Joe Maneri, a Boston-area legend, was a one-of-a-kind voice who played alto, tenor, clarinet and piano. He is best-known for pioneering micro-tonal playing, which divides the octave into 72 tones rather than the 12-tone equal temperment system found in most Western music. He was a long-time faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music and counted Matthew Shipp among his students.
Joe experienced a renewal of interest in his music starting in the 90's, based partly on the emergence of his son, Mat, as a bright new voice on violin and viola. Maneri recorded for both Leo and ECM; his albums with Mat and bassist Barre Phillips, Tales of Rohnlief and Angles of Repose, are a good place to start an exploration of his music, as is the duet album with Mat, Blessed, also on ECM. Once you immerse yourself in their world, the albums have a strange beauty to them underneath a dissonant exterior.