Eleven days into his 74th year, Barry Altschul is not resting on his laurels—or anything else. The drummer made his first big impression with Paul Bley’s trio in 1964 and went on to work with a cross-section of the most adventurous musicians in jazz. In the early ‘70s he, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Anthony Braxton comprised the group called Circle. Sidemen in his own bands have included Anthony Davis, Ray Anderson and Mark Helias. Altschul has played with mainstream artists—Hampton Hawes, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Owens and Paul Winter among them—but he is best known for his intuition, reflexive responses and adventuring on the forward edge of the music. Here he is in 2013 with bassist Helias in tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon’s trio at the Kaleidophon in Ulrichsberg, Austria.
Barry Altschul, born January 6, 1943. Going strong.