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Bright Moments With Andrew Cyrille

The master drummer remembers a selection of his most important recordings

Andrew Cyrille (photo: Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos)
Andrew Cyrille (photo: Jack Vartoogian/ FrontRowPhotos)
Andrew Cyrille records with Cecil Taylor at the Van Gelder Studio in 1966
Andrew Cyrille and Bill McHenry at the Village Vanguard, where their duo rapport developed
Cyrille with Richard Teitelbaum, Ben Street and Bill Frisell (from left), his new band of previous collaborators

It only takes a minute of conversation to realize that drummer-composer Andrew Cyrille thinks in a web of free associations as broad and imagistic as his eclectic network of collaborators might suggest.

At 76, the Brooklyn-born, Montclair-based avant-garde luminary recently released The Declaration of Musical Independence, his first album for ECM as a leader, and Proximity (Sunnyside), a duo session with tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, both albums continuing his legacy as a master of rhythmic call-and-response. On the former, Cyrille forms a new quartet of longtime associates: guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Ben Street and electronics pioneer Richard Teitelbaum. The album’s subtle textures and free-floating cymbal work distill a varied career spanning hundreds of dates, from postbop to free improvisation and all the way back to Coleman Hawkins. To Cyrille, it’s all in there.

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