kind of player that invites you to really step outside of whatever mix you are in and think and feel for a while."
Voted on of the 100 greatest drummers of alternative music by Spin Magazine (2013), drummer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Corsano creates ferociously dense improvisational sound scapes, augmenting his drum kit with found objects, household devices, and other auxiliary percussion. Working at the nexus of free jazz and rock, He has performed and recorded with luminaries such as Bjork, Thurston Moore, Nels Cline, Evan Parker, C. Spencer Yeh, Jim O’Rourke, Wally Shoup, Bill Orcutt, Paul Dunmall, Sir Richard Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance, and more. Since 1998, he has toured and recorded extensively with saxophonist Paul Flaherty. His 2012 solo outing Cut (Hot Cars Warp) was described by Tiny Mix Tapes as “[ceasing] to be about the drums as we normally think of them, instead being a personally expressive vehicle that can mass rhythms or present a variety of singing and scraping tones... deftly attuned to emotion and curiosity.”
In 2012, McPhee and Corsano released Scraps and Shadows (Roaratorio), a collection of seven duets dedicated to musicians influential to the two performers, including Fred Anderson, Paul Flaherty, Han Bennink and Jim Pepper.