DUO with susan alcorn
Susan Alcorn - pedal steel guitar
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone
i've been playing with susan for more than ten years. we've enjoyed a few jaunts on the east coast and a west coast tour in 2017 that wrapped with a recording session at BIG EGO studios in long beach, california. based on our work with pauline oliveros in the past, susan and i share a great respect for the practice of deep listening. i think our duo reflects that without drawing attention to any particular aesthetic - we can move effortlessly from broad, sweeping melodies and complex harmony to sound exploration and sonic landscapes. it is deeply joyful to improvise with her.
Photo by Russ Tucker.
One of the world’s premiere exponents of her instrument, Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country music. Having first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands, she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of 20th century classical music, visionary jazz, and world musics. Though known as for her solo work, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Chris Cutler, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock and Leila Bourdreuil, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, Zane Campbell, and Mary Halvorson among
others. In 2017 she received the Baker Artist Award and in 2018, along with saxophonist Joe McPhee, the Instant Award in Improvised Music.
The UK Guardian writes, “As an improvisor and composer, Alcorn has proven to be visionary. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her
instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.”