Usual Channels

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  1. Avant-garde question...

    Hoping people with some perspective can help me out... I'm researching free jazz from 68 or so to the present, and there's an aspect of the music that I know little about. This aspect is probably exemplified in the figure of David Murray (an artist I've barely heard, and know less about). AMG tells me that he started out playing like Ayler, was involved w/ the loft jazz scene, was heavily promoted by Stanley Crouch, and as he "discovered the tradition," toned down his sound and began developing his composition work. I also see that he's been investigating other musics of the African diaspora. My questions are these: Is, or was, Murray a part of a sort of mainstream avant-garde? How is he generally looked at by the mainstream jazz press? Do more underground jazz guys look at him as someone who abandoned that community? Are there other musicians whose careers have followed similar paths? Of course, these are simplistic questions, and I'm sure opinions about Murray are wide and varied. I'm trying to get a general idea, though, of different career trajectories of free jazz artists, other than the usual "keeps playing in the scene for decades with minimal support or recognition," or "has a brief, shining career, then disappears into obscurity." Thanks for whatever responses might come out of this jumbled post...
  2. Who have you seen perform live?

    Wow, people who've seen Mingus, Coltrane, and Dolphy--I can't help but be jealous! I've only been seeing live jazz since late 2000. My first show, and still one of the best, was William Parker, Alan Silva, Marshall Allen, "Kidd" Jordan, and Hamid Drake. Other artists I feel lucky to have seen: Sam Rivers Sonny Rollins Test (Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter, Matt Heyner, Tom Bruno) Peter Brotzmann Sunny Murray Other Dimensions in Music (William Parker, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Rashid Bakr) Alan Silva's Celestrial Communications Orchestra Jemeel Moondoc's Jes Grew Orchestra William Parker's Lil Huey Creative Music Orchestra Billy Bang Archie Shepp (disappointing, but hey...) Mathew Shipp w/ Mat Maneri
  3. What is your all-time top sax ballad?

    I'll go with Coleman Hawkins' "Body and Soul." Probably the jazz track I've listened to most often in the past 3 or so years. Different parts either surprise or move me every time!
  4. Who else could have been great on STRATA-EAST???

    JSnrgy - Wow! I didn't know Ishmael Reed was on recordings--I just got into his great book "Mumbo Jumbo." I see on AMG that he has a record from '83 called "Conjure"--have you heard it? Is it any good?
  5. Who else could have been great on STRATA-EAST???

    Muntu! Jemeel Moondoc, Roy Campbell, William Parker, Rashid Bakr. As far as I know, they never recorded, but they were hitting the lofts around '75...
  6. *** SUN RA Corner***

    I don't have very much Ra--I expect that soon enough I'll become obsessed and go on a rampage... Right now, I've got: Space is the Place (Impulse!) Nothing Is... Heliocentric Worlds Vol. 1 & 2 Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy/Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow Outer Spaceways Incorporated Singles (Evidence) Greatest Hits (Evidence) ...What should I get next? I keep hearing that "Jazz in Silhouette" is really nice...
  7. I'm in a real time crunch, and I need to know if I can find the liner notes (if there are any) to the 1974 Impulse double LP "No Energy Crisis. I found the front, back, and inside covers online, but have so-far been unable to figure out if there's any writing as well... I'd just hunt for a copy of the record, but I'm in a real hurry... Thanks for any info...
  8. New Impulse! Reissues

    Hey Simon, do you know where have you read quotes like that? I'd like to see those--I didn't realize that sentiment had been expressed, and I'm writing about the music (right now, just for school). jazzbo--I'm totally down with you on the sound of Ayler's sax on these. As Lazlo Toth would say, "the best!"
  9. *** Eric Dolphy ***

    Just found the post, and I agree with all pro-Dolphy sentiments. I hate to add pressure if money is tight, but the box sure is great. But, if you need your appetite whetted, go for that Jazz World issue of Iron Man/Conversations--it's called "DolphySound." Along with "At Antibbes" (possibly my favorite Mingus), another great one including Dolphy is Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus" on Candid... Mr. Gitlin--who did you see Dolphy with? When? Am I jealous? Yes!
  10. Daniel Carter / Rueben Radding - Luminescence

    Thanks Anytime. Sounds good. ODIM live is unreal. Agreed. Should be world famous.
  11. Anyone else heard this yet? It's taking a couple days, but it's starting to grow on me... Daniel Carter is one of my favorite saxophonists live, but I don't have much on record. This, and William Parker's "Painter's Spring" don't really capture Carter's vibe as I've seen him perform (in Other Dimensions, and in other small groups), but I'm slowly getting acclimated to other apsects of his playing...
  12. Jazz and the State Department

