Alan Dawson

by Chris Kelsey

A musician's musician if ever there was one, drummer Alan Dawson was one of those solid, highly professional mainstream jazz musicians who seemingly played with everyone, yet never attained widespread notoriety among the jazz public at large. In the early '50s, Dawson freelanced around Boston and worked steadily with the band of drummerSabby Lewis. He toured with Lionel Hampton in 1953, then returned to Lewis' group, with which he remained from 1953 to 1956. Around 1954, the father of young drummer Clifford Jarvis approached Dawson about teaching his son; thus began a long and illustrious career as an educator. Dawsonwould go on to teach many players who would have a significant impact, including, most notably, Tony Williams. In 1957, he joined the faculty of the Berklee School of Music, where he would teach for the next 18 years. Dawson spent the greater part of his professional life in Boston, playing with a variety of big-name players when they passed through town. One of his longest-lived collaborations was with pianist Jaki Byard and tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, with whom he recorded for Prestige in the '60s. Dawson also spent the years from 1968-1974 with pianist Dave Brubeck's quartet, succeedingJoe Morello in the drum chair. After leaving Berklee in 1975, Dawson continued to teach privately, earning a reputation as one who encouraged young drummers to develop a comprehensive musicality. Among other prominent leaders with whom the versatile Dawson recorded are Lee Konitz, Tal Farlow,Al Cohn, Ruby Braff, Sonny Criss, and Dexter Gordon. Dawson's 1972 date under Sonny Stitt --Tune Up -- is considered by many to be the saxophonist's finest recording.

 

This artist shows up in credits as both Ali Muhammed Jackson and just plain Ali Jackson, feeding a discographical fudging frenzy in which the son is confused with the father and just about everybody gets to be called Al. The name that has brought the most attention to drummer Jackson's efforts as a bandleader has actually not been Al or Ali but rather Wynton, as in Wynton Marsalis, a childhood friend from an era already rich in family musical inspiration. The drummer's father was the bassist Ali Jackson, pop's sideman credits including a famous John Coltrane session. Only eight and not yet a drummer at the time his father the bassist died, Jackson was then adopted by another noted modern jazz bassist, Ray McKinney.

The star-conscious segment of the modern jazz scene took note when Marsalis, who had been closely following the musical progress of his young friend from home, began working as a sideman in the drummer's band. The 2002Groove at Jazz Entete was Jackson's first recording under his own name.

Although he certainly is technically an Al Jackson, Jr., he should not be confused with the famous soul drummer of that name. Ali Muhammed Jackson has also recorded with vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.

 

Ali Jackson

 

by Eugene Chadbourne

Ben Riley

by Scott Yanow

 

An excellent drummer whose strong support has helped a variety of advanced bop sessions, Ben Rileyis best known for his association with Thelonious Monk's Quartet even though he was only a member for three years. Prior to playing with Monk, Riley performed with many combos, including those led byRandy Weston, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Junior Mance, Kenny Burrell, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis-Johnny Griffin (1960-1962), Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor, and Ray Bryant. His well-documented stint with Monk (1964-1967) was followed by associations with Alice Coltrane (on and off during 1968-1975), the New York Quartet (throughout the 1970s and '80s), Ron Carter (1975-1977), Jim Hall (1981), and the group Sphere. In addition, Riley has toured extensively with Abdullah Ibrahim.

 

Bill Mobley

by Ron Wynn

 

Bill Mobley (born April 7, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American jazz musician (trumpet and flugelhorn), composer, bandleader, arranger and university teacher. Mobley came in 1987 to New York City and was in the late 1980s known through recordings with pianist Donald Brown and Geoff Keezer (1988), in the early 1990s with Harold Mabern, Bill Easley (First Call, 1991). He also appeared in New York with Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Clifford Jordan Big Band, George Coleman, James Williams, Mingus Dynasty, TS Monk, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra at this time.

In 1996, Mobley recorded his first album with prominent musicians Bill Easley, Billy Pierce, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride and Alan Dawson. Then, he recorded his first big-band album Bill Mobley Orchestra with guests like Donald Brown, Harold Mabern, James Williams and Mulgrew Miller. Around 2000, he worked with Jean Toussaint and Clark Gayton.

