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jazzfan
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Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

I've been a jazz listener and fan for well over thirty years and have followed the free jazz movement since my mind was first blown on hearing electric Miles Davis playing live in the 1970's.

Some of my current favorites include the downtown New York players like John Zorn and Dave Douglas; other New York players like William Parker, Matthew Shipp and David S. Ware; the Chicago sounds of Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson and Ken Vandermark; the west coast players like Horace Tapscott and Bobby Bradford and old standbys like David Murray, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor.

While a lot of the recordings made by the excellent musicans named above are not often of "audiophile" standards, just about anything by any of them beats "Jazz At The Pawnshop" hands down. And there are plenty of very well recorded free jazz LPs and CDs out there just waiting to be played back on a high end audio system.

Here's one to get you started:

Dave Holland Quartet - "Conference Of The Birds"

with Barry Altschul on drums, Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton on reeds. Recorded in 1972 for the ECM label. Find it on LP if possible. An outstanding sounding recording of incredible music. Truly a thing of beauty.

letch
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

I'm a huge fan of eai (electro-acoustic improv) stuff. I'm flying out to NYC for Erstquake during Sept 23-25, a festival put on by the Erstwhile label. I'm a big fan of AMM and now Keith Rowe's side projects for that label now that's he left that group. While I like some of the people you mention (Hamid Drake's work with Peter Brotzmann is great and I like Vandemark, Shipp, Parker, Ware etc...) I think the real avant-garde these days is Taku Sugimoto, Toshi Nakamura, Sachiko M, Sean Meehan, Gunter Muller, Kevin Drumm, Axel Dorner and about a billion others chasing improvisational new sounds to the fringe. Some of the Erstwhile recordings are very audiophile quality, especially the ones recorded in Christoph Amman's studio in Vienna. Great stuff. I highly recommend Erstwhile's "Amplify 2002" box set as a great intro to this music with a beautiful DVD of some of the live sets. Some of this stuff takes the improv thing to various "sounds set free" extremes while others are in the vein of more traditional free-jazz or improv. Trumpet player Axel Dorner plays both sides, playing on Schlippenbach's Quintet set "Monk's Casino", covering every Monk composition live. Axel also plays in the more open sounds of eai, where breathing techniques and gurgles become the palette of his playing.
To my mind, this is where the real avant-garde action is these days. There's plenty of small labels out there making it happen, Potlatch, Confront, Absurd, For4Ears and so many others.
Not to say that I only listen to this, there's plenty of excellent jazz out there and you mention many of the people that are making it happen today.

res0goan
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

Are you hip to Marilyn Crispell?

jazzfan
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

>>Are you hip to Marilyn Crispell?<<

How could I not be? She's one of my all time favorite piano players, both in her most outside and free modes, as when she with Anthony Braxton or Evan Parker, or when she plays very medolic, such as on her two most recent ECM releases, which are some of Crispbell's best work to date.

Since the passing of Don Pullen, I've been looking for that unique piano player who can play both inside and outside with equal ability and Crispbell almost fits the bill. I say "almost" since she tends not to mix her outside playing with the inside stuff. It's either or the other but not both. Pullen, on the other hand, could and would mix both inside and outside playing up on the same recording, if not on the same song.

As far as active players go, I like what Matthew Shipp has been doing quite a bit and his work as the artistic director of the Thirsty Ear Blue Series of releases has been pretty outstanding thus far. Some misses but overall a really fine and worthwhile group of releases which have been moving the art of jazz forward in some very big ways. Plus his piano playing gets more and more interesting with each new release.

res0goan
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

nice post....I must admit I am not as plugged in as I used to be. ECM is one of my favorite labels. I have not heard either of those discs you mentioned. I have not seen Marilyn in atleast 7 years. The last time I saw her was in L.A. at the jazz bakery. Now that I am living in the desert, I do not have any exposure to jazz. I am grateful for all my albums and discs. Growing up in New York city really helped with my jazz education. L.A. was just o.k. only Catalinas and the bakery. When I lived in New York, besides symphony sid on the radio, I would spend atleast four nights a week in the clubs. I especially looked forward to the loft series in soho. Thnks for the rec. I will check them out...Regarding Pullen,
I have a few Blue Note and Blk Saint recordings.I particularly like New beginnings, and random thoughts, evidence of things unseen...I would think you also like Cecil....

Robert

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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

How could I forget to mention your great call......A grand slam.....Conference of the birds. one of my all time favorites.....

stereophillips
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?


Quote:
>>Since the passing of Don Pullen, I've been looking for that unique piano player who can play both inside and outside with equal ability

You might also want to check out Anthony Coleman, who has done a lot of work with John Zorn, but is also exploring the compositions of Jellyroll Morton. That's about as outside and inside as it gets!

jazzfan
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?


Quote:
You might also want to check out Anthony Coleman, who has done a lot of work with John Zorn

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not that big a fan of Coleman, although I do respect his work. I usually find that Zorn and keyboards don't do that well together - Zorn's best work seems to be without piano or keyboards in the ensemble. Except of course, the outstanding 1985 release on Black Saint "Voodoo" by the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet which features along with Zorn on alto sax, pianist Wayne Horvitz, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Bobby Previte. Horvitz gets plenty of space on this recording, which was by far the best jazz release of 1985. And in 1985 the Don Pullen - George Adams Quartet was still active and releasing LPs and CDs!! Hard to come by today but a must have for any serious jazz fan.

Okay, that makes two recommendations by yours truly. Now it's someone else's turn.

stereophillips
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?


Quote:
Okay, that makes two recommendations by yours truly. Now it's someone else's turn.

(Long pause) I've always had a soft spot for the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Fanfare for the Warrior. I seem to recall seeing a broadcast of Fritz Lang's Metropolis that used it as a soundtrack -- the juxtaposition worked even better than Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz .

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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

Sorry if this is a double post, my original response never came up on the board. . .

Great thread and one in which I hope to get some cool recommendations! I have to recommend the :rarum series, from ECM and in particular to this thread, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago release, as well as the Dave Holland compilation. Great musical selections and fantastic sonics! These serve as nice collections of previously released tunes by the respective artist(s), as well as standing on their own within the group/artist's catalog for the label. Not necessarily what I would term "out jazz," holding more to the characteristic ECM sound/vibe, but still far enough away from the traditional aesthetic to be included here (and both have been mentioned previously in this thread).

I'm really enjoying THE GIANT PIN (Cryptogramophone) by The Nels Cline Singers. This is a wonderful guitar trio release, with truly state-of-the-art sound! If intense, small-group electric guitar-based improvisation interests you at all (or you're in any way curious), then check this one out asap!

Gotta also throw props out to The Sonic Liberation Front's ASHE A GO-GO (High Two), which is a really great release. I've seen this band live several times and they are truly incendiary in performance! Not to be missed.

Kingmob
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

I sorry I didn't read your post first. I just started a thread about Jazz at the Pawnshop. It seems that everything I found about it just discussed the sound quality. While sound quality is important, it is of no importance if the music isn't to your liking.

Anyways I'd like to add:

Art Ensemble of Chicago - Spritual

The remastered version of this CD is excellent. I use to show off my CDP all the time. In fact, friends that do not like avant-garde jazz get into this disc it sounds so good.

It's great when you find the perfect combo of sound and substance.

jazzfan
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

Thanks for the recommendation on the AEC CD. I don't believe that I'm familiar with that recording, I'll have to look for it.

As for the Jazz at the Pawn Shop - I'll answer that one in your other thread.

And since we've been discussing good sound and avant garde jazz, we can not leave out the CIMP (Creative Improvised Music Projects) label. For those of you unfamiliar with this very fine label, they are one of the two labels run by Bob Rusch of Cadence magazine (the other label is Cadence Jazz). The CIMP label is dedicated to producing high quality recordings of uncompromising music. They have a series of sampler disc available. Pick one up.

web site: http://www.cadencebuilding.com/cadence/cimp.html

ohfourohnine
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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

"And since we've been discussing good sound and avant garde jazz..."

As I recall, Miles Davis thought Henry Red Allen was the most avant-garde horn player he'd ever heard. How times change.

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Re: Any fellow free/avant-garde jazz fans out there?

Great call on the CIMP label! I'm surprised that STEREOPHILE doesn't really focus on these. . . Still, they have some great sounding releases and the roster of free, or out-jazz/creative improvisers is impressive. My favorite in this series would have to be OUT OF THE BOX, by The Tyrone Hill Quartet - featuring Sun Ra acolyte, Marshall Allen (CIMP 154). I'd put the recorded sound right up there with Mapleshade's, but with far more adventurous music imo.

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