This glorious new of release by Leroy Jenkins’ Driftwood was recorded on October 8, 2004 at a Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) concert and features Jenkins (violin), Min Xiao-Fen (pipa), Denman Maroney (piano), and Rich O’Donnell (percussion).
About the Artist
In groupings from solo to chamber orchestras, Leroy Jenkins has recorded 25 albums and CDs. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1932, he was already performing on violin at the age of 8 at his local Baptist Church. He studied music in high school and then attended Florida A&M University where he completed his B.S. in music. Jenkins returned to Chicago in 1965 and was drawn into the well spring of Chicago’s creative music activities. Almost immediately, he joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). Jenkins recalls that this union marked the first time that as a violin player he was truly welcomed into creative music performances. During this time he played and recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton. In 1969, Jenkins left for Paris with Braxton and Smith. With the addition of drummer Steve McCall, they formed the Creative Construction Company. Their 1970 performance in New York, joined by Richard Davis on bass and Abrams on piano, gave New York the first taste of the new music that Chicago musicians were creating. Jenkins continued to work with the finest creative musicians: Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Alice Coltrane, Mtume, and Cal Massey, to name a few. But it was the work of the collective Revolutionary Ensemble (co-founded with bassist Sirone and drummer Jerome Cooper) that gained Jenkins prominence as the most significant violinist of the modern era. Min Xiao-Fen was a pipa soloist for the famed Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra of China for more than ten years. She learned the pipa with her father Min Ji-Qian, a professor and pipa master at Nanjing University. Internationally known for her virtuosity and fluid style, she has received high acclaim for her classical, new music, and jazz performances. Denman Maroney’s music is inspired by the sound of crickets and power tools among other things and by the music of John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, Thelonius Monk, Conlon Nancarrow, and Karlheinz Stockhausen among others. Maroney approaches the piano as a stringed as well as percussion instrument. Like any string player (and unlike any piano player), he can produce slow as well as fast attack envelopes, sustain as well as decay envelopes, moving as well as fixed pitches, unequal as well as equal tempered intervals, and manifold timbres. The multi-facets of Rich O'Donnell span 45 years as virtuoso percussionist, composer, designer and builder of percussion and electronic instruments, teacher and writer. He is director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University, head of the Washington University Percussion Department, and music director of New Music Circle. He was 43 years with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, most of them as principal percussionist.