Alan Michael Braufman

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Alan Michael
Birth nameAlan Michael Braufman
Born (1951-05-22) May 22, 1951 (age 67)
Genresjazz
Occupation(s)
  • musician
  • composer
Instruments
Labels
Associated acts

Alan Michael Braufman (performing as Alan Michael); born May 22, 1951 in Brooklyn, NY), is an American jazz musician, saxophonist, flutist and composer.

Loft Jazz[edit]

Braufman graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music where he met Cooper-Moore (then Gene Ashton) and other musicians who moved to New York City in 1973 and occupied a vacant building at 501 Canal Street in lower Manhattan.[1] The building, where the total rent came to $140 for four floors,[2] became a hub for musicians to practice and perform and its occupants played a seminal role in New York City's early-seventies loft jazz scene.[3] In 1974, Village Voice jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote a review of Braufman’s performance called "Taking Chances At 501 Canal," stating “The fact is, these are the musicians who are taking the chances today and their gifts and commitment ought to be attended.”[4]

Valley of Search[edit]

In 1975, Braufman's debut album Valley of Search was released on the India Navigation record label. The album was recorded live in the performance space at 501 Canal Street by Bob Cummins, the owner of India Navigation and was the label’s second release.[5] Cooper-Moore (who made his recorded debut on the album[6]), Cecil McBee, David Lee and Ralph Williams performed as Braufman's band.[7]

In the decades to follow, the out-of-print album became sought after by record collectors around the world and, on June 29, 2018, a remastered version of Valley of Search was reissued on vinyl and digital formats. The reissue is a project of Braufman and his nephew, Nabil Ayers.[8] The New York Times featured the album's closing track, "Destiny" and news of the reissue in a notable new songs roundup[6] and Bandcamp named it among "essential releases."[9] DownBeat awarded the album 4.5 stars calling it "ripe for rediscovery" and "chance-taking, jaw-dropping music" [10]

Alan Michael[edit]

After Valley of Search, Braufman spent much of the seventies and eighties touring as a saxophonist with Carla Bley, The Psychedelic Furs and Philip Glass. Braufman later dropped his last name and began to record and perform as Alan Michael.

In 1988, Alan Michael released the album Lost In Asia on the Passport Jazz label. The album included performances by Bill Frisell and Sid McGinnis as well as a cover of the Psychedelic Furs song "Sister Europe. In 1995, Alan Michael released the album As Daylight Fades, on which Omar Hakim played drums.[11]

He currently lives in Salt Lake City, UT where he performs regularly. In 2016, the Alan Michael Band was nominated for Best Jazz Artist by the Salt Lake City Weekly.[12][13] To celebrate the reissue, Braufman performed music from Valley of Search in a string of New York shows in August 2018[14][15][16]

Discography[edit]

Title Release date Notes Label
Valley of Search 1975, Reissued 2018 As Alan Braufman India Navigation
Lost in Asia 1988 as Alan Michael Passport Jazz
As Daylight Fades 1995 as Alan Michael Collective Fruit

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nycjazzrecord.com/issues/tnycjr201602.pdf
  2. ^ "Hear Alan Braufman's Valley Of Search - The Wire".
  3. ^ Heller, Michael C. (2017). Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520285415.
  4. ^ "The Village Voice - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  5. ^ "India Navigation Records List". www.jazzdiscography.com.
  6. ^ a b "The Playlist: Paul McCartney's Smooth Tunes, and 13 More New Songs".
  7. ^ "Valley of Search - Alan Braufman - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  8. ^ "How I Reissued My Uncle's 1975 Free Jazz Album". Discogs. 9 July 2018.
  9. ^ "This Week's Essential Releases: Free Jazz, Doom, Indie Rock & More". 22 June 2018.
  10. ^ West, Michael J. (August 2018). "Reviews". DownBeat. Chicago, IL.
  11. ^ "As Daylight Fades - Alan Michael - User Reviews - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Alan Michael Band".
  13. ^ Staker, Randy Harward, Kimball Bennion, Westin Porter, Gavin Sheehan, Brian. "Best of Utah Music 2016".
  14. ^ "Alan Braufman – National Sawdust". nationalsawdust.org.
  15. ^ "Cult 'Valley of Search' Reissue Show with Alan Braufman and Cooper-Moore - New Sounds Live - New Sounds".
  16. ^ "Alan Braufman performs "Valley of Search" with special guest Cooper-Moore".