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Sonny Simmons : NEWS! November 2014 : NOMADIC

 

Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin "Nomadic" (Svart Records, 2014)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto saxophone, English horn, vocals. Thomas Bellier : electric bass, production. Michel Kristof : sitar. Sébastien Bismuth : drums, electronics.

Rec. aug. - nov. 2012 in Romainville, France, and NYC.

Visit Svart Records

 

Nomadic is the latest psychedelic exploration of absolute free jazz legend Sonny Simmons. At 81 years old, Simmons has joined forces with Moksha Samnyasin, a bass-drums-sitar trio consisting of French musicians Thomas Bellier (Spindrift, Blaak Heat Shujaa), Sebastien Bismuth (Abrahma) and Michel Kristof (Other matter).

Nomadic stands at the peak of Simmons’ quest for Middle-Eastern, psychedelic sonorities, the latest sonic accomplishment of a career spanning seven decades, during which Simmons has investigated and deconstructed every form of mind-expansive music. Moksha Samnyasin lays a heavy, vibrant, and improvised foundation that gives Simmons' alto sax and English horn the space to explore the sonic spectrum and push the boundaries of conventional psychedelia. Unfolding visions of the Far East, hinting at the minimalism of free jazz, the result is a peyote-laced Bitches Brew making way for a brand new form of "jazz fusion". Recorded between Paris and New York, the album was mastered by Grammy Award-winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Deftones).

Nomadic features striking original artwork by renowned artist Tokyo Ayoama. The album will be released on LP/CD/Digital will be released on Svart Records on November 28th.

May 2014 : 80th ANNIVERSARY BOX SET

 

Sonny Simmons : "Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom And Brilliance" (Improvising Beings ib25) / "Chasing The Bird?" (Improvising Beings ib26), 8-CD box set, May 2014, with Anton Mobin, AKA_Bondage, nobodisoundz, Michel Kristof, Julien Palomo, Bruno Grégoire, Other Matter

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais, alto sax. Bruno Grégoire : percussion. Anton Mobin : prepared chambers. AKA_Bondage : prepared guitar. nobodisoundz. Michel Kristof : electrified indian instruments, electric guitar. Julien Palomo : keyboards.

Rec. june 2006 - jan. 2014 in Romainville and Paris, France.

Visit Improvising Beings

 

"Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom And Brilliance / Chasing The Bird?"

Exclusive 8-CD box set, limited to 300 copies (80 available from the artists, 160 available from Improving Beings). 33 tracks, over 7 hours of new material.

Listen to extracts.

The history of the project.

Those are Sonny Simmons' adventures in post-rock, drone, noise, raga, dark ambient, electronica, minimalism, total improv, worlds music, post-everything. Mankind, you should listen. This is Sonny's Symphony. This is Sonny's inner world. This is Sonny's Message.

 

April 2014 : BAY AREA ALL STARS!

 

Bay Areal All Stars! "Now's The Time" (Sonny Simmons, Michael Marcus, Vince Wallace, Bishop Norman Williams, Gary Strauss, John Handy, BJ Papa, Tarus Mateen, Larry Hancock) (Not Two records, 2014)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto saxophone. Bishop Norman Williams : alto saxophone. Vince Wallace : tenor saxophone. Michael Marcus : saxello. Gary Strauss : trumpet. John Handy III : alto saxophone. B.J. Papa : piano. Tarus Mateen : bass. Larry Hancock : drums.

Rec. aug. 2002 in Oakland.

Visit Not Two records

 

The name of the group says it all: heaten bop by a bunch of renegade West Coast legends.

Michael Marcus, with help from polish producer Marek Winiarski, unveils the first installment of his extensive archive, the explosive 7" Now's The Time, now out on Not Two records. ( Don't forget to check the B-side, a Frank Lowe - James Carter - Michael Marcus trio.)

No comment. A MUST-HAVE!

November 2013 : JAZZ-MAALIKA

 

The Cosmosamatics: "Jazz-Maalika" (Saptakjazz, November 2013)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto saxophone, English horn, vocals. Michael Marcus : Bb clarinet, A clarinet, tarogato. John Austria : piano. Rashaan Carter : bass. Jay Rosen: drums. Gargi Shinde : sitar. Maitreya Padukone : tablas. Rohan Prabhudesai : harmonium.

Rec. may 2013 in NYC.

Visit Saptakjazz

 

The Cosmosamatics—an ever-evolving ensemble co-led by multi-reedists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus—was founded in 2000, though the seeds were arguably planted many years earlier. Half a century ago, Simmons was cutting his teeth with multi-reedists Prince Lasha, Eric Dolphy and others of the so-called free jazz movement. Marcus made his name in the avant/free circles of a later generation, so there was a natural symmetry to their eventual meeting in the early 1980s and subsequent collaborations. The Cosmosamatics has always paid musical homage to its spiritual forbearers such as alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, Dolphy, bassist Charles Mingus, pianist Sun Ra; on its ninth release, it's saxophonist John Coltrane who in large measure provides the inspiration.

The Eastern spiritualism that increasingly informed Coltrane's final decade has always been part of The Cosmosamatics' musical DNA and guest musicians sitarist Gargi Shinde, tablaist Maitreya Padukone and Rohan Prabhudessai on harmonium forge a bridge from the East to the more abstract musical philosophy of the quintet. The Indian instrumentation imbues a meditative quality in the quieter segments of the music, which on the whole is less fierce in intensity than on some of the band's previous recordings. In fact, there's a laid back Ellingtonian melodicism about the opener, "Moroccan Dreams." Tabla and Jay Rosen's brushes evoke the gentle rhythms of a desert caravan as Marcus' sensuous clarinet weaves a sinewy course and Shinde's sitar adds a touch of shimmering exoticism.

On "Hare Krishna"—the set's most literal devotional song—Marcus' keening tarogato (a Turkish reed instrument) combines with somber sitar and harmonium to provide a base for Simmon's wailing vocal invocation. Elsewhere, the music bears the mark of Coltrane's influence more overtly. The fifteen-minute "Coltrane in Paradise" may begin like a brooding Indian raga but once Simmons and Marcus enter in unison the music veers decidedly towards the spirit of Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965). Pianist John Austria's McCoy Tyner-esque chords and tinkling runs and Carter's bass ostinato provide the canvas while Simmons's alto saxophone and Marcus' soprano clarinet in turn carve searing, ecstatic lines, punctuated by Rosen's tumbling rolls and intermittent crashing cymbals.

The other extended piece, "Lavender," develops from a similar blueprint to "Coltrane in Paradise"; rippling percussion and rumbling piano give way to a piano ostinato over which reeds announce the head. Shinde stretches out on sitar, floating over repetitive bass and piano motifs. A bluesy passage follows, with Simmon's rasping alto at the center. At 80, the evergreen Simmons is in great form. His drawn out exclamations over a bouncing rhythm contrast with Marcus' fluid lines and Carter's walking bass. The two unite in a rousing closing chorus. Two shorter numbers, the quirky "Myna Love Call" featuring tabla, and "Tikum Olam (Healing the World)" featuring plaintive tarogato and wonderfully buoyant bass round out the set.

Passionate without resorting to strident exhibitionism, lyrical in an understated way and above all heartfelt, this East-West hybrid is a worthy addition to The Cosmosamatics' discography. A decade and a half on, Simmons and Marcus' creative juices show no signs of drying up.

By Ian Patterson for All About Jazz.

July 2013 : EVERYTHING YOU DID

 

Mark Masters Ensemble: "Everything You Did (The Music Of Walter Becker And Donald Fagen" (Capri Records, 2013)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais on one track.

Rec. april 2012 in Pasadena.

Visit Capri Records

 

Released to little or no fanfare, most sadly...

Read more about it (video included).

June 2013 : BEYOND THE PLANETS

 

Sonny Simmons, Delphine Latil, Thomas Bellier: Beyond The Planets (Improvising Beings ib20)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais, alto sax. Delphine Latil : harp. Thomas Bellier : electric guitar.

Rec. july 2011 and february 2012 in Paris.

Visit Improvising Beings

 

Sonny Simmons at 80: acoustic and electric duets

Now two months away from celebrating his 80th birthday, Sonny Simmons delivers a bold statement. Reinventing his sound once again. Going forward, never looking back.

His duet with Delphine Latil on classical harp received wide acclaim in 2011. As described by Robert Gapplegate: "Latil's harp and the kind of quasi-eastern sound of the whole at first brings to mind classic Alice Coltrane. And such comparisons are not out of place. But ultimately there is a LOT of pure Sonny here, and Delphine Latil has her own, somewhat more linear melodic approach on harp. Symphony of the Peacocks occupies a singular place, so far as I know, in Sonny Simmons' output. It is quite beautiful and there is much to explore here. Go to a new world with this one and stay for a while. You'll come back refreshed and rejuvenated, I will be willing to bet."

First CD features Latil and Simmons in "Sacred Moments", a massive 47 minutes tour-de-force, which expands upon the singular language they created on Peacocks. Chamber Free Jazz?

Second CD now sees Simmons with stoner psyche maverick Thomas Bellier on electric guitar (Blaak Heat Shujaa), a first in his career: yes, it took the godfather of free jazz 50 years to finally plug the electricity! But then, Hendrix would drop by at the studio sometimes, back in the days... Here today, electric guitar has developped a long story of its own. And Bellier's guitars, at times crystalline, at times heavy, are here to remind us that doom is also blues, blues of the XXIst Century.

Sonny Simmons insisted that both CDs featured solos from Delphine Latil and Thomas Bellier, mirroring the duets. This makes for a savant construction, a unique trip from silence to mayhem.

December 2011 : NEAR THE OASIS

 

Sonny Simmons and François Tusques : Near The Oasis (Improvising Beings, ib10)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais, alto sax. François Tusques : piano.

Rec. june 2011 in New York.

Visit Improvising Beings

 

Live at Vision Festival 16 : the essence of blues and jazz

Two legends live. For an hour Sonny Simmons and François Tusques have relinquished their "free jazz godfathers" status to give a straight lecture on blues and bop, revisiting 'Round Midnight, Theme For Ernie, Bolivar Blues and Night In Tunisia. But this exploration of the standards of standards is as subtly "out" than seemingly nostalgic piano/sax duets, and rank among all-time classics in that area, Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy, Horace Parlan and Archie Shepp, Dave Burrell and David Murray... The title track is a new installment in Sonny Simmons' investigations in modal/chordal free jazz: François Tusques' romantic take on Bud Powell and Art Tatum leads the hypnotic improvisation towards a saxophone frenzy that will remain one of the key moments of both artists' discography. Relax and let your feet do the rest.

Enregistrement en concert au Vision Festival 16 (juin 2011) de deux monstres sacrés, Sonny Simmons au saxophone alto et François Tusques au piano, qui délaissent pour une heure leur statut de pères fondateurs du free jazz pour donner une grande leçon de blues et de bop – avec cet art subtil du décalage que l’on retrouve chez d’autres grands duos piano/sax, Mal Waldron et Steve Lacy, Horace Parlan et Archie Shepp, Dave Burrell et David Murray… Sur le morceau titre, le duo livre une improvisation tour à tour minimaliste, sinueuse, dominée par le toucher romantique de Tusques et le cor anglais quasi-world de Simmons.

April 2011 : PERFORMS THE MUSIC OF CHARLIE PARKER

 

Sonny Simmons Quintet Performs the Music of Charlie Parker + (Zingmagazine, 2011)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais, alto sax, voice. Michael Marcus : clarinets. Kiane Zawadi : euphonium. John Austria : piano. Rashaan Carter : bass. Taru Alexander : drums.

Rec. march 2011 in New York.

More information

 

Austin artist Devon Dikeou records Sonny Simmons and his group as part of her later installation Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

From the San Antonio Current (article by Scott Andrews):

"Devon Dikeou’s exhibit at Artpace, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, features a room paneled with wood, the smell of newly applied Minwax stain still lingers in the air. On one wall are photographs of small brass plaques, engraved with the names of notable jazz musicians like Louie Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Lee Morgan. On another wall is a huge photograph of a similar plaque. The name reads “Sonny Simmons.” A man’s voice is heard coming from speakers on the floor, talking about music and the players who make it. It’s Simmons. A cardboard box sits in the middle of the floor filled with CDs, free for the taking. The recording is “The Sonny Simmons Quintet Performs the Music of Charlie Parker,” produced by Artpace and Dikeou’s zingmagazine.

Sonny Simmons is a player’s player. As a sideman on alto he played with Charlie Parker, Eric Dolphy, and Charles Mingus in the ’50s and ’60s. His later work with Prince Lasha took bebop lines into free jazz, extended with complex harmonic structures pioneered by John Coltrane. Among musicians, Simmons is legendary as both composer and horn player, a master on saxophone and English horn. Born in 1933, his command of line and pitch is still perfect, his sound distills everything you ever wanted to hear. The Current asked Dikeou, who is now based in Austin, how she came to create her exhibit. Here’s her response, culled from a long conversation:

“The exhibition at Artpace is something I had been working on for a long time. My art really talks about the audience, and the artwork and the context that it is showing in, whether it is the street, a museum or a gallery, or the laboratory, as they call Artpace. The piece I had been doing, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, I had done because I had been making a bunch of photographs of different things that are meant to commemorate different people, and I came across a hotel in Buenos Aires that had a number of doors leading to bedrooms dedicated to different individuals. Some like Louie Armstrong were obvious, but others like Joe Henderson could have been a million different people, but he is also a great jazz man.

“There were 55 names, and though many important jazz names were of course missing, I thought it would only be appropriate if Sonny’s name were there. Through the magic of technology I created a plaque for Sonny. Then one day years ago Sonny knocked on the doors of zingmagazine in New York, it is part of my art practice as well, I am publisher and editor there. I had known him for about ten or fifteen years. He said, ‘I have a great idea, I would love to do a CD, Sonny Simmons plays Charlie Parker.’ Zingmagazine does make music CDs, but we had spent our CD budget on the previous issue, Issue 21.

“I showed him the project I had done with the pictures on the computer, and as he watched all the names I said if we did the project it would be so great because I would put Sonny Simmons on the front side of the CD and Charlie Parker on the backside. So we had this project between the two of us a long time ago. It was just a wonderful luck kind of thing that I was chosen for the Artpace residency. When I do a residency I always start with a number of ideas. It’s like throwing six balls up in the air and seeing which one is right for the space. I decided the Sonny project would be best.

“For the design of the exhibit I was inspired by all of the minimalist things that have always been a big part of Texas, Donald Judd in particular, his piece where he panels a whole room and that’s the only thing in the art. And so it was taking inspirations from not just Sonny, but also my inspirations from around my visual world, from somebody like Judd, to in my aural world somebody like Sonny, and trying to bring them together.

“The free CDs is a reference to Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the speakers in the space to The Chords and Christian Marclay, and all the different, great artists who have been at Artpace and are just inspiring people.

“We are hopeful to bring in Sonny and do a concert, perhaps on the rooftop or someplace like Chris Park. We have yet to work out the details, but it would be fantastic!”

January 2011 : SYMPHONY OF THE PEACOCKS

 

Sonny Simmons and Delphine Latil : Symphony of the Peacocks (Improvising Beings ib04, 2011)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : cor anglais, alto sax, voice. Delphine Latil : harp.

Rec. may 2010 in Paris.

Visit Improvising Beings

 

Improvising Beings is proud to present the new Music from the Spheres!

Sonny's first session in over two years will come to you all as a shock - that's my most sincere hope. A step further from the two symphonic milestones, The Traveller (2005) and Atomic Symphony (2007), cross-breeding jazz and string instruments, Symphony of the Peacocks now approaches chamber music. Delphine Latil is a classical harp player fresh out of elite conservatories, she is mostly new to "jazz" but has a most beautiful ear and in the course of a few meetings has become the best companion ever to Sonny's English horn.

Symphony of the Peacocks comes as suite in five movements - five moods. Beauty from long ago draws a line between the old (jazz?) and the new (Sonny's fresh experiences with electro wizzards Zombie Zombie), eerily introducing the lavish Emerald and Sapphire Rejoice, a 19 minutes feast for harp and English horn, less oriental in flavour than his past work on Tales of the Ancient East or Fourth Dimension. Delphine Latil aptly brings in memories of Baroque musique. The collective composition is yet reminiscent of the late Alice Coltrane at her best, spiritual, an ever-flowing and ever changing movement. The Blues of What it is is - well, what it says: the BLUES, without the guitar(s), cue classical harp. Tons of raucous alto sax. Blue Maze explores free jazz at its most explosive - weird intricate chords, high energy, before the album comes to an end with a real bijou, Le Ruby from The East, thus titled by Sonny in Delphine's honour.

This is certainly not for everybody. But if you read these lines, and you know who Sonny Simmins is - you are not everybody. With this new label, Improvising Beings, I would like to catch rare moments of cultural interbreeding - moments that exist only in our dreams. I am deeply indebted to Sonny, Delphine, our relatives Janet, and Marc - and above all Michel Kristof and Benjamin Duboc - without their hard work Sonny's dream of the music from the spheres would have never came true.

Respectfully Yours - Julien Palomo, producer.

 

April 2009 : ATOMIC SYMPHONY

 

Crimetime Orchestra featuring Sonny Simmons & KORK : Atomic Symphony (Jazzaway records, double CD, 2009)

Credits

Vidar Johansen : conductor, baritone saxophone. Sonny Simmons : alto saxophone, English horn. Jon Klette : alto saxophone. Kjetil Møster : tenor and soprano saxophones. Gisle Johansen : tenor saxophone. Sjur Miljeteig : trumpet. Ivind Brekke : trombone. Hild Sofie Fafjord : french horn, live sampling, electronic effects, noise. Anders Hana : guitar, electronics, noise. Bugge Wesseltoft : piano, synthesizers, live sampling, effects. Mats Eilertsen : electric bass, moog filter. Ingebrigt Haaker : double bass, electric bass, bass synthesizers, effects. Per Zanussi : electric bass, wah wah effects, noise. Per Oddvar Johansen : drums, percussions, electronic effects. Paal Nilssen-Love : drums, percussion.

Rec. aug. 2007 in Oslo.

Visit http://www.jazzaway.com/ and http://www.jazzaway.musiconline.no/ for more info.

 

Jazzaway records to release massive symphonic work featuring Sonny Simmons as a lead soloist

"This 2-CD set was recorded live at the Oslo international jazzfestival 2007 is simply nothing less than fantastic!...and very unlikely to happen at all... Imagine the Norwegian “all-star" outfit CRIMETIME ORCHESTRA in its maximum size..so far.. expanded to a 14 piece Rocking / wild / Grooving and beautifully diverse outfit that featured the following musicians that somehow managed to take charge and control the development of the event that resulted in more then 100 minutes of continues music that is a indescribably exiting and adventurous concert from start to finish. With structured wild sections mixed with total freedom and beautiful arranged moody parts. It turned out that the choice of having the great conductor/arranger ERLEND SKOMSVOLL in charge of conducting the big symphonyorchestra and act as the in between guy for CRIMETIME ORCHESTRA was perfect and the level of communication we managed to achieve with 52 classical musicians on the spot was no less then magical in brutal force and dynamics ranging from total silence to the awesome huge sound we achieved in other parts..AND we had the great fortune of having the great alto saxplayer SONNY SIMMONS playing as a wilcard with total freedom to play whatever he felt whenever he wanted...Listen to the way he just dives straight in and out at the right moments and how he manage to naturally blend in with everything that goes on around him--I think his playing on these CDs are beyond any meaningful description--its simply fantastic throughout and full of energy and exiting musical ideas, and all improvised on the spot... he had just turned 74 the week before the concert but had no problems playing long passages with high voltage energy...and he played some indescribably pretty passages also...i think Sonny Simmons contributions and fantastic playing was a big part of the big success the cocert turned out to be... As far as i know nothing like this music has been presented live anywhere..or in studio for that matter...not with this kind of crazy mix of so many unlikely elements..."
Jon Klette, producer

 

September 2008 : TRUE WIND

 

Sonny Simmons and Bobby Few : True Wind (Hello World! HW12-13, double CD-R, 2008)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais. Bobby Few : piano.

Rec. nov. 2007 in Paris.

Visit our store

 

Sonny Simmons and Bobby Few Live at L'Atelier-Tampon Ramier (november 2007)

Two sailboats selling free with time...

The Sonny Simmons-Bobby Few duet stunned the Vision Festival and Philadelphia this year, it has performed in Paris and will be soon in Portugal and Spain...

 

May 2008 : INTRODUCING BLACK JACK PLEASANTON

 

Sonny Simmons : Introducing Black Jack Pleasanton (4 CD-R box set on Hello World!), The Kirk Heydt Tapes 1980-1982

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax. Kirk Heydt : cello. Arnold Young, James Baker : drums. Steve Suhren : flute. Other unidentified musicians.

Rec. 1980-1982 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Visit our store or contact order@improvising-beings.com.

 

The Kirk Hedyt tapes, 1980-1982

Bonjour, my fans across the world. I'm on tour this fall in the UK and Europe, come see me if you can. Tra la la la la. This is a second edition of 70. They are going fast.This is a 4 CD Box Set!

Sonny Simmons
smiles!!!

We've all read that Sonny Simmons was a homeless junkie for thirteen years, from the early days of the Reagan administration to the glorious resurrection of Ancient Ritual. That he was playing the streets under an alias, Black Jack Pleasanton. But somehow, the driving (healing) force that is music never failed him. Where others would have disappeared, he lept into the unknown. Freed from all the constraints that wrecked his musician's life - hustling for gigs, producers, no media coverage... - he allowed his music to be totally, absolutely personnal. Delivering his original blend of hard-bop and free jazz, he added layers and layers of cello, double bass, violin to his sound, as he had always wanted to. Sonny wants you to know: "I'm proud of my 70-and-so albums, but it's here, and only here, you will hear my true unrestricted self".

This is the story of another man, too. Then in his early twenties, cellist Kirk Heydt was following the lost saxophone master with a portable cassette recorder. He helped Sonny shape the sound of the group. Thanks to his efforts (when nobody cared!), 5 hours of it are preserved. Later, he would produce the now legendary album Global Jungle - but that's another story.

The bulk of the music? The core trio of Sonny Simmons, Kirk Heydt and ace drummer Arnold Young, enriched with various string instruments and flute (Steve Suhren). Two major Simmons obsessions are made obvious. The Ancient East motives and the string-driven arrangements, faintly evidenced in the ESP and Arhoolie sets of the preceding decade, have matured during this pivotal 1980-1982 years. This is where The Traveller takes its origins. The connection to the music of Albert Ayler is also made clearer than usual: the use of string improvisers links this box set to Ayler’s 1967 groups (Live in Greenwich Village). A thick carpet of strings, intense if sparse drumming. Of course, his two other masters must have been watching, too: Dolphy’s Red Planet is getting two half-hour long renditions (!), while Coltrane’s science of the saxophone mechanics inspire One pour John C. This may be some of the best free jazz ever – because it is barely linked to anything we acknowledge as free jazz, the ESP era, the Actuel era, the Lofts era : this is, like Coltrane pointed at in his last moments, EXPRESSION, fully personal expression.

In the end you will only wonder: "Is this the music of a homeless junkie?" and you'll realize Sonny Simmons was, is, truely something else.

This second edition is limited to 70 copies. 2/3rd of the sales go directly to the artists.

The box set comes with a 16-pages booklet featuring a new essay by Marc Chaloin.

 

May 2008 : FREE WITHIN THE LAW

 

The Cosmosamatics : Free Within The Law (Not Two)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais. Michael Marcus : tenor sax, b-flat clarinet. Peter Herbert : bass. Art Lewis : drums.

Rec. nov.06 in Krakow.
Produced by Michael Marcus.

Order at Nottwo.com

 

The Cosmosamatic's 8th album available on Not Two!

"[...] One of the things that makes this one special is the appearance of Peter Herbert, one of the under-recognized contrabassists who makes consistently superb solo, duo and bass ensemble discs. The first thing we hear on this disc is an eruption of bowed bass and powerful drums. When the two saxes come in, we enter free/jazz heaven with an explosion of wailing spirits. The next piece is Sonny's "Afro Funk" and it couldn't be more different. It does have a sly somewhat funky groove with a great blend of English horn (oboe-like) and clarinet. Both reed players take great, laid back solos together and apart. The vibe is a sort of middle-eastern one. "Janet's Moods" features some strong yet bent harmonies for the reeds and poignant solos for the alto sax and tenor sax with Peter strumming his bass sublimely behind them. You can tell that Sonny and Michael have been playing, touring and recording, for quite a while since there is a special magic that bonds their playing, a sympathetic vibration that blends the sound of both of their reeds into a perfect combination of inspired spirits. They often solo simultaneously, yet never get in each others way. Michael's "Morning Daffodil" has a lovely melody and is a most touching ballad-like song with a wonderful, Trane-like tenor solo by Michael. This great disc ends with another intense, fast and furious freer piece called "The Polish Rally," that brings this release to a masterful conclusion. It doesn't get much better than this!"

Bruce Lee Gallanter at Downtown Music Gallery.

"This group has fortunately been documented quite a few times on record, and consequently this disc offers insight into an ongoing affair. The front line of woodwind multi-instrumentalists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus has now not only established the kind of rapport Simmons used to have with Prince Lasha forty odd years ago, but also moved beyond it, which is just as it should be.

[...] The sly funk of Simmons's “Afro Funk” proves there's more to this group than all out blowing. The composer's English horn is an instrument he's made his own in this area of the music and its keening edge provides a nice contrast with Marcus's John Carter-influenced Bb clarinet. Again the two men converse over the rhythmic backdrop for a while before Simmons solos and the overall effect is happily that of four men in thrall to the greater idea that the music inevitably is.

The same funk applies to Marcus's “May-Lee-High-Young.” Down home in terms of rhythmic contours, Simmons puts in some of his most effective work on this one, showing how much he's absorbed the Ornette Coleman strand and refined it to the point where his is the voice that emerges at the expense of all others. Marcus's tenor sax here is garrulous without being overbearing, not least because he too has long since arrived at the point of personal expression, which is just as it should be.

In such company, Marcus's “Morning Daffodil” has an elegiac air about it, which fulfills the promise of the title. Lewis employs brushes in a manner which brings out the innate beauty of the reeds mens' lines and Marcus shows, in no uncertain terms, how his appreciation of the tradition goes back decades. Again the balance between form preconceived and form spontaneous is finely struck and the results are compelling."

Nic Jones at AllAboutJazz

What more can we say?

 

June 2007 : ECSTATIC NOSTALGIA and FOURTH DIMENSION

 

Sonny Simmons : Ecstatic Nostalgia, the first volume in the Sonny Simmons Solo Series

Sonny Simmons : Fourth Dimension, the second volume in the Sonny Simmons Solo Series

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais.

Rec. aug.06 in Romainville, dec.06 and march 07 in Paris.
Produced by Sonny Simmons.

Order

 

The Sonny Simmons Solo Series

"I didn't know I had this feminine creature inside of me." Is this the romantic side of Sonny Simmons? The bulk of Ecstatic Nostalgia, our first volume of solo performances, was recorded at the now defunct Galerie Apnée in the old and colourful Mouffetard neighbourhood in Paris, and at Bruno Grégoire's home in Romainville earlier in 2006. Here's Sonny Simmons in a relaxed mood, writing love poems on the spur of a delightful morning. From the meditative gentleness of "Ode to Thelonious Monk" to the 25th century blues of "Blues For Everyday Life", through the sinuous "Exotic Study" or the audacious reconstruction of "My Favorite Things" which propels Coltrane and Bismillah Khan in a new dimension, scholars, fans and casual listeners as well are given the best of Sonny Simmons solo since the long gone masterpiece Out Into The Andromeda.

Sonny Simmons comments: "Ideas make a civilization of music". Our second volume of solo performances, Fourth Dimension, brings forth the complex and brilliant horn algebra which made Simmons famous in the free jazz era. Fourth Dimension is indeed music conceived as out of our physical universe. Sonny Simmons unfolds a new world of music to explore, in a bright manner already exemplified by two points of reference in solo improvisation, Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell. Here Sonny's peculiar, meditative cor anglais, his explosive and mathematical alto sax create a unique language, which can only be described as jazz's babylonian ancestor, or one of the music's future development, - not today's jazz, nor its immediate past, nor its immediate future. Listen, and learn.

 

May 2007 : JUMA'S ARCHIVE

Juma Sultan was once famous for playing the percussion with Jimi Hendrix. But this multi-talented musician was also a stalwart of Sonny's various bands from 1964 to 1970, in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1964-1965 and 1969-1970, and in NYC in 1966-1969. Along with Sonny Simmons he was instrumental in the launching of the Woodstock festival in 1968. He was also part of the group which made a striking appearance at the Berkeley Jazz Symposium in February '69. Of course he will be best remembered in the Sonny Simmons canon for being the bass player on Manhattan Egos.

A skilled musician, Juma Sultan was also a documentarian. Between 1964 and the "loft era" (mid 70's), he taped, pictured and filmed the entire "avant-garde" movement. Though he seldom appeared on records, he took an active part in many a group from the era (including his own, the Aboriginal Music Society). In 2006 he received a grant from Clarkson University and funds of the National Endowment for the Arts to preserve his tremendous archive - hundred of hours of music never heard before, of films, thousand of photos of Hendrix of course, Albert Ayler, Sonny Simmons, Pharoah Sanders, Dewey Redman,Archive Shepp, Dave Burrell, Grachan Moncur III, Beaver Harris, Ted Daniel, Philip Wilson, Julius Hemphill, Rashied Ali, Earl Cross, James 'Blood' Ulmer,Jimmy Garrison, Milford Graves... Well, name anybody: it's all in Juma's Archive.

The restauration of this archive is certainly one of the most important event in the history of "free jazz". The actual documentation of the movement (ESP' Disk and the Wildflowers albums) had left significant gaps that are now filled. Don't miss the ultimate avant-garde jazz goldmine.

As far as Sonny is concerned, Juma has put a few snippets of his collaboration with him in the Audio Archive section of his web site (at least two dozen groups as exciting are featured, with some of the aforementioned musicians). It includes the first documentation ever of the 1968-1969 collaboration between Sonny Simmons and Dewey Redman. Let's hope these pieces will appear in their entirety one day.

 

April 2007 : LAST MAN STANDING

 

Sonny Simmons : Last Man Standing, new album on Jazzaway records

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Anders Aarum : piano. Mats Eilertsen : bass. Torstein Lofthus, Ole-Thomas Kolberg : drums.

Rec. dec.04, march 05, apr.05 in Oslo.
Produced by Jon Klette.

Listening to samples + electronic downloads

 

Third album in Jon Klette's 'Trilogy'

"On this third and final album in the trilogy Sonny is performing in a classic jazz quartet setting playing his original compositions backed by the very competent musicians who were featured on his two previous albums for Jazzaway Records...

"I sincerely hope you enjoy this exciting album that has been a pleasure to produce and I would like to thank Sonny Simmons for his great musical contributions both before... Now... And in the future!"

Jon Klette

Back to the classic format: saxophone, piano, bass, drums. The sound is warm and mellow but, where The Traveller was a crisp delivery and Live at Haugesund retained a grand air of melancholia, Last Man Standing's majestic arrangements and compositions (all Sonny's, bar the live favorite "Tenderly") are of a darker tone and feel than usual. Producer Jon Klette's design is now fully revelealed: The Traveller's strings were atmospheric, I'll See You...'s duets were catchy, Last Man Standing's sombre elation is an awe-inspiring climax in Sonny Simmons' career. More clearly than on Myxolydis the rhythm section is hunting in Coltrane's garden ("Call to Order" might be penned exemplary: from the slow introduction, reminiscent of "Alabama", it builds into a beautiful hypnotic groove), but at the same time sounds so unminstakeably european: Aarum, Eilertsen and Kolberg cut loose with the groove when Sonny's mood gets introspective, and the lavish hard-bop takes a surprising, chamber music-like turn. This is it, really: Sonny Simmons' first european album, in the truest sense of the term, the jazz roots becoming one with memories of Berlin, Vienna, Paris, 19th century grey and white architecture...

 

December 2006 : FATHERLANDS

 

Sonny Simmons and Bruno Grégoire : Fatherlands

Credits

Sonny Simmons : English horn, alto sax, voice. Bruno Grégoire : poetry, reading. Anne Segal : reading.

Rec. aug. 06 in Romainville, France.
Produced by Sonny Simmons and Bruno Grégoire.

Ordering / commandes

 

NEW ROOTS?

This is a sound Sonny Simmons has kept in his mind for almost a lifetime. This exceptional double CD captures Sonny, mostly on English horn, with french poet Bruno Grégoire. This is not the first time that "jazz meets poetry". But this is not exactly jazz, and this is not exactly poetry. Nothing can really describe this project: conceived as a complete two-hours piece, it takes you to the roots of Sonny's musical vision, black music from the borders of the Niles to the borders of Mississipi, while Bruno Grégoire and Anne Segal draw vivid pictures of other faraway lands, another existence in the - maybe - lost fatherlands.

Non french-speaking listeners shouldn't be deterred from exploring these sound landscapes: Sonny delivers here one of his most haunting solo experiment ever, the four-part, 43 minutes long Anciens Souvenirs, composed for the English horn. One of the many reasons this record will stand as one of the pivotal albums recorded by Simmons over a course of 40 years.

The first edition is limited to 60 copies. 2/3rd of the sales go directly to the artists.

From the liner-notes:

"'This is a new day in modern poetry', Sonny asserts. Bruno Grégoire is another underrated artist. 'He's not reading like a machine, he’s my rhythm section and my
improvisation is flowing freely. You have to know the exact science of words as you have to know the exact science of sound.' Bruno Grégoire writes pictures, you can see, you can smell, and at the same time style is so prevalent, that you can hear stories even if you’re not a French-speaking listener. The merging of jazz and poetry has been tried so many times - successfully. Here Bruno and Sonny have spontaneously brought something different. They’ve gotten rid of the particulars of both, to define an idiom of their own - a different trip. [...] We have managed to capture an experience that could have went uncaptured, a fortuitous meeting: nothing was planned, no manifesto will be issued, and Fatherlands will never be duplicated. A collision. The French poet of the post-surrealistic breed, traveller of sorts, Saint-John Perse of our times (would Saint-John Perse have known about dire straits, addiction and love asunder); the American master musician, the black man who took Parker and Trane to the Ancient East."

 

November 2006 : HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRANE

 

Dr. Robert Stewart featuring Sonny Simmons : Happy Birthday Trane

Credits

Dr. Robert Stewart : tenor sax. Sonny Simmons : alto sax. Ark Sano : piano. Jeff Littleton : bass. Don Littleton : drums.

Rec. sept. 99 in LA.
Produced by Robert Stewart.

Visit Armageddon store.

 

 

A TRIBUTE TO COLTRANE BY DR. ROBERT STEWART - GUEST ARTIST, SONNY SIMMONS

An unexpected and most pleasant surprise: Sonny Simmons caught live on a burning tribute to the Prophet. Thanks to Dr. Robert Stewart, a young Oakland homeboy with an amazing pedigree (notable records with Billy Higgins, Ed Kelly, the Marsalis, appearances with - just everybody, from Dizzy Gillespie to McCoy Tyner via Benny Golson, Pharoah Sanders, Max Roach, check his website...), this seminal gig at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA is revived on CD.

They're "cooking", and "that's a bag we like to hear Sonny in", like they say in old-time liner-notes. Renditions of A Love Supreme, Impressions and Equinox at parkerian speed (of light), sheer brilliancy from both soloists - if you ever wondered where Sonny comes from, it's all there. There was a time when saxophone was supposed to sound like that, a rhythm section that efficient, and John Coltrane's writing is the perfect vehicle for that kind of advanced hard bop. Once you get to the point that you can emulate him, but will never be as good as he was, and never reach the heights of the classic quartet, you still have plenty to explore in his music - hence this fierce, humble and heartfelt hommage.

These are a few of our favorite things!

 

November 2006 : LIVE AT KNITTING FACTORY

 

Sonny Simmons trio : Live at Knitting Factory

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, voice. Cameron Brown : bass. Ronnie Burrage : drums.

Rec. may 01 in NYC.
Produced by Jan Ström.

Visit Ayler records.

 

 

(NOW) HISTORICAL DOCUMENT ON AYLER RECORDS!!

Sonny Simmons + Ayler records. The equation rings a bell. As far as free-jazz is concerned, most of Jan Ström's releases will remain as uncompromising statements. This one is a most uncompromising statement...

Wait a minute. Another live record? True. The past fifteen years have seen (so) many of them. Why is this one so special? Well, Live at Knitting Factory brings back to life a truly undocumented aspect of Sonny Simmons, the outstanding performer: his trio settings. Obviously. If you ever had the chance to catch him live, that was most probably with a trio. The formula was preserved in the studio on Ancient Ritual. Period. Arhoolie's Live - In Paris was too exceptional an occasion (the fuss surrounding his come-back), and the record is marred by sometimes indifferent sound. Ever since then, Sonny has led myriads of sax+bass+drums groups, an easy to deal with presentation that perfectly suits his playing.

At last we get a testimony of his command of this difficult artform. Live at Knitting Factory is plainly and simply how Sonny Simmons sounds like, caught live. It's typical. Back in 2001, he was more and more seeking abruptness, conciseness (his pairing with Michael Marcus in the Cosmosamatics, much better documented, almost aims at the opposite direction: developping one single idea, chewing it, until it reaches a stage of completion), through (sometimes deceivingly) short sets featuring no more than two themes. Here we get two of his all-time classics, so to say: Trumpet Ship and Reverend Church (a slightly different take at Ancient Ritual). The basic, constitutive features of his vision are here: constant groove, entertainment (humorous rap), clarity. If only for these aesthetical reasons... get that nuclear bomb!

 

 

September 2006 : LIVE AT HAUGESUND INTERNATIONAL JAZZFESTIVAL 2005

 

Svein Olav Herstad Trio featuring Sonny Simmons : Live At Haugesund International Jazzfestival 2005

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Svein Olav Herstad : piano. Harald Johnsen : bass. Per Oddvar Johansen : drums.

Rec. aug. 05 in Silda.
Produced by Jon Klette.

Visit http://www.jazzaway.com/ and http://www.jazzaway.musiconline.no/ for more info.

 

 

JAZZAWAY PRESENTS NORWEGIAN PIANIST SVEIN OLAV HERSTAD'S "SUITE FOR SIMMONS"

Live at Haugesund International Jazzfestival 2005 presents the lavish Svein Olav Herstad Trio (SOH : piano, Harald Johnsen : bass, Per Oddvar Johansen : drums) featuring Sonny Simmons on alto saxophone and English horn, in a superb "suite" especially written for the occasion.

It is easily the most accesible Sonny Simmons record to date - but by no way a record dealing with easiness. Suite For Simmons demonstrates abilities he hadn't had ANY chance to show and develop before producer Jon Klette had the intelligence had the intelligence to free him from - free music. A step further from The Traveller, Simmons develops a true "group sound" - to his own amazement, as the group he was introduced to in August 2005 was all new to him. But with a pianist who, in his own words, "brings back Bud Powell to life", a very apt rhythm sections layering a smooth cushion of lush melodies, he is now able to let his artistry evolve from the searching, moving, sometimes angry stream of consciousness-like pattern he is known for, to a more static environment, where he can focus on sound, on tones, and be heard as the fantastic performer he is.

The mood is somehow lyrical, with sudden accelerations. Svein Olav Herstad's composition goes through varied paths, whether his unit lays down almost angular themes that will sound very familiar to the fans (Part 3 with it's English horn driven vamp), or helps him unleash his instinctful fondness for scorching ballads. Once again, producer Jon Klette brings fresh air in Simmons' discography, succeeding in capturing his true sound while putting him in a context that will both surprise and satisfy all of those still following this ever-growing artist.

 

 

July 2006 : LIVE AT THE CHESHIRE CAT, the second volume in the SONNY SIMMONS ARCHIVES PROJECT series (limited edition of 85*)

 

Sonny Simmons : Live At The Cheshire Cat  (HW02-03, double audio CD-R)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax. Richard Clements : piano. Freddie Williams : bass. Larry Hancock, Irvin Lovilette : drums.

Rec. 1980 in Olympia and San Francisco.

Order

SECOND ARCHIVAL RELEASE AVAILABLE ON HW!

This is the music Sonny Simmons wants you to hear. Nobody got interested in it at the times though, according to Sonny, the Richard Clements/Larry Hancock/Freddie Williams aggregation as pictured on CD 2 was his best quartet ever. Within a mere six months the group developed his own bland of hard-swinging post-bop and underlying sonic mayhem reminiscent of Coltrane's classic quartet. - On the other hand, CD 1 captures Sonny in a mood that will come as a great surprise to those only familiar with his "regular" discography: backed by two percussionists, he improvises at length with abrasive intensity. Polyrhythmic grooves, daring, often violent saxophone explorations, this music might as well incarnate what "free-jazz" could/should have been.

We are lucky these tapes survived 26 years of complete oblivion, and proud to present them at last.

Read more...

*85 copies, only 40 available from this website.

 

 

April 2006 : I'LL SEE YOU WHEN YOU GET THERE

 

Sonny Simmons : I'll See You When You Get There

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Duets with - Anders Aarum : piano. Mats Eilertsen : bass. Ole-Thomas Kolberg : drums.

Rec. dec. 04, jan. & mar. 05 in Oslo.
Produced by Jon Klette.

Visit http://www.jazzaway.com/ and http://www.jazzaway.musiconline.no/ for more info.

 

 

SECOND COLLECTION OF FRESH SONNY SIMMONS RECORDINGS AVAILABLE ON JAZZAWAY RECORDS

It's HERE. Sonny is caught duetting with members of the very astute group previously featured on The Traveller.

If I'll See You When You Get There will sound familiar to the dedicated followers of Sonny Simmons, it might come as a bit of a surprise to the others. Our man is known to excel in the duet form on stage, but his recorded body of works hasn't provided much to prove it, whereas his discography is paved with absolutely brilliant testimonies of his solo prowess. Besides a fairly good album with Brandon Evans, the (sadly not-yet released) original soundtrack for Jours Tranquilles A Sarajevo (a collaboration with pianist Gilbert Sigrist, who gave a very european, post-Satie feel to typical Simmons schemes like Aboriginal Dance In Scotland) and the outstanding collaboration with Jeff Shurdut, The Future Is Ancient, there are only four evidences, but all of great significance: the legendary Seven Dances Of Salome on Manhattan Egos, featuring the trademark English horn against Juma Sultan's congo drums; another confrontation with the percussions, this time with Charles Moffett, the breathless Lost Village Of Um' Tombey on Transcendence; and, as far as bass-saxophone duets are concerned, two coincidently titled Duet tracks on Global Jungle (with Freddie Williams: free mood) and The Traveller, the latter giving a taste of the material we are now discussing.

I don't know much about Mats Eilertsen (who shares duties on 6 tracks - just to indicate the main color of the album), Anders Aarum and Ole Thomas Kolberg, but for sure Jon Klette is a man of taste: he couldn't have chosen musicians more apt to respond to Sonny, rather than to stick to the sideman's position, merely enhancing the solos. The same interaction caught at work on The Traveller and its multi-layered arrangements is to be found in the bare beauty of the duo context, arguably one of the more challenging contexts in jazz. Wrapped in Klette's lush production, this is Sonny Simmons at its simplest, its most cohesive, a man in complete control of his music, ultimately facing and forcing the young musicians to give their all - revealing in them a cleverness, a lavishness unparalleled.

I'll See You When You Get There features eight originals and two standards intimately related to Sonny Simmons' comprehension of jazz. He has written a very coherent body of new compositions, with the concern of giving a retrospective vision (retrospective does not mean conservative) of his music, a trend initiated with the inclusion of Parker and Dolphy in the Cosmosamatic's répertoire since 2004 and pursued with A True Life Drama. In a sense, I'll See You When You Get There is the long-awaited Best Of Sonny Simmons, but, instead of a sad glance into a dusty museum, you get a fresh approach, new angles, and a sense of direction. The album kicks off with a slow snake-charmer: Ancient City Of Petra, reminiscent of Tales Of The Ancient East and Bizarre Beauty. Mats Eleirtseen's bass blends beautifully with the sinuous, scarce alto lines uttered by the master of ceremony. Most of the record displays meticulous progressions at slow tempo around themes that Sonny has kept churning and churning for years, ballades and end-of-the-evening standards (Tenderly, 'Round Midnight - Sonny, complimented for the magical rendion of the latter, answers in a grin: "I've seen midnights, you dig?"). On most of the tracks Mats Eilertsen infuses a mellowness, lays pillars of bass for Simmons to draw the listener into an uninterrupted inner conversation (Close Encounters); at the same time he manages to be a second voice and more than often directs the improvisation, throwing Simmons into new ideas and feelings. There is definitely an emphasis on melody, no sing-song, but the roots of bebop as he experienced it in the 40's : a theme you can catch all the better than its treatment will lead you elsewhere. Mellowness doesn't imply that Sonny Simmons has lost his edge. The percussive tracks here are milestones : Fancy Free says all, and Carebian Fiesta and its sunny carribean tropisms is a clear invitation to bodily interaction with the music. Music to dance to, ballads to do what you usually do on ballads, let love flow, this is still Sonny Simmons, a very physical man : only he has subdued the superhuman, aggressive manner of his ESP masterpieces or Burning Spirits, leaving us with a cooperative, rather than confrontational, energy, well reflected by his fellow duelists. And this is why this record will sound both familiar and surprising.

 

March 2006 : LIVE AT RIVE DE GIER, the first volume in the SONNY SIMMONS ARCHIVES PROJECT series (limited edition of 70)

 

Sonny Simmons : Live At Rive De Gier (HW01, audio CD-R)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax.

Rec. oct. 01 in Rive De Gier, France.

Order

FIRST ARCHIVAL RELEASE AVAILABLE ON HW!

Hello World ! brings back to the world Sonny Simmons' musical treasures. We have unearthed piles of historical tapes and will make every efforts to regularly provide you with exclusive CD-R limited editions, properly mastered and packaged. Make sure to get them as long as they last! And thanks for supporting Sonny Simmons' works. 2/3rds of the benefits go directly to the artist.

It seemed obvious that our first project would pay homage to the genius performer. This solo tour-de-force on alto sax features a medley of two Simmons classics, Title X and Music Matador - yes, the very tune that propelled him into the history of jazz one night in July of 1963, locked in a New York studio with Eric Dolphy, Prince Lasha, Woody Shaw, Clifford Jordan, Bobby Hutcherson and Charles Moffett!

Read more...

 

January 2006 : EXPANDED UNIVERSE

 

Bert Wilson, Bobby Addison, Sonny Simmons, Barbara Donald and Smiley Winters : Expanded Universe

Credits

Bert Wilson : tenor saxophone. Sonny Simmons : alto saxophone. Barbara Donald : trumpet. Bobby Addison : guitar. John Neuman : bass. Smiley Winters, Bobby Natanson : drums.

Rec. sept. 71 in Berkeley.

Visit http://www.bertwilson.com/ for more info or e-mail to smojazz@earthlink.net.

 

NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE ON FMO RECORDS

................................

 

Forthcoming :

Jon Klette is announcing two more records on his exciting norwegian label Jazzaway :

- March 2006 : I'LL SEE YOU WHEN YOU GET THERE, volume 2 of the trilogy started with THE TRAVELLER ;

- June 2006 : SVEIN OLAV HERSTAD TRIO FEATURING SONNY SIMMONS live at sildajazz 2005.

We are waiting most impatiently, Jon...

 

December 2005 : FIRST DOWNLOADS AVAILABLE AT www.sonnysimmons.org

Check out the Archives section for exclusive music!

Sonny Simmons : Live At Rive De Gier (Rhino Jazz Festival, October 2001) DOWNLOAD NOW!

LIVE AT RIVE DE GIER
Rhino Jazz Festival, October 17, 2001

A stunning solo performance, available for a limited period. All benefits go to Mr. Simmons.

Read more...

Sonny Simmons : A True Life Drama (Collected Performances, Words and Poems, December 2005) FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD!

A TRUE LIFE DRAMA
Collected Performances, Words and Poems, December 2005

Inside Sonny Simmons: first solo recordings ever on English horn; exclusive poetry; fireside conversations; live standards...

Read more...


November 2005 : ZEBULON 1

 

Sonny Simmons, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, Daniel Carter, Blaise Siwula, Adam Lane, Robyn Siwula, Mike Fortune : Zebulon 1 (No Label 3463)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Blaise Siwula : tenor sax. Daniel Carter : trumpet, alto clarinet. Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut : electric guitar. Robyn Siwula : violin. Adam Lane : bass. Mike Fortune : drums.

Rec. july 05 at Zebulon Club, NYC.

Order it through Cadence.

 

 

NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE ON NO LABEL

Another incendiary release in the fine THIS IS THE MUSIC OF LIFE series.

"This music is more African than American Jazz. Each piece is our lives. It can even be described as a Native American Music. The music chants, and is part of a ritual, ceremony, and celebration of our day. Also, the notion of freedom and independence are very different ideas. Classical musicians are Independent and not free. We are free without independence. Each of us needs each other to react with and stand along with to make the music sing. Ironically, 'Alone, Together' is more of a classical idea, musically, than it is jazz. In spirit, if you perform a classical piece and the person drops dead next to you, you can always continue what is written. In this music if the person dies next to you, the music dies with him."

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, November 26, 2005


Features a stellar front-line of Sonny Simmons, Daniel Carter and Blaise Siwula
! A must-have for free jazz fans, and a great testimony of the trans-generational vitality of the New York scene.

 

 

October 2005 : ZETRONS

 

The Cosmosamatics : Zetrons (Not Two)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Michael Marcus : tenor sax, Bb clarinet. Maza Kamaguchi : bass. Jay Rosen : drums.

Rec. nov. 04 in Krakow, Amsterdam and Vienna.
Produced by Michael Marcus.

Visit http://www.nottwo.com/ for more info.

 

 

NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE ON NOT TWO RECORDS !

The Cosmosamatics are back, and touring Europe to support their new album.

 

 

 

May 2005 : THE TRAVELLER

 

Sonny Simmons : The Traveller (Jazzaway Records)

Credits

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn. Anders Aarum : piano. Mats Eilertsen : bass. Ole-Thomas Kolberg : drums. Vidar Johansen : flute, conductor. Harald Aadland, Bendik Fosse, Kari Ravnan, Eyleen Siegel : string quartet.

Rec. dec. 04, jan. & mar. 05 in Oslo.
Produced by Jon Klette.

Visit http://www.jazzaway.com/ and http://www.jazzaway.musiconline.no/ for more info.

 

 

NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE ON JAZZAWAY RECORDS !

The long-awaited new album, The Traveller, is now out on Jazzaway Records. The first volume in a special project produced by Jon Klette (volume 2, Duets, is due for release in February 2006, and volume 3, Last Man Standing, in February 2007), it features Sonny and refined norwegian group, backed by a string quartet.

A welcome departure...

 

 

 

Sonny Simmons : NEWS! COSMOSAMATICS 2012-2013 : FIRST DATES ANNOUNCED

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Michael Marcus : clarinets
Jay Rozen : drums

Starting with their first US tour!

>> September 6, 2012 : An die Musik, Baltimore, MD

>> September 8, 2012 : Thunderbird Cafe, Pittsburgh, USA

>> September 9, 2012 : Lafayette, IN

>> September 11, 2012 : Madison, WI

>> September 13, 2012 : Des Moines, IA

>> September 14, 2012 : Detroit, MI

Early 2013 in Europe - more dates soon

>> February 9, 2013 : De Singer, Rijkevorsel, Belgium

http://www.companyofheaven.com

 

Sonny Simmons : NEWS! June 2012 : SONNY SIMMONS ENSEMBLE AT THE VISION FESTIVAL!

Sonny Simmons - New Atlantis 2010Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
William Parker : bass
Warren Smith : drums
Thomas Bellier : guitar

>> Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 8:30pm at Roulette

http://artsforart.org/event/visionfestival17/schedule#229

 

February 2012 : SONNY SIMMONS/FRANCOIS TUSQUES present their new album "Near The Oasis"

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
François Tusques : piano

>> Vendredi 10 février 2012

"L'Angora"
3 boulevard Richard Lenoir
75011 PARIS
20h00
P.A.F. 7€

>> Vendredi 17 février 2012, Le Petit Faucheux, Tours

http://www.petitfaucheux.fr/wordpress/

 

January 2012 : SONNY SIMMONS QUINTET "The Essence of Charlie Parker"

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Michael Marcus : clarinet
Kiane Zawadi : euphonium
Rashaan Carter : bass
Taru Alexander : drums

>> Mardi 31 janvier 2012, Festival Sons d'Hiver, Espace Jean Vilar, Arcueil

http://www.sonsdhiver.org/

 

November 2011 : AMIRI BARAKA/SONNY SIMMONS

Sonny Simmons - New Atlantis 2010Amiri Baraka : spoken word
Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn

>> Sunday November 13th, Eastside Cultural Center, Oakland

 

November 2011 : SONNY SIMMONS QUARTET AT YOSHI'S

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Frederick Harris : piano
David Rokeach : drums
Charles Thomas : bass

>> Sunday November 6th, Yoshi's, Oakland

 

July 2011 : MOKSHA SAMNYASIN

Sonny Simmons - New Atlantis 2010Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Michel Kristof : sitar
Thomas Bellier : bass
Sébastien Bismuth : drums

"Sonny Simmons, le Prophète du XXVème siècle, a participé à toutes les révolutions musicales. En 1949, il entend Charlie Parker, sa voie est tracée : il jouera du saxophone alto. A la fin des années 50, il est déjà au-delà du be-bop et ses premiers enregistrements deviennent des pierres angulaires du free-jazz.

Il est sur scène avec les figures mythiques de l'époque : Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy. Il s'établit à Woodstock en 1968 et lance la première édition d'un festival qui changera la face du rock l'année suivante... Dans son studio au coeur de Manhattan, il jamme avec Hendrix.

Depuis les années 70, entre ses errances - la rue, la déglingue aux côtés de Marvin Gaye, Gregory Corso, - et ses multiples réssurections, il expérimente avec ténacité, multipliant sur scène les batteurs, les cordes, les claviers, et dans la mouvance free rock des années 2000, flirte déjà avec les guitares électriques à New York. Mais très tôt également sa musique est parcourue par un courant mystique qu'il explore avec son autre instrument de prédilection, le cor anglais, et c'est sous l'influence de Ustad Bismillah Khan qu'il produit quelques grands trips qui l'entraînent vers un Moyen-Orient et une Inde fantasmés, méditatifs, ascétiques. Cette tension se résout avec cette première apparition du groupe Moksha Samnyasin, soit la rencontre de cette figure délirante, de la pulsation stoner psyché de Thomas Bellier (Blaak Heat Shujaa) et Sébastien Bismuth (Alcohsonic), et du sitar de Michel Kristof.

Jams métalliques, blues renégat, démolition du free jazz, démence tribale du cor anglais propulsé par les tablas, océans de reverb : Moksha Samnyasin s'aventure sur tous les territoires que l'on voudrait interdire, avec le son pour religion.

Ce happening sera enregistré pour les besoins d'un quadruple album qui sera dévoilé à la fin de l'année."

>> Saturday July 10th, 2011

Les Combustibles, 20:00 pm

http://www.imaginoscope.net/sonny

http://sonnysimmonsmokshasamnyasin.bandcamp.com/

 

July 2011 : FESTIVAL DE SAINT-JEAN DE LUZ with FREENOLOGY

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Guy Bettini : trumpet
Clayton Thomas : bass
Paul Lovens : drums

>> Jeudi 7 juillet 2011

http://www.jazzaluz.com/article.php3?id_article=141#

http://www.myspace.com/freenologyband

 

June 2011 : THE VISION FESTIVAL with FRANCOIS TUSQUES

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais
François Tusques : piano

>> Saturday June 11th, 2011

"Abrons Arts Center"
10.00pm

http://visionfestival.org/schedule/visionfestival16

 

May 2011 : TRIANGULAR FORCES with CHRISTIAN "TON TON SALUT" and AKIM BOURNANE

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais
Akim Bournane : contrebasse
Christian Salut : batterie

>> Vendredi 20 mai 2011, proposé par l'association Le Jazz Est Là

"Ever'In"
Nîmes
21h00

>> Samedi 21 mai 2011

"Le Mandala"
Toulouse
21h00

 

Sonny Simmons - New Atlantis 2010May 2011 : IN PARIS with FRANCOIS TUSQUES

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais
François Tusques : piano

>> Mercredi 18 mai 2011

"L'Angora"
3 boulevard Richard Lenoir
75011 PARIS
20h00
P.A.F. 7€

 

May 2011 : Yes.. they're back!!!

The Cosmosamatics 2011 : Sonny Simmons, Michael Marcus, Rashaan Carter

The Cosmosamatics 2011:

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Michael Marcus : clarinets
Rashaan Carter : double bass
Taru Alexander : drums

>> May 10, Glenn Miller Cafe, Stockholm/Sweden

>> May 11, Crescendo, Norrkoeping/Sweden

>> May 12, A-Trane, Berlin/Germany

>> May 13, Jazzwerk, Greiz/Germany

>> May 14, Kunstencentrum, Hasselt/Belgium

>> May 16, DK Metallurgov, Zaporoshye/Ukraine

We keep you posted...

 

And please in the meantime do check Michael Marcus' delicious new album For Yes! on Not Two records.

 

March 2011 : THE STONE

"SONNY SIMMONS : THE MUSIC OF Sonny Simmons. A special one day celebration of the work of this legendary free jazz pioneer!"

8 pm
Sonny Simmons Trio :

Sonny Simmons (alto sax, english horn)
John Austria (piano)
Rashaan Carter (bass)

10 pm
The Cosmosamatics :

Sonny Simmons (alto sax, english horn)
Michael Marcus (clarinets)
John Austria (piano)
Rashaan Carter (bass)
Taru Alexander (drums)

>> March 13, 8pm

http://thestonenyc.com/calendar.php

 

Sonny Simmons - Jazz à la Villette 2010 September 2010 : ZOMBIE ZOMBIE meets SONNY SIMMONS

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Etienne Jaumet : synths
Cosmic Neman : drums

Gros choc des cultures et des générations, ou quand l’électro vintage du jeune duo parisien Zombie Zombie invite le vieux géant du free-jazz Sonny Simmons à défier les règles du possible… On savait Neman d’Herman Düne à la batterie et Étienne Jaumet de Married Monk aux claviers très friands de carambolages stylistiques et temporels. Entre Goblin, Ennio Morricone et Suicide, leur vraie-fausse B. O. de vrais-faux films brasse moult influences qui semblent tendre les bras aux bifurcations toujours inspirées de l’alto de Sonny Simmons. Lui qui souffla aux côtés des plus grands (Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy…), se laissera porter par les nappes synthétiques et hypnotiques de Zombie Zombie pour accoucher du plus alléchant ovni de cette édition de Jazz à la Villette.

Avec le soutien de Stage of The Art

>> August 3rd , 8pm

Jazz à la Vilette - Le Cabaret Sauvage

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127157957331531

 

Sonny Simmons - New Atlantis 2010July 2010 : NEW ATLANTIS FESTIVAL

>> July 23rd , 11pm

The Fridge

 

June 2010 : COSMOSAMATICS feat. ROSWELL RUDD!

Roswell Rudd : trombone
Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Michael Marcus : clarinet

Play the music of Charlie Parker...

>> June 2nd, 8pm

Iridum Jazz Club
1650 Broadway (51st. St.)
212.582.2121

 

May 2010 : SONNY SIMMONS, FRANCOIS TUSQUES, SUNNY MURRAY AT THE SUNSIDE

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
François Tusques : piano
Sunny Murray : drums

>> FRANCE : le jeudi 20 mai 2010 à 21h à PARIS au Sunset.

 

April-May 2010 : SONNY SIMMONS IN THE U.K. WITH CHARLIE C.

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Derek Saw : trumpet, valve trombone
John Jasnoch : guitar, oud
Charlie Collins : drums, cajon

>> April 29, 8pm

X-posed Club, Cheltenham

>> May 2

Notes&Sounds, Sheffield

>> May 4, 8pm

The Vortex, London

>> May 6, 8pm

The Croft, Bristol

>> May 7

The Bluecoat, Liverpool

>> May 9, 8pm

On the Outside, Newcastle

>> May 11, 8pm

Fizzle, Birmingham

>> May 13 and 14

Oto Club, London: concert and workshop

More information...

 

April 2010 : APPEARING WITH JOSEPHINE FOSTER

Sonny Simmons will be joining Josephine Foster and Victor Herrero for a few songs. First public appearance together!

>> April 21, 9pm

Issue Project Room, NYC

More information...

 

December 2009 : ESP-Disk’ LIVE at the Bowery Poetry Club

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Roy Campbell : trumpets
Tom Abbs : bass
Chad Taylor : drums

>> Tuesday, December 15th, 10pm

@Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery Street
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker 212-614-0505

More information...

 

Sonny Simmons - 45 years of ESP october 2009October 2009 : 45 YEARS OF ESP

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Warren SMith : drums
Tom Abbs : bass

A benefit concert for the Jazz Foundation in celebration of the music and artists of ESP-Disk'

>> Sunday, November 8th, 8:40pm

@Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery Street
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker 212-614-0505

More information...

 

May 2009 : FREENOLOGY (SONNY SIMMONS, GUY BETTINI, ALEXANDER VON SCHLIPPENBACH, PAUL LOVENS, CLAYTON THOMAS) AT UNCOOL FEST

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Alexander von Schlippenbach : piano
Guy Bettini : trumpet
Clayton Thomas : bass
Paul Lovens : drums

Simmons, Schlippenbach, Lovens... sounds like an historic meeting, right?

Sonny Simmons Freenology - Uncool Fest 2009>> ITALY, Poschiavo, May 21st and 22nd

More information on the 21st...

More information on the 22nd (feat. Schlippenbach)...

Ich freue mich Ihnen das Projekt "Roots of Freenology" vorzustellen, das Quartett fand sich im Herbst 2008 zusammen, es vereint den melodischen afroamerikanischen FreeJazz mit der europäischen improvisierte Musik:

Im Gegensatz zu den Kollegen Älterer Ausdrucksformen des Jazz sind Improvisatoren der Musik, die im und aus dem Moment heraus entsteht längst in Ausdrucksbereiche vorgedrungen, die mit den einstigen Ingredienzien des Jazz wenig oder nichts mehr zu tun haben. Darin ist weniger eine Missachtung der Jazztradition zu erblicken, als vielmehr der Versuch, den Kreislauf von Nachahmung und Wiederholung zu durchbrechen. Simmons, Bettini, Thomas und Lovens gehen einen Mittelweg und bedienen sich Elementen des "traditionellen" Jazz ebenso wie solchen der frei improvisierten Musik. Sie entwickeln dabei vielfältige Varianten melodischen, klanglichen und rhythmischen Austauschs.

Das Projekt startete in November mit 3 Konzerte (Milano, Lugano, Chur), bewies hächste Äesthetische Qualität und stiess beim Publikum auf eine positive Resonanz: Das kurzfristig ins Programm des Jazz Club Chur geräckt "Zusatzkonzert" unter dem Titel "Roots" hat sich als seltene musikalische Sternstunde entpuppt

Bei Interesse schicke ich Ihnen gerne ein roh Zusammenschnitt des Dokumentarfilmes von Michele Lamassa (Freenology), der Film begleitet das Projekt auf seine Stationen und wird voraussichtlich 2010 erscheinen.

 

November 2008 : FREENOLOGY (SIMMONS/BETTINI/LOVENS/THOMAS)

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Guy Bettini : trumpet
Clayton Thomas : bass
Paul Lovens : drums

>> SWITZERLAND, LUGANO : November 8 at Nuovo Studio Foce
>> ITALY, MILANO : November 9 at Palazzo Trivulzio
>> SWITZERLAND : November 10 at Jazzclub Chur

More information...

 

November 2008 : SONNY SIMMONS, BOBBY FEW, SUNNY MURRAY and GILDAS SCOUARNEC IN PARIS

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, English horn
Bobby Few : piano
Gildas Scouarnec : bass
Sunny Murray : drums

Non-enregistrement public sans Doug Hammond !

>> FRANCE : le 6 novembre 2008 à PARIS au Sunset.

 

October 2008 : SONNY SIMMONS and BOBBY FEW with MASA KAMAGUCHI visit PORTUGAL and SPAIN

Sonny Simmons and Bobby Few on tour 2008Sonny Simmons : saxophone alto, cor anglais
Bobby Few : piano
Masa Kamaguchi : bass

>> LISBOA, PORTUGAL : October 10 at Ze Dos Bois

More information...

>> COIMBRA, PORTUGAL : October 11 at Teatro Académico de Gil Vicente

>> VALENCIA, SPAIN : October 14 at Jimmy Glass

>> BARCELONA, SPAIN : October 16 at the Jamboree

More information...

 

September 2008 : SONNY SIMMONS QUARTET U.K. TOUR!

Sonny Simmons : alto sax, cor anglais
Derek Saw : trumpet, valve trombone
John Jasnoch : guitar, oud
Charlie Collins : drums, cajon

>> Thursday 25th September

"On the Outside"
The Bridge Hotel
Castle Square
Newcastle upon Tyne
8.00pm
£5/4.00

>> Friday 26th September

"Freenoise"
Bar Abbey
Abbeydale Road
Sheffield
8.00pm
£5/4.00

>> Sunday 28th September

"Frakture"
Magnet Bar
Hardman Street
Liverpool
8.00pm
£4.00

>> Wednesday 1st October

The Vortex
11 gillett Square
London N16
8.45pm
£10.00

The last gig (London) will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3's "Jazz on 3"

 

Septembre 2008 : SONNY SIMMONS TRIO avec GILDAS SCOUARNEC et JEAN-LUC ROUMIER au FESTIVAL DE MANGOLERIAN

>> Samedi 20 septembre 2008 à 20h

Sonny Simmons : saxophone alto, cor anglais
Gildas Scouarnec : contrebasse
Jean-Luc Roumier : guitare

Le Sonny Simmons Trio (avec Gildas Scouarnec) au Festival de Mangolérian
Les heureux organisateurs présentent l'affiche, photo © Ouest France

Informations pratiques...

 

June 2008 : SONNY SIMMONS AND BOBBY FEW AT THE VISION FESTIVAL! + PHILLY GIG

>> Friday, June 13th at 8:30 pm.

That's gorgeous news. Thanks to William and Patricia Parker! It should coincide with the release of Live at l'Atelier Tampon-Ramier, a double album on Hello World!.

More about the event...

>> Friday, June 14th at 8 pm, Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street. More...

 

May 2008 : THE COSMOSAMATICS - SHORT VISIT TO PARIS...

>> FRANCE: Paris, Samedi 3 mai à 20h30, l'Atelier Tampon, 14 rue Jules Vallès (métro Charonne ou Faidherbe-Chaligny).

>> FRANCE: Paris, Samedi 10 mai à 20h, librairie Apsara, 44 rue Daguerre (métro et RER Denfert-Rochereau).

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone, cor anglais; Michael Marcus: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Jay Rosen: drums + guests!

La formule originale des Cosmosamatics pour une visite rare ! Le nouvel album sur Nottwo, Free Within The Law, est enfin annoncé : l'occasion de trouver une copie...

 

 December 2007 : FREENOISE FEST., UK + SONNY SIMMONS TRIO feat. PAUL HESSION

>> UK: Sheffield, Friday, December 21, Freenoise Freaction Fest (w/ DerekSaw, trumpet; John Jasnoch, electric guitar; Charlie Collins, drums)

Sonny Simmons Freenoise Fest 2007TICKETS NOW ON SALE for the greatest all day free noise fest in the UK
this year!
TEN HOURS OF MIND BLOWING NOISE AND FUN!!!

*SONNY SIMMONS TRIO!!!*
Z'EV!
AUFGEHOBEN!
THE OTHER ORCHESTRA!
KREEPA!
BLACK CARROT!
JESUS IS ANGRY!
PROF. ADRIAN MOORE!
HONEY RIDE ME A GOAT!
FILTHY TURD!
IRON FIST OF THE SUN!

+ Film Launch & Screening: 'Freenoise - The Sound of Sheffield'!
Hi-end Live Visuals from ANTIMONY / DJ / surprise acts / giveaways..
You will not do a better gig this Xmas fer sure!!

*The Abbeydale.* A621, Sheffield. The North's favorite new venue!
*Friday Dec 21st. 2 - 12pm.* Big bar! Big PA! Excellent speakeasy vibe.
Secure car park. Bus stop right outside (75 / 76 / 25 / 97 etc.)

£10 / £9 adv. £12 door.
TICKETS SELLING FAST NOW!
On foot - Rare and Racy, Division St. Sheffield.
On line - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/23240

>> UK: Sheffield, Saturday, December 22, Leeds, Seven Artspace (w/ Paul Hession, drums; David Kane, bass; Richard Omrod, tenor saxophone)

 

November 2007 : SOLO

>> FRANCE: Mardi 27 novembre à PARIS à 20 heures à la librairie Apsara, 44 rue Daguerre (métro et RER Denfert-Rochereau). Avec tous nos plus chaleureux remerciements à Stéphane...

 

November 2007 : TIGHT MEAT with SONNY SIMMONS, UK TOUR 2007

>> UK: London, Monday, November 19, The Red Rose Comedy Club (w/Jookloo Duo): The Wire 25th Anniversary Festival

>> UK: Bristol, Thuesday, November 20, The Cube Cinema (w/Jooklo Duo)

>> UK: Cambridge, Wednedsay, November 21, The Portland Arms (w/Jooklo Duo)

>> UK: Newcastle, Thursday, November 22, Retreat, Crawhall Road (w/Jookloo Duo, Axolotl, Mark Morgan)
>> UK: Glasgow, Friday, November 23, CCA (w/Jooklo Duo, Axolotl, Mark Morgan, Nackt Insecten, Family Battlesnake, Usurper)

Tight Meat is: David Keenan, saxophone; George Lyle, bass; Alex Neilson, drums.

 

November 2007 : SUNNY MURRAY'S NEW CHANGE OF THE CENTURY ORCHESTRA

>> LUXEMBOURG: Dudelange, Sat., November 17, Centre Culturel Régional.

Sunny Murray; Tony Bevan; John Edwards; Bobby Few; Henry Grimes; Khan Jamal; Sabir Mateen; Grachan Moncur III; Odean Pope; Richard Raux; Sonny Simmons; Monnette Sudler.

The event will be filmed as part of the undergoing documentary on Sunny Murray, Sunny's time now and recorded by Eremite records.

 

November 2007 : EVEN MORE TRIANGULAR FORCE

>> FRANCE: Lundi 12 novembre à PARIS à 20 heures au Zango Bar, 58 rue Daguerre (métro et RER Denfert-Rochereau) avec Gildas SCOUARNEC à la basse et Jean-Luc ROUMIER à la guitare.

 

November 2007 : SONNY SIMMONS - BOBBY FEW DUET

>> FRANCE: Paris, Samedi 10 novembre à 20h30, l'Atelier Tampon, 14 rue Jules Vallès (métro Charonne ou Faidherbe-Chaligny).

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone, cor anglais; Bobby Few: piano.

First time ever! Une grande première... Public recording.

