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Author Topic: Free Jazz  (Read 65996 times)

bbqrocks

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Free Jazz
« on: 20 Feb 2008, 15:51 »

So, do any of you guys like free jazz? You've mentioned it a couple of times, but normally in a derogatory state of speech.

But do you any of you actual like it? I've been starting to get into it a bit recently and I have checked out some stuff by Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, and Albert Ayler. I am about to check out Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane. Anyone else you guys recommend?
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tommydski

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #1 on: 20 Feb 2008, 15:56 »

My first exposure to what is often referred to as free jazz was actually Sun Ra's The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra. It's not typical free jazz but it's certainly worth a listen.
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Joseph

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #2 on: 20 Feb 2008, 16:26 »

Ornette Coleman is the man to trust here.  Start with The Shape Of Jazz To Come, then, when you've digested that, move on to Free Jazz, though you may want to spend time with his other records a bit first.  Free Jazz is difficult at first, and takes a number of listens to make sense of.  But it is a tremendous album.

Sun Ra, as Tommy mentioned, is another great place to go.  My starting point with him was Space Is The Place.

What was your jazz background like before this?
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KickThatBathProf

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #3 on: 20 Feb 2008, 16:28 »

Seconding Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra. I would also recommend Bill Dixon and Archie Shepp from that time period.

If you're looking for new stuff, I would definitely listen to John Zorn.
Also, Ken Vandermark and William Parker
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #4 on: 20 Feb 2008, 18:00 »

You've mentioned it a couple of times, but normally in a derogatory state of speech.

Forum is not entity!
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michaelicious

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #5 on: 20 Feb 2008, 18:35 »

Maybe he means the collective you. Maybe he is French.
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #6 on: 20 Feb 2008, 18:41 »

FREE JAZZ ISN'T FREE!

I am a music republican.
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JimmyJazz

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #7 on: 20 Feb 2008, 19:56 »

I would reccomend some Charles Mingus. Whilest not all of his material is free jazz, some of it is the best I've ever heard. His albums Pithecanthropus Erectus, The Clown, and Tijuana Moods are the best examples of this I think.
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greenMonkey

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #8 on: 20 Feb 2008, 20:06 »

Someone posted Peter Broctmann Octet's Machine Gun in the sendspace thread a really long time ago.  I snagged it, and I still can't manage to get through the first track.  I need to spend some more time with it.

Ornette Coleman though.  Seriously.  "Lonely Woman" is an absolutely brilliant song.  Some other (current) groups that I have enjoyed are Shining and Chicago Underground Duo (though neither are necessarily free jazz in the traditional sense (is there a traditional sense of free jazz?)).
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Shadows Collide

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #9 on: 20 Feb 2008, 22:07 »

Albert Ayler's Spirits Rejoice is the perfect free jazz record of what I've heard. Apart from Ornette Coleman's stuff, you must own Coltrane's latter avant-garde period albums, especially the beautiful "Ascension".

My personal favorite free jazz album has to be Pharaoh Sanders' "Karma", so I suggest you track that down.
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Joseph

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #10 on: 20 Feb 2008, 22:12 »

Can't believe I forgot Sanders.  He played with Sun Ra and Coltrane on various outings and made some incredible records of his own.  Coleman refered to him as the greatest tenor player ever, if I recall.  Karma is a perfect album.
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #11 on: 20 Feb 2008, 22:34 »

Peter Brotzmann,

Good choice. He's really, to me at least, the god of Free Jazz.

John Coltrane.

You can never go wrong with Coltrane (I hate the song "My Favorite Things," but the version he does is insanely awesome. Particularly one passage during which he plays in a manner that's pretty much the equivalent of double-tapping..on a saxophone. Though his earlier stuff is kind of hard to really classify as 'free' jazz.

Jacki McLean is a good free-jazz saxophonist too, if you want to check it out.
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #12 on: 21 Feb 2008, 04:28 »

Coltrane's early stuff isn't free jazz in any sense of the word.

It's still amazing though.
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bbqrocks

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #13 on: 21 Feb 2008, 10:34 »

Maybe he means the collective you. Maybe he is French.

Yes, I did mean the collective ou, but why would that mean I am french?

Quote
What was your jazz background like before this?

Not much..Just some duke ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, random stuff that I played.

Just about to check out 'the shape of jazz to come' by ornette Coleman.
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KvP

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #14 on: 21 Feb 2008, 12:32 »

I'm surprised we've gotten this far without having mentioned Derek Smalls.

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dalconnsuch

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #15 on: 21 Feb 2008, 13:53 »

lets just say JAZZ!

i love me a miles davis binge

could listen to him for hours, a real visionary jazz musician
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bbqrocks

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #16 on: 21 Feb 2008, 14:01 »

Ya, but this is about free jazz.

Anyways, I listened to Ornette Coleman's 'Shape of jazz to come' and 'this is our music', and they were both great. I'm just starting 3 John Coltrane albums (one of them is a best of) and I got some more Eric Dolphy and Cecil Taylor.

Free jazz is fun!
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #17 on: 21 Feb 2008, 14:41 »

One of the coolest experimental/free jazz bands I know of is Triosk. Their album "The Headlight Serenade" is pretty damn awesome. Highly recommended for something fairly different from most of the other artists listed here.
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Shadows Collide

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #18 on: 21 Feb 2008, 17:30 »

Just picked up Cecil Taylor's LP "Unit Structures", it is very beautiful and also a bit intense. He hits the shit out of his piano yet at the same time does some really pretty chord changes while the rest of the band (including at times an oboe!) follow him perfectly. It demonstrates something great about the genre: players seemingly going off in different directions yet arriving perfectly together in melody. Wonderful.
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dalconnsuch

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #19 on: 22 Feb 2008, 01:27 »

Ya, but this is about free jazz.

Anyways, I listened to Ornette Coleman's 'Shape of jazz to come' and 'this is our music', and they were both great. I'm just starting 3 John Coltrane albums (one of them is a best of) and I got some more Eric Dolphy and Cecil Taylor.

Free jazz is fun!

free jazz is awsum yes it is, but i love all jazz baby!
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #20 on: 22 Feb 2008, 09:17 »

I have checked out some stuff by Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, and Albert Ayler. I am about to check out Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane. Anyone else you guys recommend?

You doing it backwards, really. You should've listened to Coltrane's later works, Coleman and Dolphy before gong into Braxton and Brotzmann. You should really dig deep into Coleman and Dolphy's stuff, it would help make sense of Brotzmann and Braxton.

Other then that, I recommend listening to John Zorn's Spy Vs. Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman and Masada's live recordings, Charles Mungus' Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus and Tonight at Noon, Matthew Shipp's Equilibrium, Joe McPhee's Po Music, Anything by Archie Shepp and Art Ensemble Of Chicago's Les Stances A Sophie.
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FREE JAZZ ISN'T FREE!

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bbqrocks

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #21 on: 22 Feb 2008, 09:26 »

Doing it backwards is how I do it. But yeah, brotzmann and braxton were great.
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mfpole

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #22 on: 24 Feb 2008, 15:49 »

I would say the most exposure I have to free jazz is James Chance and the Contortions.
Buy is some pretty awesome stuff.
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Joseph

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #23 on: 24 Feb 2008, 23:59 »

I wouldn't call Buy free jazz.  The record is great, and uses some crazy saxes, but it's much more of a no-wave album.
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #24 on: 25 Feb 2008, 13:30 »

Yeah, they're even on the No New York Comp.
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Mako

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #25 on: 26 Feb 2008, 01:50 »

you guys have mentioned all the greats, but I particularly love Miles Davis, Coltrane, Diana Krall, if you want more of a poppy feel, go for The Manhattan Transer. It's more vocal Jazz too so if you're in to that kind of stuff, feel free and another jazz group that I love, is Candela. They are a Japan based group, they performed at my highschool 5 years ago or so, anyway they use Japanese instruments, and its pretty great stuff. Marcus Miller is a bassist who has some good jazzy kinda stuff, as well as Victor Wooten, Wooten is more poppy but hey he does some good stuff. And if you appreciate music I think you'll like it.
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #26 on: 26 Feb 2008, 12:15 »

Please read this thread again.

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FREE JAZZ ISN'T FREE!