Since the mid-1990s, he runs his own Spacetime Jazz Orchestra and now plays with his Quintet Mobscene. Bill Mobley taught 1982-1986 Music at Berklee College of Music in Boston; He now works at the William Paterson University in Wayne (New Jersey) and conducts jazz workshops in Maine and in public schools in New York.

Stylistic influences are trumpeter Fats Navarro, Booker Little, Clifford Brown and Woody Shaw; as an arranger, he refers to the work of Thad Jones.

 

Buddy Montgomery

by Scott Yanow

 

The youngest of the three Montgomery brothers, Buddy Montgomery was a reliable, if underrated, vibraphonist and pianist. He became a professional in 1948 and the following year toured with Big Joe Turner. He played piano with Slide Hampton in his native Indianapolis, IN, served in the Army, and then was a member (on vibes) of the popularMastersounds with his bassist brother Monk. Buddy had a brief stint with Miles Davis (playing vibes) in 1960 and frequently played with brothers Wes and Monk (under the leadership of guitarist Wes) in the 1960s. He moved to Milwaukee, WI in 1969, becoming a local fixture and an educator. In the early '80s, Montgomery moved to Oakland, CA, where he recorded for producer Orrin Keepnews on Landmark and with the Riverside Reunion Band. Montgomery's earliest dates as a leader were for World Pacific (1957), Fantasy, Riverside, Milestone, and Impulse! (1969). His recordings during the ‘90s and 2000s included Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 15 (1991, Concord Jazz),Icebreaker (2001, Staalplaat), A Love Affair in Paris (2002, Space Time), and the Japanese releaseRemembering Wes (2006, Pony Canyon). Buddy Montgomery outlived both his brothers; he died on May 14, 2009 at the age of 79.

 

Charles Thomas

by Soooo Yooo

 

Though born in Memphis, legendary jazz pianist Charles Thomas (1935-1999) considered Arkansas home and spent much of his adult life in Little Rock.  He was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame in 1994 (along with Herb Ellis, Louis Jordan, Art Porter Sr., Pharoah Sanders, and Alphonso Trent). Charles Thomas headlined numerous jazz festivals and accompanied vocalists such as Tony Bennett. After Duke Ellington's death, members of the bandleader's orchestra asked Mr. Thomas to take his place on the piano.

Good melody line. Never strays far. Classy sound, made the waltz into an upbeat jazz version, and it sounds perfect. Unfortunately, only a few of his recordings are available. Charles Thomas recorded three albums for the Space Time Records label in France.

 

Donald Brown

by Scott Yanow

 

A fine pianist and educator, Donald Brown has also been a prolific composer. He grew up in Memphis and actually started out on drums and trumpet. By the time he attended Memphis State University (1972-1975), he was playing jazz piano. After years of local work, Brown replaced James Williams withthe Jazz Messengers (1981-1982). He went on to teach at Berklee (1983-1985) and the University of Tennessee (starting in 1988), recorded albums as a leader for Sunnyside and Muse, and had his compositions performed and recorded by a wide variety of top modern jazz players.

 

Eric Harland

by Michael G. Nastos

 

The story of jazz drummer extraordinaire Eric Du'sean Harland, a first-call player of the decade from 2000 onward, is one filled with courage, persistence, and fortitude. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1978, he is the nephew of Houston vocalist Leo Polk. An extremely overweight teenager, he was a target of cruel children, mean-spirited teachers, and at times, family members. His religious mother, believing she had seen a vision when he was born, was convinced that Eric was the messiah-in-waiting. She took him to voodoo priests and witch doctors to confirm her expectations. Harland found acceptance in music, learning orchestra percussion, and at age 14 idolizing Elvin Jones. At home, he would lock himself in his room, playing along with John Coltrane's A Love Supreme and recordings by Jeff Watts, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Weckl, and Steve Gadd. He began his professional career in 1993 playing locally, and finished high school at Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Harland won first chair in 1992-1993 with the regional and state jazz band. He met Wynton Marsalis at a school workshop, and the trumpeter encouraged the young drummer to continue his jazz studies in New York City.

Harland went on to the Manhattan School of Music with a full scholarship -- but upon collapsing from exhaustion and self-starvation in 1996, Harland returned to his home in Texas to recharge his physical and spiritual batteries, and studied theology at Houston Baptist University to become an ordained minister. Upon his return to N.Y.C., and losing a considerable amount of weight, Harland found himself in demand, working with Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Stefon Harris, Joe Henderson, and especiallyBetty Carter, who he accompanied until her death in 1998. Other collaborations represent a virtual and exhaustive who's who of modern jazz, including Greg Osby, Joshua Redman, Geri Allen, Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, Jason Moran, John Patitucci, Ravi Coltrane, Jimmy Greene, Mark Shim,Gregory Tardy, Rodney Jones, Mark Sherman, Aaron Goldberg, Joel Weiskopf, Stefano di Battista, Brett Sroka, Jacky Terrasson, John Swana, Edward Simon, Liberty Ellman, Kathy Kosins, and Zakir Hussein. Harland has also participated in high-profile tours and recordings withMcCoy Tyner; the Dave Holland ensemble and big band; the SF Jazz Collective with Redman,Miguel Zenón, Nicholas Payton, and Bobby Hutcherson; and, most prominently, the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Harland has played on numerous motion picture soundtracks, and unbelievably, with his substantial weight loss, pursues a sidebar career in modeling. In 2010, Harland released the albumVoyager: Live by Night. A year later, he appeared on the album James Farm with saxophonist Joshua Redman.

 

Essiet Okon Essiet

by Miiii Naaaa

 

Essiet Okon Essiet is considered as one of the top bassists in jazz today. He first received critical acclaim in Bobby Watson's group Horizon.

Born on Sept. 1, 1956, in a Nigerian family, he began studying violin at age10 and switched to bass viol at 14. As a child, he traveled widely with his family and that early exposure to many cultures, folk- ways, languages, and religions fostered his view of the world through diversity.

Some musicians are purists, says Essiet, but I like to mix styles. Essiet was Art Blakey's last bassist, playing with him for 2 years and on 3 CDs. He's also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, and the Blue Note All-Stars, Donald Brown, to name a few. Essiet also leads IBO, a Nigerian jazz project.

 

by Thom Jurek

Gary Bartz

 

Alto saxophonist Gary Bartz attended the Juilliard Conservatory of Music and became a member of Charles Mingus' Jazz Workshop from 1962-1964 where he worked with Eric Dolphy and encountered McCoy Tyner for the first time. He also began gigging as a sideman in the mid-'60s with Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach, and later as a member of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers. His recording debut was on Blakey's Soul Finger album. Tyner formed his famedExpansions band in 1968 with Bartz on alto. In addition,Bartz also formed his own bands at this time and recorded a trio of albums for Milestone, and continued to tour with Max Roach's band. In 1970, Miles Davis hired Bartz and featured him as a soloist on the Live-Evilrecording. Bartz formed the Ntu Troop that year as well, an ensemble that fused soul and funk, African folk music, hard bop, and vanguard jazz into a vibrant whole. Among the group's four recordings from 1970-1973, Harlem Bush Music: Taifa and Juju Street Songs have proved influential with soul jazzers, and in hip-hop and DJ circles as well. From 1973-1975 Bartz was on a roll, issuing I've Known Rivers and Other Bodies, Music Is My Sanctuary, Home, and Another Earth, all stellar outings. He meandered for most of the 1980s, coming back in 1988 with Reflections on Monk. Since that time,Bartz has continued making records of quiet intensity and lyrical power -- notably Red & Orange Poems in 1995 -- and has with become one of the finest if under-noticed alto players of his generation.

 

Gilles Naturel

by Tooo Juuuu

 

The youngest of the three Montgomery brothers, Buddy Montgomery was a reliable, if underrated, vibraphonist and pianist. He became a professional in 1948 and the following year toured with Big Joe Turner. He played piano with Slide Hampton in his native Indianapolis, IN, served in the Army, and then was a member (on vibes) of the popularMastersounds with his bassist brother Monk. Buddy had a brief stint with Miles Davis (playing vibes) in 1960 and frequently played with brothers Wes and Monk (under the leadership of guitarist Wes) in the 1960s. He moved to Milwaukee, WI in 1969, becoming a local fixture and an educator. In the early '80s, Montgomery moved to Oakland, CA, where he recorded for producer Orrin Keepnews on Landmark and with the Riverside Reunion Band. Montgomery's earliest dates as a leader were for World Pacific (1957), Fantasy, Riverside, Milestone, and Impulse! (1969). His recordings during the ‘90s and 2000s included Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 15 (1991, Concord Jazz),Icebreaker (2001, Staalplaat), A Love Affair in Paris (2002, Space Time), and the Japanese releaseRemembering Wes (2006, Pony Canyon). Buddy Montgomery outlived both his brothers; he died on May 14, 2009 at the age of 79.

