John Tchicai

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John Tchicai (1987, Jazz Festival Münster )

John Martin Tchicai (* 28. April 1936 in Copenhagen , † 8. October 2012 in Perpignan , France ) was a Danish jazz - saxophonist . Tchicai was the only European saxophonist to play a decisive role in shaping free jazz in New York in the mid-1960s. Unlike most free jazz saxophonists with their explosive energy play with their splinter and splinter sounds in the overtone range, Tchicai's playing was characterized by a dry lyricism and a "cooler" sound conception influenced by Lee Konitz .

Live and act

Tchicai, who grew up in Århus as the son of a Congolese-Danish couple, received violin and clarinet lessons as a child. From the age of fifteen he learned the alto saxophone . While studying music at the Copenhagen Conservatory , he performed with Albert Ayler and Sunny Murray ; In 1962/63 he performed for the first time outside of Denmark at the festivals in Helsinki and the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw, where the first recording (published as Jazz Jamboree Vol. 4 ) came. In 1963 he went to New York for the first time, where he played with musicians from the local jazz avant-garde. There he founded the New York Contemporary Five together with Don Cherry and Archie Shepp , in which the three wind instruments improvised simultaneously. These multilinear improvisations were indebted to Ornette Coleman's harmonious musical ideal . With this band Tchicai came to Europe. Back in New York, he founded the New York Art Quartet with Roswell Rudd and Milford Graves in 1964 , but also played on groundbreaking recordings by Archie Shepp ( Four for Trane 1964), John Coltrane ( Ascension 1965) and Albert Ayler (NY Eye and Ear Control) .

After returning to Europe, Tchicai founded Cadentia Nova Danica in 1966 , with which he toured several festivals in the late 1960s and released two albums. In 1968 he also worked in a trio with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink . During the 1970s he concentrated on his teaching activities, in addition to private lessons, in particular master classes at conservatories and occupied himself with the bass clarinet , soprano saxophone and bamboo flutes and only performed occasionally with Gunter Hampel , Irène Schweizer , John Stevens , his own trio, the Danish radio Jazz orchestras and in solo concerts.

In the 1980s Tchicai switched to the tenor saxophone and worked a. a. with the New Jungle Orchestra by Pierre Dørge and the Dutch formation De Zes Winden , as well as in groups by Johnny Dyani and Chris McGregor . At times he played with François Jeanneau in the saxophone quartet and sextet. In 1983/84 he also appeared in a trio with the church organist Hans-Günther Wauer and the drummer Günter Baby Sommer as well as with Cecil Taylor . He also recorded with Charles Gayle . In 1987 he published his textbook Advice to Improvisers (Edition Hansen). Since the same year he took part in the Jazz against Apartheid project (with Harry Beckett and Makaya Ntshoko, among others ). In 1991 he founded his septet John Tchicai and the Archetypes in California . He was also a member of Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith's Yo Miles band, and played in projects by Karl Berger , Károly Binder and Vitold Rek . He also performed with his International Workshop Orchestra and the John Tchicai Connection and reactivated his Cadentia Nova Danica . In 2000, a documentary by Alan Roth was released under the title Tchicai and New York Art Quartet ; At the 2001 Lisbon Jazz Festival this quartet was reunited.

Tchicai had lived in Davis , California since 1991 and mainly in Claira near Perpignan in France since 2001. After a brain hemorrhage , he had been in a coma since June 2012 .

John Tchicai (≈2010)

Discographic notes


Web links

Commons : John Tchicai  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence