Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Italian-American jazz composer, saxophone and clarinet player Joseph Gabriel Esther "Joe" Maneri was born on February 9, 1927, in the Brooklyn, New York City.After decades of obscurity, Maneri's distinctive saxophone and clarinet works gained praise and relative fame in the 1990s. To conventional Western sensibilities, some of his passages may sound 'out-of-tune'- but there is a consistent, internal logic to his unorthodox playing; critic Charlie Wilmoth describes Maneri's playing as "a slippery, space-filled alien blues".

Maneri played clarinet and saxophone in various dance bands and on the Catskill circuit as a teenager, often performing traditional Greek,Turkish and Syrian music or Klezmer at weddings and other gatherings. He would later incorporate some elements of such music in his own compositions. He studied with Josef Schmid (not the tenor but a conductor and student of Alban Berg) for a decade before being commissioned by conductor Erich Leinsdorf to write a piano concerto for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which was rehearsed but never performed in concert.

Maneri was impressed by the music of Arnold Schoenberg and organized a jazz ensemble that performed some twelve tone music. (His later music is, however, not in the twelve-tone technique.)

All his recording show a synthesis of Maneri's experience with vernacular musics of American immigrants and his understanding of twelve-tone composition along with a developed style of "free" improvisation, analogous to the contemporaneous innovations by Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman.

Joe continued his teaching, but performed and recorded rarely until the early 1990s, when his son Mat Maneri coaxed him into more public appearances. Maneri gained significant attention, and released a number of recordings, often on ECM Records. In 2003, 24 of Maneri's poems, written in his own language, were included in the anthology Asemia.
On May, 2009, three months before his death, Maneri was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from New England Conservatory.

He passed away August, 2009.
Joe Maneri plays and talks about his music.
Reference - Wikipédia

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