    Astoundingly, I forgot about the Elolington tours! I think the "Far East" one, at least, was Sate Department sponsored indeed. Thanks guys.
  13. Jazz and the State Department

    Hi all--I wasn't sure where to post this thread... I'd like to find more info. about State sponsored jazz tours. I know Louie Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie both toured in this context, and I'm wondering who else did. Did these tours continue through the cold war, or was it for a more limited amount of time? Who else toured? Also, what are good sources to learn more about this? Thanks in advance, Jon.
  14. Jazz and the State Department

    Uh, I just read in the Giddins book on Louis Armstrong about his State Department tour, where he criticized the U.S. for its poor race relations. That was in '56. Was Dizzy Gillespie's tour before or after this? I'll bet it's written about in his autobio "To Be or Not to Bop," but I haven't found a copy of that yet...
  15. Yo La Tengo

    I would like to officially cast my vote for Spacement 3 as well! Ever their dancy major label pre-breakup-full-of-inter-band-tension-record (don't recall the name of it--haven't heard it in years...). Still, Perfect Prescription is aMAZing... Not really into the E.A.R. stuff and haven't heard Spectrum. Spiritualized records always sound great to me on first listen, and then gradually depreciate from then on... Have you guys heard Thh Deviants? Late 60's pre-punk British band. Sometimes they pop into my head as one of many interesting SM3 influences. Oh yeah, Yo La Tengo, Ra Ra Ra!
  16. Daniel Carter / Rueben Radding - Luminescence

    Johnny E--That's a fine graphic!!! MY HERO!!! Johnny B--I love Test! Forgot to mention them... Mnytime--This is slowly reaching that status for me as well... I looked around online, and it appears that Rueben Radding played bassist in various punk bands in DC before moving to Seattle. Can anyone confirm this? It would make sense, as Daniel Carter loves lots of punk, and attended many New York hardcore shows in the late 80s. Carter's like the sweetest, warmest, coolest, funniest guy playing right now. Lots of soul!!! Hey, can anyone comment on "Language," "Real Time Messengers," or "Principle Hope"?
  17. Avant-garde question...

    Joe G -- I don't think you took my post in a different direction. Thanks for your opinions. Issues of race, particularly related to the mostly white jazz press, are incredibly important, I think we'd all agree. Crouch treats these issues in such an indelicate manner, that it's a real shame that he's one of the only people really talking about them in jazz's popular press. However, I'm almost willing to give Crouch some credit for bringing them up at all. This is pretty far off from my initial post, but stay with me, and it'll come back around: Lots of musicians who act as though race isn't an issue in their music, or who downplay that element in favor of more universalist tendencies, are truly concerned with both the lack of young black avant garde players, and the attention lavished upon white players in the genre at the perceived expense of the black players that are out there. Do all black jazz musicians feel this way? Of course not. Do most? Don't know. I do know, that as a young white scholar, that when musicians who don't bring this stuff up in liner notes and interviews are asked about it, they have plenty to say. Not so, I've noticed, with jazz bulletin boards, where issues of race, IMHO, are pretty carefully avoided. How does this relate to my initial post? I guess it relates in that, after the mid-70's, it seems to me that there was a major shift in how black jazz musicians have had to operate in the industry, and that characters like Crouch and Murray are a couple of figures who's actions reflect certain political, social, and cultural conditions. Are their actions the only actions that could have been taken by young black jazz musicians in the mid-70's? Of course not. I'm trying to look at their actions, and their changing positions, as indicating larger sea-changes that they are responding to. And that Matt Shipp is responding to in different ways. And Jemeel Moondoc in different ways. And on and on. Soooo, for avant garde musicians who want to play in a manner differing from what people call "mainstream," and who don't have some sort of "legend" status to fall back on, what's out there? I'm tempted to say that Douglas will have a successful career now, but that jazz enthusiasts in thirty years will look back on the early 00's and regard Roy Campbell reissues as "the real thing" (long after he will be able to substantially gain from the recognition). Maybe that's being unreasonable, but it makes at least some sense when put up against past developments... [this is a mess--please, be kind and work through it with me...]
  18. Avant-garde question...

  19. Avant-garde question...

    Thanks Chuck--I totally understand the energy issue, and I seriously look forward to your input. Anyone else?
  20. Roy Campbell

    Hey impossible, that'd be really cool. