Barry Altschul

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Barry Altschul
Barry Altschul.jpg
Background information
Born (1943-01-06) January 6, 1943 (age 73)
New York City, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drum kit
Years active 1960s–present
Barry Altschul, moers festival 2011

Barry Altschul (born January 6, 1943, New York City)[1] is a free jazz and hard bop drummer[1] who gained fame in the late 1960s with the pianists Paul Bley and Chick Corea.[2]


Altschul, having initially taught himself to play drums, studied with Charlie Persip during the 1960s.[1] In the latter part of the decade, he performed with Paul Bley.[1] In 1969 he joined with Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Anthony Braxton to form the group Circle.[1] At the time, he made use of a high-pitched Gretsch kit with add-on drums and percussion instruments, which he integrated seamlessly in a whirlwind of sound.[citation needed]

In the 1970s Altschul worked extensively with Anthony Braxton's quartet featuring Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, and George Lewis.[1] Braxton, signed to Arista Records, was able to secure a large enough budget to tour with a collection of dozens of percussion instruments, strings and winds. In addition to his participation in ensembles featuring avant-garde musicians, Altschul performed with Lee Konitz, Art Pepper and other "straight ahead" jazz performers.

Altschul also made albums as a leader, but after the mid-1980s he was rarely seen in concert or on record, spending much of his time in Europe. Since the 2000s, he has become more visible, with two sideman appearances on the CIMP label with the FAB trio (with Billy Bang and Joe Fonda), the Jon Irabagon Trio recording "Foxy", and the bassist Adam Lane. Altschul has played or recorded with many musicians, including Roswell Rudd, Dave Liebman, Barre Phillips, Denis Levaillant, Andrew Hill, Sonny Criss, Hampton Hawes, and Lee Konitz.


As leader[edit]

  • 1967: Virtuosi (Improvising Artists)
  • 1977: You Can't Name Your Own Tune
  • 1978: Another Time/Another Place
  • 1979: For Stu (Soul Note)
  • 1979: Somewhere Else
  • 1980: Brahma
  • 1983: Irina
  • 1985: That's Nice
  • 2003: Transforming the Space
  • 2013: The 3Dom Factor

As sideman[edit]

With Pepper Adams

  • Be-bop? (1979)

With Paul Bley

With Anthony Braxton

With Chick Corea

With Franco D'Andrea

  • My One and Only Love (Red Record, 1983)

With Denis Levaillant

  • Passages (DLM, 1986/2012)

With Kenny Drew

With Dave Holland

With Julius Hemphill

With Andrew Hill

With Dave Liebman

With John Lindberg

With Sam Rivers

With John Surman

With Various Artist


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wynn, Ron (1994), Ron Wynn, ed., All Music Guide to Jazz, M. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, p. 37-38, ISBN 0-87930-308-5 
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encycolpedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 11. ISBN 0-141-00646-3. 

External links[edit]