 

by Scott Yanow

Harold Mabern

 

One of several excellent hard bop pianists from the Memphis area, Harold Mabern has led relatively few dates through the years, but he has always been respected by his contemporaries. He played in Chicago with MJT + 3 in the late '50s and then moved to New York in 1959. Mabern worked withJimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet (1961-1962), Donald Byrd, Miles Davis (1963), J.J. Johnson (1963-1965), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams (1966-1967), and Sarah Vaughan. During 1968-1970, Mabern led four albums for Prestige, he was with Lee Morgan in the early '70s, and in 1972, he recorded with Stanley Cowell's Piano Choir. Harold Mabern has recorded as a leader for DIW/Columbia and Sackville and toured with the Contemporary Piano Ensemble (1993-1995).

 

Jean Toussaint

by Scott Yanow

 

Jean Toussaint's claim to fame is his period (1982-1986) with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. After playing calypso locally in St. Thomas, he attended the Berklee College of Music, toured with an R&B band in 1979, and formed a quintet with Wallace Roney. He was with Blakey during the same period as Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison. After leaving the Jazz Messengers, Toussaint began teaching in London and has been based in London, mostly playing with English musicians although also gigging with Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, and the Gil Evans Orchestra. Influenced by Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson, Jean Toussaint's potential so far outweighs his accomplishments.

 

Keith Brown

by Sooo Yaaaa

 

Keith L. Brown is a pianist, composer, bassist and educator. This son of three-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist/composer Donald Brown was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Knoxville, TN. Keith earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2009 and completed his Masters of Music Degree in May 2011

 

Keith L. Brown began playing piano and bass at an early age. Born into a musical family, both Keith's parents played music and many of his aunts and uncles are exceptionally musically talented as well. His father Donald is a world renowned jazz pianist having performed with many greats and his mother Dorothy is a pianist also and plays various woodwind instruments. Keith first learned to play songs of R&B artists like Stevie Wonder by ear and then started classical piano lessons at 8yrs old. Donald Brown nurtured Keith’s musical ambitions by teaching him how to play his original compositions and jazz standards. Keith was also influenced by artists such as Phineas Newborn Jr., James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller. Keith and his brothers, Kenneth (drums) and Donald Brown Jr., were deep into hip-hop and rap music growing up. Keith began to study jazz seriously after he graduated high school. By age 18, Keith was playing piano and bass around Knoxville in a variety of jazz, r&b, funk, and country bands.

 

Since he began playing jazz, at the age of 18, Keith has been fortunate to perform and record with some amazing musicians. Keith has shared the stage with great jazz artist such as Mike Clark, Jeff Coffin, Essiet Essiet, Bill Mobley and his String Orchestra, Billy Pierce, Greg Tardy, Terreon Gully, Warren Wolf, Benny Golson, and Russell Gunn. Keith has also toured with such greats as Bobby Watson, Ray Drummond, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith.  In addition, he has also performed with some of the great young musicians of today such as Kenneth Whalum III, Marcus Gilmore, French saxophonist Baptist Herbin and many others. Keith continues to draw inspiration from his roots in R&B, Funk, Classic, Jazz and Hip-Hop and constantly explores new ways of integrating these influences. "I always try to write and perform in a way that is intellectual but that has a strong sense of melody or groove that can touch those who are open enough to listen."

 

by Arwulf arwulf

Kenny Barron

 

A thorough examination of Kenny Barron's musical accomplishments over a span of 50 years necessitates a discography of more than 200 pages. That's because in addition to a distinguished career as soloist and leader he has served as one of the most dependable sidemen in all of post-bop mainstream modern jazz. More than 40 albums have appeared under his name, and his presence on literally hundreds of recordings by other musicians paints a panoramic picture of Barron's lifelong devotion to the music.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 9, 1943, he took on the piano at the age of 12, with a little help from Ray Bryant's sister, known today as the mother of guitarist Kevin Eubanks. Three years later, on the recommendation of his own big brother, saxophonist Bill Barron (1927-1989), he joined Mel Melvin's rhythm & blues band. The aspiring pianist gained more experience while working with drummer Philly Joe Jones and saxophonist Jimmy Heath, as well as multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef in Detroit. Lateef's album The Centaur and the Phoenix (1960) was Barron's first modern jazz recording project -- not as a performer (Joe Zawinul was the pianist on this date) but as composer and arranger.

