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Mark Whitecage

Participating in the Anthony Braxton mammoth opera “Trillium R” was a very much enjoyed experience lived recently by saxophonist, clarinetist and electronics manipulator Mark Whitecage, but just one among many in a long career devoted to “outside” jazz. Even if playing several reed instruments and sound sculptures, using a large palette of colors, he has a rule: less is more.That means his electronic work is always measured and his playing can be reduced to just one horn, more frequently the alto sax. But “less”, for him, isn’t returning to be bop or performing standards, has he did in the first years. Playing the changes on a standard, for Whitecage, isn’t improvisation anymore. Eric Dolphy, with whom he played briefly when he was very young, adviced him to do his own thing, and he did. That resulted in a 10 year association with Gunter Hampel and his Galaxie Dream Band, featuring the likes of Jeanne Lee, Perry Robinson, Marion Brown and Anthony Braxton, among others. During this time he played also in the big band and quartet of the Portuguese bassist Saheb Sarbib. A top figure of the New York loft scene in the Seventies, Mark Whitecage released several albums of his music, in groups with, for instance, Arthur Blythe, Charles Tyler and Philip Wilson. Experimental choreographers Barbara Dilley, Mary Overlie, Nancy Green and Cynthia Hedstrom had his colaboration. Through the decades his closest partner was Perry Robinson, with whom he founded the clarinet project Licorice Factory, featuring the finest clarinetists around. During the Nineties, Michael Jefry Stevens and Joe Fonda were his permanent choices for gigs and CDs. The journey still goes on...


Mark Whitecage's records on clean feed
Live at the Bop Shop
Nu Band
Drunk Butterfly
Adam Lane / Lou Grassi / Mark Whitecage
 
     
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