Zooid was Threadgill's next hybrid group. It included guitar, oud, cello, tuba, and drums, along with the leader's woodwinds. Always known for thorough compositional organization, Threadgill began in this group to employ improvisational strategies based not on chords but on sets of intervals, making it difficult even for well-trained ears to predict the frequency of cyclic repetition.
Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American composer, saxophonist and flautist, who came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating a range of non-jazz genres. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago co-majoring in piano and flute, along with composition. He studied piano with Gail Quillman and composition with Stella Roberts. He has had a music career for over forty years as both a leader and as a composer.
Threadgill’s music has been performed by many of his long-lasting instrumental ensembles, including the trio Air with Fred Hopkins and Steve McCall, the seven-piece Sextet, Very Very Circus, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, X-75, Make a Move, Aggregation Orb, and his current group Zooid. He has recorded many critically acclaimed albums as a leader of these ensembles with various record labels namely Arista/Novus, About Time, Axiom, Black Saint, Columbia and Pi Recordings.
"Asakid, I wanted to learn how to play all this great A music, the way these great people had been doing it," jazz composer, bandleader, and performer Henry Threadgill told Down Beat’s Howard Mandel. "It wasn’t in my head to have a Mercedes. … To grapple with the music was enough." Winner of numerous awards in Down Beat’s International Critics and Readers Polls, including top composer, he has led his own groups — Air, the Henry Threadgill Sextett, and Very Very Circus, among others — to probe all possibilities of sound.
Threadgill, an alto saxophonist and multi-reed player who finds that even hubcaps can be rhythmic, is a first generation member of the 1960s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Although the renowned artist has graced mass media magazines in Dewar’s Profile Scotch advertisements and the stage of the Metropolitan Opera as a musician in Porgy and Bess, since his days with the AACM, Threadgill has admirably maintained the organization’s original quest — to create "great black music."
from the album " Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp" (2012) by PI Recordings