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bucky_2300

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #27 on: 26 Feb 2008, 22:05 »

It still sounds like a jazz combo falling down stairs to me. I'd much rather hear an amazingly well-organized run of Wes' version of Besame Mucho with everyone taking two choruses for soloing. It'd still take fifteen minutes, but damn it would be better.
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bbqrocks

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #28 on: 27 Feb 2008, 05:42 »

'A jazz combo falling down the stairs' is a pretty silly term.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #29 on: 27 Feb 2008, 09:44 »

So is Free Jazz, when you think about it.
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SensoryOssuary

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #30 on: 02 Mar 2008, 00:11 »

Free jazz and improv is probably my favorite genre of music. Here a few more names to check out:

Derek Bailey
Jeanne Lee
Patty Waters
Kaoru Abe
Paul Bley
AMM
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #31 on: 02 Mar 2008, 00:54 »

DEFINITELY Ken Vandermark.  I saw him play a show here in the tiny indie rock venue to maybe 20 people, just him and a drummer, all improv, and hot damn, it was fucking incredible.  He is also a super nice guy.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #32 on: 02 Mar 2008, 18:55 »

It's not really free jazz but any fan of jazz and especially more experimental forms of jazz should listen to The Drift. They're truly excellent. Long songs with fantastic brass instrumentals and an eclectic mix of styles. They're something of a down-tempo dub/rock/jazz band. Sort of. Fantastic either way. Their album "Noumena" has been one of my all time favorite albums ever since I heard it after its release more than three years ago and their second LP is due out shortly. If anyone wants, I can put "Noumena" up in the mediafire thread.
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #33 on: 03 Mar 2008, 13:26 »

DEFINITELY Ken Vandermark.  I saw him play a show here in the tiny indie rock venue to maybe 20 people, just him and a drummer, all improv, and hot damn, it was fucking incredible.  He is also a super nice guy.

Free Improv and Free Jazz aren't necessarily the same thing. Or maybe I got you wrong because I'm no familiar with Ken Vandermark's works.

I'll write more when I get more then 2 hours of sleep. Fuck you, army. 
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FREE JAZZ ISN'T FREE!

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SensoryOssuary

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #34 on: 03 Mar 2008, 15:07 »

I've call Vandermark avant-garde jazz... his stuff his definitely experimental jazz, but not all of it is "free," per se, as he actually composes a lot of material. Still fitting for this thread though, and a great musician.
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Beastmouth

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #35 on: 05 Mar 2008, 00:03 »

'A jazz combo falling down the stairs' is a pretty silly term.
You'd need a wide staircase.
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #36 on: 05 Mar 2008, 11:05 »

his stuff his definitely experimental jazz, but not all of it is "free," per se, as he actually composes a lot of material.

What, Coleman and Dolphy didn't?

Listen to Free Jazz again, dude.
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SensoryOssuary

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #37 on: 05 Mar 2008, 12:32 »

his stuff his definitely experimental jazz, but not all of it is "free," per se, as he actually composes a lot of material.

What, Coleman and Dolphy didn't?

Listen to Free Jazz again, dude.

That's awfully condescending of you. I'm perfectly aware that many free jazz musicians do not rely solely on improvisation, and often use pre-composed ideas. However, I generally consider Vandermark to be just as much an avant-garde composer as he is a improvising saxophonist. On the contrary, I associate a lot of other well-known free jazz players more with the improvisational aspect of their playing rather than their composed ensemble work, although many work in both paradigms. Another musician who I would group with Ken Vandermark more as avant-garde composer than free jazz musician is John Zorn. Obviously, they both play free music, but I am more familiar with their work as composers.

Anyway, the difference between free jazz, free improvisation, avant-garde jazz, etc. can be highly nebulous and I don't really think it's worth debating. You like what you like.
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Misereatur

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #38 on: 06 Mar 2008, 09:58 »

Point taken.

Also, try to be less uptight. This is the internet.
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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #39 on: 06 Mar 2008, 12:55 »

Point taken.

Also, try to be less uptight. This is the internet.
The internets are serious business, especially when discussing dudes making a racket with horns, not guitars!

Speaking of, has anyone gotten into Trane's Interstellar Space?  It's free, but it's Trane on sax and Mr. Nameescapesme on percussion, so it's much more accessible since you only have to listen to 2 guys going crazy instead of half a dozen.  For those who find the whole thing bewildering, I mean
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Patrick

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Re: Free Jazz
« Reply #40 on: 10 Mar 2008, 05:07 »

4 day necropost and I'm not really contributing anything at all. Yay!

I like jazz. I was a jazz and swing drummer for a good while, and it is so bloody liberating to be able to do whatever the hell you want. It really is a shame that I haven't done much drumming in the last three years, because there is nothing more exhilarating than playing a drum solo, fucking up, KNOWING you've fucked up, and not caring because IT'S JAZZ I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT.

Also, go listen to some Charles Mingus or you are entirely useless at jazz.
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