Twenty-five years have passed since composer and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, otherworldly pied piper of the musical avant-garde, arrived in New York from his native Germany. Throughout that quarter-century, Bleckmann hasn’t merely redefined the art of eclecticism but turned it upside-down, inside-out and taken it to distant galaxies. His partnerships-Ben Monder, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Kirk Nurock, John Zorn, John Hollenbeck-read like a who’s who of fearless experimentation. His projects extend from examinations of the music of Kate Bush and Charles Ives, Berlin songs of the early 20th-century and Italy’s Arte Povera movement of the 1960s to bar songs, Las Vegas lounge acts and even an operatic appreciation of gangster Dutch Schultz. So it seems downright reasonable that Bleckmann would, in his fourth teaming with pianist Fumio Yasuda, devote an entire album to nursery rhymes.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.