His recording debut as an improvising artist took place shortly after he moved to New York in 1961 and cut the first of many albums with his brother, who often aligned himself with two graduates of the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, trumpeter Ted Curson and saxophonist Booker Ervin. A session in 1962 found Barron working with trumpeter Dave Burns, onetime member of sax and flute man James Moody's exciting bop orchestra. Moody himself played an important role in Barron's career, first hiring him to perform at the Village Vanguard, then bringing him into Dizzy Gillespie's band. Barron stuck with Diz and Moody until 1966, performing at clubs and festivals on both coasts and touring through France and England.

Barron's first great year of independent recording activity was 1967. In addition to co-leading a band with trumpeter Jimmy Owens, the pianist made records with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and saxophonists Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Tyrone Washington, Booker Ervin, and Eric Kloss. Barron seldom recorded with anyone just once. His discography is thickly woven with inspiring names that recur with the regularity of intricate and colorful patterns that invite further scrutiny. Examples of artists who made a lot of records with Barron during the '70s are sax and flute men James Moody and Yusef Lateef and bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, with people like Earl and Carl Grubbs, Marion Brown, and Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson expanding the range of expression beyond perceived parameters of predictability and accessibility. This healthy combination of freedom and discipline would continue to bear fruit as Barron worked regularly with saxophonists Chico and Von Freeman, John Stubblefield, Nick Brignola, and Stan Getz (with whom he toured extensively duringGetz's twilight years). The stylistic range continued to widen as Barron sat in with violinists Michal Urbaniak and John Blake, drummer Elvin Jones, and singing trombonist Ray Anderson.

During the '80s, Kenny Barron composed the score forSpike Lee's film Do the Right Thing, appeared on multi-performer tribute albums honoring composers Nino Rota andThelonious Monk, and became a founding member (withCharlie Rouse, Buster Williams, and Ben Riley) of the definitive Monk legacy band, known as Sphere. The '90s were an equally fruitful period for Barron, and found him working steadily for Verve, releasing such albums as People Time, Other Places, Wanton Spirit, and Night and the City.

By the turn of the century, Barronhad established himself as both a piano virtuoso and journeyman artist who moved solo, duo, and large ensemble recordings. In 2000, he released the Grammy-nominatedSpirit Song, followed quickly by the release of Freefall, featuring violinist Regina Carter, in 2001. Barron then moved to a quintet setting for 2004's Images. Four years later, he collaborated with West African guitarist Lionel Loueke onTraveler. Vocalist Claire Martin was the next beneficiary ofBarron's deft accompanist skills on her album Too Much in Love to Care, in 2012, and in 2014, Barron paired with bassist Dave Holland for the duo album The Art of Conversation.

 

by Andy Kellman

Lionel Loueke

 

West African guitarist Lionel Loueke was inspired by his brother, who taught him how to play during his late teenage years. Stops at the Ivory Coast's National Institute of Arts, Paris' American School of More Than Music, and Berklee College of Music led Loueke to appearances on a series of high-profile recordings, including Terence Blanchard'sBounce and Flow, Charlie Haden's Land of the Sun, andHerbie Hancock's Possibilities. Apart from his role in the trioGilfema (with bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummerFerenc Nemeth), Loueke has recorded on his own, including the live In a Trance and Virgin Forest. He released his first Blue Note album, Karibu, in 2008. In 2009 Loueke guested on Magos Herrera's album Distancia. His second album for Blue Note, Mwaliko, appeared in early 2010. In 2012, Loueke released the trio albumHeritage, which was produced by and features contributions from acclaimed jazz pianist Robert Glasper.

by Scott Yanow

Mulgrew Miller

 

An excellent pianist who played in a style influenced by McCoy Tyner, Mulgrew Miller was quite consistent throughout his career. He was with Mercer Ellington's big band in the late '70s and had important stints with Betty Carter (1980), Woody Shaw (1981-1983), and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1983-1986). For a long period, he was a member of the Tony Williams Quintet (1986-1994). In addition, Miller led his own sessions for Landmark (starting in 1985) and Novus. Sadly,Mulgrew Miller died of a stroke in Allentown, Pennsylvania on May 29, 2013; he was 57 years old.

