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Bill Dixon With Exploding Star Orchestra

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Back in September of 2006 both Rob Mazurek and Bill Dixon were performing at the Guelph International Jazz Festival in Ontario, Canada, where the two horn players met for the first time there at a workshop the latter was conducting. Mazurek and Dixon spent hours talking together at Guelph and the latter suggested they do some music together and he invited Mazurek to come visit him and his wife Sharon in Vermont. Within a few weeks he took up the offer, traveling to Bennington and proposing what eventually became the recording you now possess. Mazurek wanted to pair Dixon with his Exploding Star Orchestra, which he formed back in 2005, drawing upon a broad cross-section of Chicago’s most exciting young improvisers, for a performance presented by city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Bill Dixon’s consistent refusal to compromise and a lengthy career in education - he taught at Bennington College from 1968-1996 - prevented the kind of widespread acclaim accorded to contemporaries and/or past collaborators like Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Alan Silva, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane. In the early 60s he was a crucial figure on the developing free jazz, or “new thing” happening in New York, and in 1964 he organized and programmed the highly influential October Revolution in Jazz, an event that practically introduced free jazz to a broad public.

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