Saturday, January 12, 2019

Joseph Jarman (1937–2019)

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Buddhist teacher: Joseph Jarman has died at the age of eighty-one. The New York Times has an obituary.

I was fortunate to see the Art Ensemble of Chicago five times between 1980 and 1985. I remember Joseph Jarman tossing confetti into the air, waving tiny semaphore flags, reciting poetry, and serving as emcee. And playing a battery of saxophones and ”little instruments.”

Here, via YouTube, is a small sample of the Art Ensemble in performance, with Jarman on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, conch shell, and little instruments. And with Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie (d.1999), Malachi Favors Maghostut (d. 2004), and Famoudou Don Moye.

[The Times obituary misidentifies the musicians in the 1978 photograph. From left to right, they are Mitchell, Jarman, Moye, and Favors. Now fixed.]

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