Free Jazz... your 2 cents

jazznut

New member
ok here goes...one of the many types of jazz is Free Jazz. It could be the place John Coltrane was at the end of his life, or with people like SunRa, Matthew Shipp, Ravi Coltrane, David S. Ware, Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, William Parker, John Zorn, Sam Rivers, on and on.
These musicians hear in a different way. Some hear/feel in a swung eight note, some feel in open time, some feel in no specific time or pulse.
Many of the solos are played over the notes of one cord, or a steady riff/grove, or open... with everyone interpreting everyone's solo at the same time.
Sometimes the melodies are beautiful, but sometimes they are dark, confusing, sad, ugly, or hard to find.
The question is do you ever listen to any type of Free Music, do you see anything interesting in it at all.
This is SunRa, not a favorite of mine, but I find this interesting, and can appreciate free music if its not noise and too abrasive.
Life just is not a beautiful melody every day.
Say what you feel!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3o-31ttfOQ&feature=g-all
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
From what I have seen posted by Jazz musicians I must admit that I do not get or understand it but it is of course Jazz
 

Dorsetmike

New member
I disagree Colin, it is not jazz, just disjointed noises for the most part. The same is happening in the classical world, tuneless meanderings and art, meaningless blobs and daubs, also literature - wandering blather. Some critic in the media claims it's the dog's wotsits and the in-cognoscenti jump on the wagon, Joe Bloggs in the daily waily or sunday wundy said it's the in thing WOW.

As for that Charles Lloyd effort I can't see that being improvised, the piano and sax were playing unison far to often for it to be spontaneous, at other times the piano reminded me of Einaudi, tinkling elevator muzak, I couldn't stand listening to the whole thing, I found very little in the way of structure, melody or interest, as I said above mostly disjointed notes & tuneless meanderings, boooooooorrrrrrrring almost offensive.
 

John Watt

Active member
Let's proceed with the definition of jazz as being spontaneous music, what it originally meant.
Everything a musician learns is jazz when you first play it, no matter what your musical style.
It takes a master musician to play out a career that way.
I've, uh, been in bands where another musician comes up to me later saying,
John, I know you were in the band but I didn't see you onstage that much,
and admit it, you never learned the songs.
Sometimes I was too busy signing autographs to answer, properly.

In all candor, I don't call myself a jazz musician any more, saying I'm a "soundtrack player",
riffing off the soundtrack of our lives.

When I was in grade two, I'd come home to watch "The Merv Griffin Show".
He introduced Chick Corea to the north american audience by featuring him from Mon to Fri,
the first week, and had him on once a week for the next six months.
That was a wonderful introduction to piano for me, setting a high standard.
I'd sit in front of the television playing along on the carpet in front of me.
 
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stu

New member
Interesting stuff Jazznut. I can't say I enjoy free jazz, with the exception of some wild notes or passages that fit on a performance, such as that of a Pharoah Sanders or on some George Russell tracks. Although I did attend a Sunny Murray drums with Charles Gayle on tenor concert once and did sit absorbed throughout. Like you I enjoy some Sun Ra.
Charles Lloyd is for me more avant garde and the music is a collective jazz performance with Lloyd embellishing improvisationally. My favourite Charles Lloyd is Passion Flower with Keith Jarrett on board.
IMO, free jazz follows a different path as that of exact scores. With the absence of arrangements the improvisations have no predetermination.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
jazznut when I posted I had not bothered to even listen to your posted links as what I had heard elsewhere put my teeth on edge, but I have just sampled the first couple of minutes of each clip and was pleasantly surprised it is indeed true Jazz IMO and I have changed my mind and will give it another go :cool:
I assume you are a musician if so what is your instrument??
 

Mat

New member
Staff member
Sr. Regulator
Regulator
Yeah, that's just not my cup of tea. I had to turn off the first recording after three minutes...

However, the second I found to be fairly enjoyable. But then, I'd never say it was free jazz.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
Mat, you found it a bit tame I assume, but that beggers another question "What is free jazz"
 

teddy

Duckmeister
jn I have to admit that there is a place for it. Just not my place. It is part of experimentation and therefore valid, but to my ear not enjoyabel.
By the way the viewing figures are not all human. Some of it is snooping by scambots etc. Also we of the forum being scattered al over the world it can take a little while for us to catch up with the threads. have patience with us old farts.

teddy
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
jn I have to admit that there is a place for it. Just not my place. It is part of experimentation and therefore valid, but to my ear not enjoyabel.


teddy

Exactly it is evolution at work and as you know very well teddy evolution has it's share of failures (look at me)
 

teddy

Duckmeister
Colin, you should see some of the creatures that inhabit Margate these days. Dawn of the Living Dead does not come into it.

teddy
 

jazznut

New member
This Wayne Shorter and his great unit, the song is Footprints, (its now considered a standard for a modern Jazz band, everyone plays it. I've played it in jams and on local gigs) I think we all know Wayne began his career with Art Blakey.
He managed to totally reinterpret the song and turn it into something of his own. First of all, his use of dynamics on the piece is fantastic... he doesn't just play the head two times, with everyone having his solo, plays the head again and closes out. He stretches the piece, the band explores the form and the notes in the head, and explains the piece his way with emotion. The meter varies along with his interpretation. The solo's are at times taken through call and response, and solo's within the form.

Is it free jazz, in my opinion not in total, is it freeish and open...yes. Its still tight, but loose! Its almost like a story being built with a simple jazz standard.
Its certainly interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCyGBNKlrPI
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
John, I think what many find difficult is the lack of a recognisable tune
 
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