Glenn Spearman / Feb 14, 1947 - Oct 8, 1998

The should've-been-better-known out-jazz tenor player (and bass clarinetist) Glenn Spearman brought a powerful lyricism and fierce beauty to great records by Cecil Taylor, Emergency (a group he co-founded in Paris with Bob Reid), Raphe Malik, Marco Eneidi, Trio Hurricane, John Heward and William Hooker. He also worked with Rova Saxophone Quartet and his own groups, such as G-Force and his classic Interstellar Space-inspired duo album Night After Night with Don Robinson. He was a major part of the Bay Area avant-garde & out-jazz scenes beginning in the late '60s and was on staff at Mills College.

I have seem him in concert on several occasions and he is much missed. He was actively inspired right up until his cancer took hold, with some of his most interesting records coming out after his death, such as the amazing Blues For Falasha (exploring Judaic roots), Mindfulness (with William Hooker and turntablist DJ Olive) and the blazing First & Last (his last concert, which I attended, with Rashid Bakr & Matt Goodheart). The last time I saw him was on my street, just a few weeks before his death, knocking on Michael Ehlers' door. What a massive talent!

Check out this live performance in San Francisco, 1991. The rest of the band includes Lisle Ellis & Ben Lindgren on basses and Don Robinson on drums:

A sample of his work with drummer William Hooker and turntablist DJ Olive:

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