Multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. With a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings.
Try beating the roster of players that free jazz elder statesman Joe McPhee has collaborated and recorded with — it probably can’t be done: Jimmy Garrison, Clifford Thornton, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Ken Vandermark.
Additionally, since 1998, McPhee – adept at tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones as well as trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn, and valve trumpet – has been a core member of the album- and tour-heavy Trio-X with Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen. In the past year, several of his earliest recordings (Underground Railroad, Nation Time, Trinity, and Pieces of Light) have received the reissue treatment and Roartatorio recently released The Lost Tapes LP that collects some of McPhee’s solo material from the early 1980s.
Joe, who received the 2005 Resounding Vision Award from Nameless Sound for his philanthropic work, has been an Austin mainstay since he christened the Epistrophy Arts performance series with a two day mini festival in January 1998. In connection with his performance at Sonic Transmissions I (2015), Austin-based experimental label Astral Spirits released a limited-edition LP featuring a 1979 solo recording from Zurich by McPhee, this year Joe is back in a stellar trio together with top shelf improvisers Ken Vandermark and Susan Alcorn.
from Time Out New York:
"... His magical take on avant-garde sax remains one of the wonders of the scene. He still has one of the most beautiful tones on the planet, even when he’s reaching for jazz’s outer limits."