Friday, February 14, 2003


“One of the biggest misunderstandings about free jazz is that there is absolutely nothing free about it. In all of the artists, from Coltrane to Sun Ra, their music was completely and absolutely premeditated and calculated. The artists would labour and practice [for] hours in order to create a sound the sound they desired. What was free about the music was the musicians’ ability to stretch their music beyond the existing boundaries. Their music was not free from structure, just free from rules.”

Brian L. Knight offers a good three part overview of the avant / ‘free’ jazz scene in the 1960s and 1970s in the Vermont Review, where you will also find a stimulating collection of reviews, resources, photos, links, concert reviews, interviews, CD profiles and essays. Bits of alt, electronica and rock creep in too. Interviewees include John Scofield, Matthew Shipp, DJ Logic, Roy Ayers and Boston-area free jazz pianist Jacques Chanier. There’s a rather strong Phish motif in there too, but we’ll leave that to your discretion….

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