 

August 2007 : CRIMETIME ORCHESTRA FEAT. SONNY SIMMONS

>> NORWAY: Oslo, August 16, 8pm, Cosmopolite.

Special performance of Jon Klette and Vidar Johansen's Crimetime Orchestra with Sonny Simmons and NRK Radio Symphony Orchestra for the Oslo International Jazzfestival.

 

April 2007 : LAUNCHING OF "LAST MAN STANDING" IN OSLO

>> NORWAY: Oslo, April 26, 8pm.

PRESS RELEASE FROM JAZZAWAY RECORDS:

29 avr. 2007, 20:00
Møllergata, Oslo, 0174

JAZZAWAY RECORDS labelnight at the BELLEVILLE club featuring 2 exiting releaseconcerts.. We celebrate the release of Master guitarplayer/singer NILS OLAV JOHANSEN`s LONG AWAITED solo debut on Jazzaway records called `MY DEAL`........ We also celebrate the release of the 3rd album by the legendary american saxophonist SONNY SIMMONS`s trilogy for Jazzaway records called `LAST MAN STANDING`.. HE IS VISITING NORWAY FOR THIS OCCASION ONLY!! Additional musicians featured in the two bands are: Mats Eilertsen (bs), Ole Thomas Kolberg (dr), Anders Aarum (p/elpiano), Andreas Bye (dr).+ guests..

 

March 2007 : THE SUNNY MURRAY 5TET

>> FRANCE: Mardi 29 mars à PARIS à 20h30 à l'Atelier Tampon, 14 rue Jules Vallès (métro Charonne ou Faidherbe-Chaligny) : Sunny MURRAY, batterie ; Sonny SIMMONS, saxophone alto ; Richard RAUX, saxophone ténor ; Bobby FEW, piano ; Harry SWIFT, basse.

The event will be filmed as part of the undergoing documentary on Sunny Murray, Sunny's time now.

 

February 2007 : MORE TRIANGULAR FORCE...

>> FRANCE: Jeudi 15 février à PARIS à 20 heures au Zango Bar, 58 rue Daguerre (métro et RER Denfert-Rochereau) avec Gildas SCOUARNEC à la basse et Jeff RYAN à la guitare.

 

December 2006 : SOLO

>> FRANCE: Samedi 23 décembre à 17h, bar-restaurant Le Quinze, 15 rue Roger, 75014 - Tél. 01 43 22 77 52.

 

November 2006 : THE TRIANGULAR FORCE

>> FRANCE: Mardi 21 novembre à BREST à 21 heures à l'Hôtel Vauban (17, rue Clémenceau). The Triangular Force: Sonny SIMMONS, saxophone alto et cor anglais ; Jean-Luc ROUMIER, guitare ; Gildas SCOUARNEC, contrebasse.

Le concert sera prcédé à 19h d'une projection du film de François Lunel, Together with Sonny Simmons.

 

>> FRANCE: Jeudi 2 novembre à PARIS à 22 heures au Zango Bar, 58 rue Daguerre (métro et RER Denfert-Rochereau) avec Gildas SCOUARNEC à la basse et Jean-Luc ROUMIER à la guitare.

The Triangular Force (Sonny Simmons, Gildas Scouarnec, Jean-Luc Roumier : Jazz à Vauban, mardi 21 novembre 2006 à l'Hôtel Vauban, Brest.

September-October 2006 : THE COSMOSAMATICS IN EUROPE

>> FRANCE: Jeudi 28 septembre à PARIS au Sunset.

>> POLAND: Thuesday, October 2nd at Alchemia.

 

Summer 2006 : SIMMONS vs. HANDY

>> Message from Mr. Simmons :

"Attention: big shoot-out between John Handy the Third and Sonny Simmons the First in Oakland this summer at Yoshi's. Everybody comes down to witness the two great saxophone players. Shoot it out !

Respectfully yours,

Sonny Simmons."

April 2006 : THE ZQ3 TRIO

>> NYC: Saturday, April 1st at HELL'S KITCHEN CULTURAL CENTER, 9 pm.

Three day music festival, RHYTHM IN THE KITCHEN.

First appearance of Sonny Simmons' new group, the ZQ3 Trio.

Sonny Simmons: alto sax, English horn.
Don Pate: bass.
Victor Jones: drums.

Hell's Kitchen Cultural Center
410 W.40th
New York City
Metro Baptist Church

For more information: 212.675.7197 / 646.206.208, abrajazzbra@aol.com

 

December 2005 gigs

>> FRANCE: Jeudi 8 Décembre à LYON. Performance solo.

Renseignements : Le Bistrot de Vaise, Place des Tanneurs (métro Valmy), LYON 9. Tél.: 04 78 64 66 21.

Jean-Philippe Ramos who sat in with Sonny that particular night (recorded for A True Life Drama) has some fine pictures on his own website : please check http://perso.wanadoo.fr/eijanaika/jean-philippe_fichiers/photos.html.

Jean-Philippe Ramos et Sonny Simmons au Bistrot de Vaise, 1     Sonny Simmons au Bistrot de Vaise, 2     Jean-Philippe Ramos au Bistrot de Vaise, 3

 

>> NYC: Wednesday, December 28th at TONIC. Visit http://www.tonicnyc.com/ for more info.

Jeff Shurdut - THIS IS THE MUSIC OF LIFE presents DANIEL CARTER'S 60th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION featuring :

Daniel Carter - Sonny Simmons - Bern Nix - Adam Lane - Andrew Barker - Mike Fortune - Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut.

 

October-November 2005 : THE COSMOSAMATICS ON TOUR IN EUROPE

The Cosmosamatics (Sonny Simmons, Michael Marcus, Gildas Scouarnec, Clifford Barbaro) are touring Europe to support their new album Zetrons.
Be sure to check them if they're in Town ! Here's a temporary list of gigs :

Date Country City Venue Time Contact
October 31 France Paris Sunset Club  21:00  http://www.sunset-sunside.com/ 
November 2 Czech Rep. Prague Baracnicka Rychta  20:00  http://www.baracnickarychta.cz/ 
November 8, 9, 10 Poland Krakow Alchemia  19:30  http://www.alchemia.com.pl/ 
November 17

UK
First time ever in UK !

Newcastle Caedmon Hall, Central Library  20:00  www.gateshead.gov.uk/caedmon 
November 18 UK London Pizza Express  19:30 and 22:00 
Broadcast at 23:30 on BBC radio3.
http://www.pizzaexpress.co.uk/ 
November 21
Cancelled.
Czech Rep. Prague Reduta Jazz Club  21:00  http://www.redutajazzclub.cz/ 
November 23, 24 Cancelled. Sweden Stockholm Glenn Miller Cafe    http://www.glennmillercafe.com/ 

 

August 2005 : SONNY IN NORWAY

Sonny is performing at the International Jazzfestival Sildajazz in Haugesund August 10th 2005. Simmons is featured in a commissioned work composed for this year's festival by piano player Svein Olav Herstad.

Sonny Simmons in Norway, august 2005, by Jan Granlie
©Jan Granlie

Simmons will be back again in Norway in October 2005 to do a tour in Scandinavia and perform the material from his recent recordings in Oslo. He will also be doing masterclasses in different music academies around Norway in this period. Bassist Mats Eilertsen will take part in this project.

 

Together With Sonny Simmons, dir. François Lunel
© François Lunel

FRANCE :

Avant-première du film de François Lunel, Together With Sonny Simmons (2005 - 51'24", Promenades Films, Sycomore Films, Images Plus) dans le cadre de la soirée "Brouillon d'un rêve" à la SCAM (5, avenue Velazquez, 75 018 PARIS). Réservations au 01 56 69 58 98.

Tales of Sonny's exile in Paris, 2000-2001. Beautifully shot, the film features unheard music pieces.

 

At last, François Lunel's first full-length film, Jours Tranquilles A Sarajevo, has been released in DVD format by La Vie Est Belle films. A haunting movie by one of the few directors who really dared to make the trip to Yugoslavia as the war was still raging, it also features a soundtrack by Sonny Simmons and Gilbert Sigrist.

More info and orders at : http://www.lavieestbellefilms.fr/fiche_film.php3?&id_article=13&id_mot=8

>> UNITED KINGDOM: "I'll See You When You Get There", the title track from the Jazzaway album, gets some airplay on the BBC. Jez Nelson from "Jazz On 3" comments: "What a moving tone this man has"... Thanks to everyone at BBC3 for the support.

October 17, 2006 : JAZZ EN LIBERTE (Radio Libertaire)

A bit of the Sonny Simmons Archives Project this thuesday at 22:30 (GMT)! Gérard Terronès needs no introduction - besides producing of one Sonny's best records for his legendary Marge output, Mixolydis, he's been giving the best of free-jazz and improv on Radio Libertaire for years. In case you don't know Jazz en Liberté, that's now or never !

Listen to the radio : http://federation-anarchiste.org/rl/article.php3?id_article=83

July 15, 2006 : TARAN'S FREE JAZZ HOUR ! (again)

For those who didn't get the message last month : go listen to Taran, http://www.tfjh.blogspot.com/. Yours truly will be interviewed on Saturday, July the 15th ! (Sonny Simmons' participation to be confirmed.) "Taran's free jazz 12 hours" will also feature Marc Edward, Ras Moshe, Martin Davidson, Michel Dorbon, Nicolas Netter, Pedro Costa...

June 30, 2006 : NEW COSMOSAMATICS BROADCAST ON BBC RADIO 3

The BBC is broadcasting the Cosmosamatics' second set from 2005's London Jazz Festival on Jazz On 3 on June 30. All fresh, unheard music. Sonny Simmons will also give a new interview.

Jazz On 3 is on BBC Radio 3, 90-93FM, Fridays at 23:30 (GMT+1).
www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/jazz

The show will also be available online for a week after it has been broadcast at www.bbc.co.uk/radio3 (Programmes on Demand).

May 20, 2006 : TARAN'S FREE JAZZ HOUR !

The very astute Taran Singh has a wonderful podcast out there : http://www.tfjh.blogspot.com/. And Mr Simmons' recent activity will be highlighted on Saturday, May 20, 11 pm (Sunday 1 am, Paris time) : the brand new Jazzaway album, I'll See You When You Get There, and the Sonny Simmons Archives Project.

If you like free jazz (with taste), avant-garde, improv, do yourself a favor, stay tuned to Taran's Free Jazz Hour every saturday. It's been there for a while, and hopefully will last !

 

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