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WRTI Spotlight

WRTI's NPR Live Sessions Video of the Week: Saxophonist Bobby Zankel Performs "Relativity"

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Saxophonist Bobby Zankel has spent decades demonstrating inspiration and influence from a lifetime commitment to the free jazz movement of the 1960s.

Born in Brooklyn in 1949, Zankel embraced the alto saxophone early. He trained at Berklee College of Music before joining free-jazz innovator Cecil Taylor’s Unit Core Ensemble, where he developed an intricate command of Taylor's linear melodic language and structural maximalism.

Zankel relocated to Philadelphia in 1975, and his reputation as a respected leader and sideman continued to grow. His playing with local saxophonists Hank Mobley and Odean Pope is widely recognized, and his efforts with John Blake, Sumi Tonooka, Jymmie Merritt and others has been an important part of the city's jazz scene.

Watch "Relativity" performed at WRTI. The showcase features Bobby Zankel's 10-piece/two-drummer version of his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound ensemble.