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Guelph Jazz Festival & Colloquium

Various Venues; Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Sept. 7-10, 2011

Henry Threadgill
Henry Threadgill at Guelph Jazz Festival 2011
Henry Threadgill and Jose Davila at Guelph Jazz Festival 2011

The great Henry Threadgill is plainly one of jazz’s worthiest possessors of the proverbial deserving-greater-recognition badge of honor. Some of us scratch our heads, wondering how he has so long eluded the well-deserved MacArthur “genius” grant, given Threadgill’s long-labored-over and wholly unique musical language, melding improvisation with classical and folk forms and creating new systems for how harmony and rhythm can be constructed.

Considering his situation as a fringe icon, it is always satisfying to find Threadgill getting some proper respect and presentation, which occurred recently at the 18th annual Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, in Ontario, Canada. There, on a recent Saturday night in the ample and handsomely acquitted theater space of the town’s River Run Centre, was Threadgill’s band Zooid, maneuvering beautifully and challengingly through a handful of the leader-composer’s intricate scores.

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Originally Published