Raymond MacDonald is a saxophonist, composer and academic whose work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. Much of his recent performing work has been in collaborative free improvisation contexts, however his roots in jazz and pop music are always evident in his playing and writing. MacDonald collaborates widely and has worked with visual artists, dancers, writers and filmmakers and has produced music for film, television, theatre and the concert hall.
MacDonald has worked internationally with many of the current pioneers in avant-garde music including the sublime US pianist Marilyn Crispell, German drummer Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer, David Byrne, Damo Suzuki from Can, Nurse with Wound, German trumpeter Axel Dorner, US trombonist and educator George Lewis, Japanese Percussionsist Tatsuya Nakatani, US percussionist Michael Zerang, US cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. His ambitious International Big Band features the virtuosic Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, Australians Alistair Spence and Toby Hall and Lloyd Swanton from The Necks and exSonic Youth guitarist Jim O’Rourke among others and in 2010 released, to critical acclaim, Buddy, his first CD on the French label Textile “Music this articulate is rare in any style of music. (Jazz Wise)