Henry Threadgill’s Zooid, Live at the Village Vanguard

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Henry Threadgill at the Village Vanguard

Henry Threadgill’s music and community can’t be separated; there is no boundary: challenge and failure and growth in music are the same as challenge and failure and growth in life. This Meet the Composer bonus track shares an exclusive performance by Henry Threadgill's Zooid ensemble of I Never, recorded live by Q2 Music at the Village Vanguard on Oct. 2, 2016.

Throughout his career, Threadgill has led countless ensembles with diverse instrumentations and personalities. And in each of them, he finds a way to unearth a type of asymmetry – a blend of unease and transcendence that comes across in his remarkably structured compositions. He unites musicians in the same way as he composes: with affection for the mysterious, embrace of the unexpected, and spontaneity guided by a rigorous intellect. As Threadgill has said, “Improvisation is a way to live your life and solve problems.” Music is one outlet, one way to activate this philosophy, which is something we hear echoed often from his collaborators.

In this recording, we hear the 2016 Pulitzer Prize laureate leading his longest standing chamber ensemble, Zooid, in a live performance inside the legendary New York City underground jazz venue, the Village Vanguard.


Henry Threadgill, alto sax
Liberty Ellman, tres
Christopher Hoffman, cello
José Davila, tuba
Elliot Humberto Kavee, drums, percussion

This live recording was produced by Curtis Macdonald and engineered by Edward Haber (technical director and remix), Irene Trudel, Duke Markos, Bill Moss and Curtis Macdonald.