 

by Craig Harris

Ray Drummond

 

Ray "Bulldog" Drummond is one of jazz's busiest session players. His deep, smooth bass playing has been heard on more than 300 albums, including recordings by Art Farmer, David Murray, Houston Person, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell, Kevin Mahogany, Toots Thielemans, Benny Golson, and Ray Bryant. On his own, Drummond has led three bands -- Excursion, featuring David Sanchez, Craig Handy, Stephen Scott, Mor Thiam, and Billy Hart; the Ray Drummond Quintet, with Hart, Handy, and Stephen Scott, and a duo, One on One, shared with Bill Mays. He continues to co-lead the Drummonds, with his brother, Billy, and Renee Rosnes.

The son of an army colonel, Drummond attended 14 schools around the world as a youngster. Although he played trumpet from the age of eight, and French horn, a high-school music teacher encouraged him to switch to the bass. Briefly settling in northern California, he earned a Bachelor degree in political science at Claremont Men's College in June 1968. Continuing his education at the Stanford Business School, he earned a Masters degree in business administration. While in San Francisco, he played with Bobby Hutcherson, Michael White, Ed Kelly, Tom Harrell, Eddie Marshall, and Lester Young's niece, Martha Young. He taught at Monterey Peninsula College of Music in 1975.

Moving to New York in 1977, Drummond worked as a session bass player for Betty Carter, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra,Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Jon Faddis, Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Barron, Pharoah Sanders, and George Coleman.

In addition to working as a sideman and leading his own bands, Drummond has continued to teach. He currently serves as an assistant professor of jazz theory and practice at California State University and has conducted master classes at the Berklee College of Music, Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts, and the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland.

 

Tony Tixier

by Maaaa Taa

 

Tony Tixier was born in 1986 in Montreuil, France. At the young age of 6, he started studying classic piano at the conservatory.  One year later, he made his first stage appearance. He studied choral, classical harmony and counterpoint, as well as writing and composition. He graduated Honors DFE in Musical Training (12 years) and DFE in Classical Piano with Pascal Gallet (14 years).

In 2009, Tony Tixier produced his first album, Parallel Worlds, which consisted of a septet with bold orchestral writing that defines itself as a laboratory of sounds and climates, perfectly illustrating his clear interest in orchestration and musical research.

In 2012, he signed with SpaceTime Record label and released the album "Dream Pursuit" with is first American quartet featuring Justin Brown, Logan Richardson and Burniss Earl Travis. The album Dream Pursuit, is labeled "Revelation" by Jazz Magazine.

In 2013, he founded the chamber ensemble MooN Paradox for which he composed a Concertino for piano and string quintet in seven movements, mixing classical writing with jazz and contemporary music. In addition, he led intense concert activities in France and abroad.

In 2014, recommended by HYPERLINK "http://www.jasonmoran.com/"Jason Moran, Tony Tixier and Scott Tixier stared in commissioned work by the Artist HYPERLINK "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Cardiff"Janet Cardiff. They improvised and composed the music for this project that was part of the inaugural program for the Louis Vuitton HYPERLINK "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Foundation_Louis_Vuitton&action=edit&redlink=1"Foundation  Paris

Now Tony Tixier currently lives in New York but often tours globally.  He has played at different art galleries including the Jazz Gallery and Iridium.  His new album will be released in a few months.

 

by Matt Collar

Walter Smith III

 

Saxophonist Walter Smith III is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward swinging post-bop jazz and modern creative composition. A native of Houston, Texas, Smithbegan studying the saxophone at age seven, and by his teens had earned a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2003, after graduating Berklee with a degree in music education, Smith earned his Master's degree from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. As a professional jazz musician, Smith has performed with such luminaries as trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Eric Reed, and many others. In 2006, he released his debut album as leader, Casually Introducing, and followed it up three years later with Live in Paris. On 2010's III, he was joined by Akinmusire, along with pianistJason Moran, bassist Joe Sanders, and pianist Eric Harland. In 2014, Smith returned with Still Casual, which also featured Akinmusire, as well as pianist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Matthew Stevens, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Kendrick Scott.