oe McPhee's Survival Unit III
Young hotshots and late bloomers sit side by side on this week's Jazz on 3. Our recent US free-jazz odyssey continues with a storming set from veteran Joe McPhee and his trio, and we've also got an exclusive solo session by the saxophonist Marcus Strickland.
A true maverick, McPhee has spent much of his career in relative obscurity, often shunned by fellow musicians frightened by his ‘dangerous’ sound. This is the struggle behind the title of tonight’s project – Survival Unit III, in which McPhee, primarily known as a saxophonist, plays pocket trumpet. He has found two kindred, subversive spirits - self proclaimed ‘anti-cellist’ Fred Lonberg Holm; and Michael Zerang, who, as McPhee points out in his introduction to the music, is not your typical ‘ting ting-ka-ting’ jazz drummer. Add in special guest Evan Parker, and the result is exhilarating, as well as a demonstration of enormous stamina (listen out for Parker’s circular-breathing soprano solo marathon!).
Last time we were at Café Oto, the venue of tonight's main performance, it was to record Roscoe Mitchell, who appeared that night in the company of the outstanding British drummer and percussionist Tony Marsh. Sadly Tony died earlier this month, and I’ll be playing one of the highlights from that gig in his memory.
Also on the programme, a saxophonist who is at a much earlier stage of his career: Marcus Strickland faces his fear of silence to bring us a snappy, energetic and witty solo performance.
Join me for all this on Monday 16 April from 11pm, or listen online for seven days after broadcast.