Bill Dixon

Bill Dixon ( born October 5, 1925 in Nantucket, Massachusetts, † June 16, 2010 in North Bennington, Bennington, Vermont) was an American trumpeter and pianist of the free and Modern Creative Jazz.


At the age of 18 years, Dixon learned to play the trumpet. In 1958 he gave up a lectureship in music to guide the UN to the "United Nations Jazz Society ". A successful European tour with Archie Shepp inspired him for the free jazz; with Shepp, he was co-leader of the short-lived band " The New York Contemporary Five".

In 1964, he initiated a series of concerts in the Cellar Café in New York, which took place at the spectacular title October Revolution in Jazz. He then founded the " Jazz Composers Guild" with Shepp, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Roswell Rudd, Michael Mantler and Burton Greene, who undertook to decide on their concerts and panels in the collective and this is not determined by others managers to leave record companies. Between 1966 and 1968 he worked intensively with the dancer Judith Dunn and performed in common music - dance performances. In 1967, the Dixon Free Conservatory of the University of the Streets, in which the attempt was made to make people familiar with the free jazz in the African-American neighborhoods.

In 1968 Dixon was part of the faculty of Bennington College in Bennington, where he remained until 1995. There he addressed the 1973 led by him " Black Music Department " field. 1971 and 1972 Dixon was a guest professor at the University of Wisconsin. From 1970 to 1976 Dixon took on quite a few pieces, but should not appear on recordings. Only in 1980 he published back recordings. This series documents the development of his solo game, but also projects that he carried out in different formations with his students. In 1976, a collaboration with Franz Koglmann who worships Dixon. On the self-produced 6CD Box Odyssey Dixon has merged recordings from 1970 to 1992. About Cecil Taylor he met Tony Oxley know and was a member of its "Celebration Orchestra", which occurred in 1994 at the Berlin Jazz Festival; In 2002, the three musicians played at the Donaueschingen Music Days.

Dixon systematically explored the sonic possibilities offered by the trumpet beyond the Euro- traditional sound ideal, but also the romantic sounds of the West Coast jazz. He has developed in many years of training, a tongue technique with which he " the tone to be generated with much air accumulates, so that you can not only set the tone itself, but always also the breath that carries him hear. " As a composer in particular testify his pieces for solo trumpet with its mosaic, economic concentration on the essentials of the dispute with the music of Anton Webern.

Dixon also worked as a painter of abstract pictures in appearance.


The French Jazz Magazine honored him in 1976 as musician of the year. His records from 1980 have been awarded the Italian Giancarlo Testoni Award. In 1984 he was awarded the BMI Jazz Pioneer Award. Since 1988 he has been an elected member of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences. His album Intents and Purposes, 1967 was included in the list of " 100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening )" by The Wire 1998.


  • Bill Dixon in Italy ( Soul Note, 1980) with Alan Silva, Freddie Waits
  • November 1981 ( Soul Note, 1981) with Silva, Lawrence Cook
  • Thoughts ( Soul Note, 1985) with Peter Kowald
  • Son of Sisyphus ( Soul Note, 1988)
  • Berlin Abbozzi ( Free Music Production, 1999) with Matthias Bauer, Klaus Koch, Tony Oxley
  • Intents And Purposes (International Phonograph, 2011)