Ned Rothenberg Crossings Quartet
For more than four decades Ned Rothenberg has been one of the most versatile yet knotty figures in jazz and improvised music, a relentless seeker in both chamber-like contexts and extended solo settings. He’s not only a virtuoso on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, but he became one of the first jazz artists to devote himself to mastering the Japanese shakuhachi. Over his career he’s improvised with a staggering number of diverse artists including the Tuvan singer Sainko Namtchylak, the legendary British reedist Evan Parker, New York kingpin John Zorn, the sui generis guitarist Marc Ribot, or sampler madman Carl Stone, with whom he’ll perform this year at Big Ears.
Rothenberg has also led many bands over the years, including co-founding the extended reed trio New Winds with Robert Dick and J.D. Parran, leading the elastic Sync Trio where tabla master Samir Chatterjee and bassist Jerome Harris carve out serpentine rhythmic structures for the reedist to improvise over, and the jazz-funk excursion of his Double Trio.
Recently he’s been working in different contexts with pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, including a meticulously pitched trio with Swiss percussionist Julian Sartorius. For Big Ears he brings the beguiling Crossing Quartet with Courvoisier and two of her most trusted collaborators, drummer Tomas Fujiwara and guitarist Mary Halvorson. The group began performing in the New York area in 2022, and it has steadily coalesced into one of Rothenberg’s most alluring recent projects, with jaw-dropping ensemble interplay.