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Gerry Hemingway

Biography

Perhaps best known as the drummer in Anthony Braxton's celebrated quartet of the 1980s and early 1990s, Hemingway also has plenty of his own ideas. He's recorded solo electro-acoustic percussion pieces, modern classical string quartets, and scary improv duets with the likes of pianist Marilyn Crispell and analog synth whiz Thomas Lehn. If you're a jazz person, it may be best to start with his quintet and quartet albums. He's no slouch in the writing department, plus he always has strong supporting casts, with bassist Mark Dresser being one near-constant. In terms of the dichotomies that tend to divide jazz pundits nowadays -- free vs. swinging, abstract vs. melodic, cerebral vs. physical -- Hemingway's outfits take an "all of the above" rather than an "either/or" approach. Elements of South African folk music, early jazz, and (more subliminally) rock also make their way into his composing as well as his equally singular, driven yet highly attentive percussion style.
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