Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Threadgill is notable as one of "modern" or "avant garde" jazz's most unique composers. His dense, elaborate, multi-layered music is often strictly scored, in contrast to the loose, improvisatory feel of much jazz. Elements of traditional African music, Mexican music, folk music and opera are often as prominently featured as traditional jazz and blues music.
Threadgill often assembles groups with distinctive names and unusual instrumentation. His Sextette was actually a seven piece ensemble, typically Threadgill, two drummers, double bass, cello, trombone and trumpet; Threadgill variously said he considered the two drummers one unit, or that he considered himself a conductor as much as a performer. Very Very Circus was Threadgill, a French hornist (or, in an earlier incarnation, a trombone player), two tubas, two electric guitars and a drummer (Gene Lake or Pheeroan Aklaff ). Very Very Circus has also been augmented with other instruments, including violin, pipa, harmonium, oud and vocalists.
He was married to singer Cassandra Wilson.
Threadgill is a member of the AACM.
- GregSandow.com: Fried Grapefruit: The Life of Henry Threadgill biography written for Columbia Records, as part of the press kit for Threadgill's first Columbia album, Carry the Day
- Europe Jazz Network: Henry Threadgill
- AACM: Henry Threadgill
- Henry Threadgill by Dave Kaufman (November '97)
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