miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2012

John Tchicai / The Greatest Danish Free Jazz Musician

John Tchicai the great danish jazz musician has died

Renowned Danish free improv saxophone pioneer John Tchicai, has died aged 76. Tchicai had been in a coma since suffering a brain hemorrhage in June, and according to his former wife Margriet Naber Tchicai, died in hospital on 7 October.

Born to a Danish mother and a Congolese father in Copenhagen on April 28, 1936, Tchicai first made a name for himself in northern Europe, before moving to New York, then back to Denmark, and subsequently California before returning to Europe in 2001, eventually settling in the south of France. His career saw him become widely associated with leading names of jazz’s avant garde while he also played with John Coltrane, Milford Graves, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow. He’s perhaps best remembered for his time in New York during the 1960s free jazz explosion, where he co-founded The New York Contemporary Five with Archie Shepp and Don Cherry, as well as recording with Albert Ayler, John Lennon and most notably John Coltrane on his landmark album, Ascension.

After just three prolific years in the city, he returned to Denmark in 1966 where he set up the large jazz workshop ensemble Cadentia Nova Danica, which he ran until 1971. Reducing his live performances but recording regularly as well as teaching from the late-1970s onwards he produced a prolific body of work, while in 1990 he received a lifetime grant for jazz performance from the Danish Ministry of Culture, and a year later moved to San Francisco’s Bay Area where along with his wife Mariet, also a keyboard player, they formed John Tchicai & the Archetypes and the John Tchicai Unit.

John Tchicai (1936 - 2012)

October 8, 2012. 7:56 am

The Danish website jazzblog.dk reports today that the seminal European free-jazz saxophonist John Tchicai has died at the age of 76. Avant-garde danish guitarist and bandleader Pierre Dørge wrote here

John Tchicai, 1936-2012

After struggling for several months after a stroke, John Tchicai on the night of 8/10 2012 kl. 0:45, still asleep in Perpignan.

It is a huge loss for all of us who loved John as a person and music maker. With the desire that we all will continue his charismatic and enigmatic music.

A true champion and inspiration — he is among the largest.

Pierre Dørge

Elsewhere on the website, it’s reported that Tchicai, suffered a brain hemorrhage at the airport in Barcelona airport and was taken to a hospital in Perpignan, France, where he was recovering.

Tchicai, who was born in Copenhagen and whose father was of Congolese descent, moved to New York in 1963. He played with such musicians as John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Cecil Taylor, and appears on Coltrane’s album Ascension and Ayler’s New York Eye and Ear Control. Tchicai returned to Denmark a few years later, and among his projects was the free jazz orchestra Cadentia Nova Danica, shown in this clip playing in 1967 in Molde, Norway.

Tchicai also performed on John Lennon’s 1969 “noise music” album Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions.

Tchicai’s homeland supported his art. In 1977, the saxophonist he was the first jazz musician to receive a three year-composing stipend from the Denmark’s Ministry of Culture. In 1990, he received a lifetime grant from the ministry. Here is Tchicai, who by the 1980s had switched from alto to tenor saxophone, playing with Dørge’s New Jungle Orchestra:

In the early 1990s, he moved with his wife to California, where he collaborated with such musicians as Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith. In 2001, he relocated to the south of France.

Rest in peace, John Tchicai.


John Tchicai Trio - Nothing Doing in Krakow - Real Tchicai (1977)