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Away From The Spaceways: John Gilmore

photo of Sun Ra saxophonist John Gilmore

Tenor saxophonist John Gilmore, who influenced John Coltrane and helped to pioneer the challenging techniques of 1960s avant-garde saxophone, spent most of his career with Sun Ra and his Arkestra, recording outside of Sun Ra's band on only a handful of occasions. His powerful, edgy style combined aspects of hardbop and outside playing; we'll hear examples of it with pianists Andrew Hill and Paul Bley, as well as recordings that Gilmore made with McCoy Tyner, Elmo Hope, Pete LaRoca, and Art Blakey (a rare broadcast version of the ballad "I Can't Get Started"), in addition to his 1957 Blue Note date with fellow tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan.

Update: Here's an interesting discussion of the Gilmore-Coltrane musical relationship.

Watch John Gilmore with Lee Morgan and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1965:

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