Episode 56 of the Burning Ambulance podcast features an interview with alto saxophonist Alan Braufman.
Braufman is about to release his first album under his own name in 45 years. He made his debut in 1975 with Valley of Search, recorded at his loft at 501 Canal Street in New York and released on India Navigation. It was reissued in 2018 by his nephew, Abil Nyers, on the Control Group/Valley of Search label, and it sparked enough interest as a lost artifact of the loft jazz era (full disclosure: I reviewed it for The Wire) that he performed in NYC for the first time in decades, and wound up taking almost the same band used at those shows into the studio. Now he’s got The Fire Still Burns coming out, featuring James Brandon Lewis on tenor sax, Cooper-Moore on piano, Ken Filiano on bass and Andrew Drury on drums.
Braufman and Cooper-Moore lived together at 501 Canal Street in the early 1970s, along with David S. Ware, bassist Chris Amberger, drummer Tom Bruno, and others. The building had a storefront on the first floor, where they set up a sort of house band, but they also hosted other performers; in our interview, Braufman claims David Murray may have given his first New York performance at 501 Canal. In addition to Valley of Search, Braufman played with Cecil McBee on the bassist’s album Mutima, and was a member of one of Carla Bley‘s groups in the late ’70s.
I think you’re going to enjoy hearing this conversation; it’s full of history and memories of an era that hasn’t been documented nearly as well as it should have been. If you do enjoy this podcast, please consider visiting patreon.com/burningambulance and becoming a subscriber. For just $5 a month, you can help keep this show and Burning Ambulance as a whole active and thriving. Thanks!
Music heard in this episode:
Alan Braufman, “Thankfulness” (Valley of Search)
Alan Braufman, “Home” (The Fire Still Burns)