In for a Penny, In for a Pound

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In for a Penny, In for a Pound
In for a penny Threadgill cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Henry Threadgill
RecordedDecember 8-9, 2014
StudioSystems Two, Brooklyn
ProducerLiberty Ellman
Henry Threadgill chronology
Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp
In for a Penny, In for a Pound
Old Locks and Irregular Verbs

In for a Penny, In for a Pound is an album composed by Henry Threadgill for his jazz quintet Zooid, featuring Jose Davila, Liberty Ellman, Christopher Hoffman, and Elliot Humberto Kavee. It was released by Pi Recordings and was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Recording and music[edit]

In for a Penny, In for a Pound was composed by Henry Threadgill and recorded by his band, Zooid.[1] The album, which is a two-disc suite,[2] is composed of six tracks. Threadgill composed a concerto-like piece for each of his band members.[3] However, the album includes improvisation.[4] Patrick Jarenwattananon of National Public Radio describes the style of performance as "contrapuntal improvisation within a specific intervallic framework".[5] Threadgill describes the album using the term "epic".[5]

Jose Davila plays trombone and tuba and is joined on the album by guitarist Liberty Ellman, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee.[3] Davila is featured on "Tresepic", Kavee is featured on "Ceroepic", Hoffman is featured on "Dosepic", and Ellman is featured on "Unoepic".[5] Threadgill performs alto saxophone, flute and bass flute within each piece.[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Down Beat[6]
Tom Hull – on the WebA−[7]

The album was released by Pi Recordings on May 26, 2015.[1] The Wall Street Journal critic Larry Blumenfeld describes the opening piece as "an old song joined in progress".[8] Nate Chinen of The New York Times described the album as brilliant.[2] John Fordham of The Guardian described the work as "welcomingly warm and melodious" despite the "sinewy slipperiness" of the rhythms and tunes.[9] In his review for Down Beat Peter Margasak states, "there are so many fast-moving details and epiphanies at work here that it takes some rigor to hear how it all fits together, even if isolated phrases and sallies are rich in delight."[6]


The album is regarded as the third by a jazz composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music (following Wynton Marsalis's Blood on the Fields in 1997 and Ornette Coleman's Sound Grammar in 2007).[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Henry Threadgill.

  1. "In for a Penny, In for a Pound (opening)" – 4:35
  2. "Ceroepic (for drums and percussion)" – 19:35
  3. "Dosepic (for cello)" – 16:00
  4. "Off the Prompt Box (exordium)" – 3:35
  5. "Tresepic (for trombone and tuba)" – 17:25
  6. "Unoepic (for guitar)" – 17:56


Adapted from AllMusic.[10]


  • Jose Davila – trombone, tuba
  • Liberty Ellman – guitar
  • Christopher Hoffman – cello, violin
  • Elliot Humberto Kavee – drums, percussion
  • Henry Threadgill – flute, bass flute, alto saxophone


  • Jules Allen – cover photo
  • Liberty Ellman – photography, producer
  • Steve Fallone – mastering
  • Simon Grendene – design
  • Michael Marciano – engineering
  • John Rogers – photography
  • Seth Rosner – executive producer
  • Yulun Wang – executive producer


  1. ^ a b "In for a Penny, In for a Pound, by Henry Threadgill (Pi Recordings)". Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Chinen, Nate (June 5, 2015). "Henry Threadgill and Jenny Hval Release New Albums". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Chinen, Nate (April 18, 2016). "At Last, a Box Henry Threadgill Fits Nicely Into: Pulitzer Winner". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  4. ^ Graham, David A. (April 18, 2016). "Track of the Day: 'In for a Penny, in for a Pound'". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Jarenwattananon, Patrick (April 18, 2016). "Henry Threadgill Wins Music Pulitzer For 'In for A Penny, In for A Pound'". National Public Radio. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Margasak, Peter (September 2015) "Henry Threadgill Zooid – In for a Penny, In for a Pound". Down Beat. p. 56.
  7. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Grade List: Henry Threadgill". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Blumenfeld, Larry (June 10, 2015). "'In for a Penny, in for a Pound' and 'Synovial Joints' Reviews". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Fordham, John (June 25, 2015). "Henry Threadgill's Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound review – warm, welcoming improv". The Guardian. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "In for a Penny in for a Pound". Retrieved December 27, 2016.