Jazz great Henry Threadgill has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2015 2-CD collection In for a Penny, In for a Pound. The saxophonist/flutist's latest envelope-pushing release was recognized by Pulitzer judges who described the recording as a "highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life."
Among the other finalists for the prize were Timo Andres (The Blind Banister) and Carter Pann (The Mechanics: Six from the Shop Floor). As noted by NPR, Penny features Threadgill working with his quintet Zooid on a four-movement suite that spotlights each member -- Jose Davila on trombone and tuba, guitarist Liberty Ellman, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee.
"The group itself -- these people have been with me 100 percent," renowned improviser Threadgill, 72, told NPR on Monday. "Zooid, this is the longest-running musical ensemble I've had. It's not about the number of years -- it's about 100 percent to 150 percent that they give. So they were in for a penny, you see. And if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound."