Sonny Simmons made a number of striking albums in the 60′s. Born in 1933, he was already
a well-travelled Parkerian and a signaled innovator on the West Coast when he first came
to national attention in 1963 with his debut recording The Cry ! (with the Prince Lasha
Quintet, on Contemporary), live appearances in NYC with Sonny Rollins, and sessions with
Eric Dolphy (for whom he wrote the standard, Music Matador) and Coltrane’s rhythm section(Illumination!, on Impulse).
With his alter-ego Michael Marcus, he founded the Cosmosamatics, a group with which he enjoys the greatest of achievements. Hugely popular in Europe, where they tour frequently, they have recorded seven albums (most notably for Boxholder, Soul Note and Not Two), building one of the most distinctive sound nowadays.
Besides, he led varied projects of his own, ranging from a classy quintet date for Marge,
Myxolydis, to a mammoth sextet with Anthony Braxton and another group, the Renegade Society, both resurrecting the “ol’ free jazz” feel. Many gems pave his new way : a second solo tapestry (Out Into The Andromeda), a magical evocation of the powers of eastern musical idioms (Tales Of The Ancient East), an up-to- date association with noise wizzard Jeff Shurdut (The Future Is Ancient), and an atmospheric masterpiece full of strings, scorching alto lines and sunsets (The Traveller). The latter association with Jazzaway records proved very fruitful, since three more records are to be released in the forthcoming months. – And now Sonny Simmons is back in NYC with his own performing outfit, the ZQ3 Trio !