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Let's talk free/avant-garde jazz

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

As per a request from durkk (see post #221 http://www.head-fi.org/t/693212/on-a-mission-to-like-jazz/210#post_10189881) I'm starting a thread where like minded members can freely discuss free jazz.

 

Before we begin I have one simple request: if you do not like free/avant-garde jazz, as in you think it's only noise and the musicians have no musical skills, etc, then please don't read this thread because I've been listening to this type of music for just over 40 years and I've heard negative comment imaginable as to why free jazz is terrible. I thank you in advance.

 

Okay now where were we? At the beginning I guess so a little history might be order.

 

The free jazz movement started with a bang back in the late 1950's as a handful of adventurous musicians began to explore ways to expand the boundaries of jazz. Although there were other musicians actively experimenting with freer ways of playing Ornette Coleman's Something Else: The Music of Ornette Coleman (1958) & The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959) as usually taken to be the opening salvos of the free jazz movement. While Ornette's music met with some very resistance there were and still are many people who found his new approach to jazz to be very intriguing, enough people in fact for a new movement to be born. Once Ornette broke the ice the flood gates opened and the other musicians who were experimenting with freer ways of playing soon began to come forward, both on record and in live performances.

 

Cecil Taylor (Looking Ahead! (1958)) and Sun Ra (any of his many recordings from the late 1950's) are two musicians who already had their music firmly planted with the seeds of free jazz but other more traditional jazz musicians soon joined in the free jazz movement. John Coltrane was the most well known jazz musician to make the jump to free jazz and he encountered a similar backlash to the one that Bob Dylan met with when he went electric. But I'm getting ahead of myself since first we need to cover the upheaval of the early 1960's in my next post.

 

By the way, there is plenty of information available on the web about the history of free/avant-garde jazz so by all means avail yourself of these resources and don't rely only my less than complete mini history.

 

So Ornette, Cecil and Sun Ra should be enough to get you started should you like to take the plunge into the world of free jazz.

post #2 of 7

I'm down for this movement.  I'm lucky to have a local public library that has lots of older CDs in stock (take a look at the links), no one checks them out so they should be ready for me to pick up.  Keep the names coming,

 

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Sun%20Ra%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Cecil%20Taylor%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Ornette%20Coleman%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

post #3 of 7

Lovely I will be following this thread with extra care.I do have some recordings of Ornette Coleman, but never realised it was the founder of the later movement. Will listen with a different ear!

 

For now I think I'll just tell how I got into Free jazz. For me it started with regular jazz, listening to cd's from my mom when i was 9 or 10. Stan Gets, some Charles Mingus  etc. When is was in my teens I was a huge fan of Ninja Tunes, a label that was cultivating the hip hop found sound culture on a whole different level. Instrumental, wild and exotic. The main artist to grab me was Amon Tobin, who sampled rare and unique records, mostly jazz.

 

From then on I started going to thrift stores on the hunt for jazz LP's, purely judging them on the cover. Well, Then I saw this in a penny shop:

From then on the internet led me to more and more names that were printed in the back of my mind - expanding my collection. ESP disk was a no brainer pick up, and more and more artists were added with all the collabs they do among each other. later i bought a mobile record player from Numark, battery powered with headphone out and mini speaker (mono).

 

Why I love Free Jazz

 

My love for free jazz keep growing. sometimes weeks go by without listening to any free jazz tho,but this is largely due to my job; I am a sound designer, so putting on a good record after a days work is not always the first thing i think of. But those first years has led me to explore so many different style of music from all over the world.

 

But before I post any music, let's have a laugh about the way people seem to judge experimental music:

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

I'm down for this movement.  I'm lucky to have a local public library that has lots of older CDs in stock (take a look at the links), no one checks them out so they should be ready for me to pick up.  Keep the names coming,

 

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Sun%20Ra%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Cecil%20Taylor%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Ornette%20Coleman%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

Great to see libraries curating this stuff!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

I'm down for this movement.  I'm lucky to have a local public library that has lots of older CDs in stock (take a look at the links), no one checks them out so they should be ready for me to pick up.  Keep the names coming,

 

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Sun%20Ra%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Cecil%20Taylor%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt

 

http://catalog.cincinnatilibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__S%28Ornette%20Coleman%29%20f%3Aj__Orightresult__U1?lang=eng&suite=cobalt


Nice, very nice.

 

On the Sun Ra list I would recommend getting to start:

 

Sun Ra and his Arkestra - Greatest Hits: Easy Listening For Intergalactic Travel

 

which just so happens to have the best and most appropriate name ever for a CD.

 

For Cecil Taylor I would start with The complete Candid recordings of Cecil Taylor and Buell Neidlinger - a 4 disc set that will keep you busy for awhile.

 

And for Ornette Coleman I would start with Beauty is a rare thing: the complete Atlantic recordings - this is a fantastic 6 disc box set that belongs in any serious jazz collection - absolutely essential!

post #6 of 7

 

 

post #7 of 7

 

Charles Gayle/William Parker/Rashid Ali - Touchin' On Trane

 

 

 

 

Albert Ayler Trio - Spiritual Unity

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Giuffre 3 - Flight, Bremen 1961

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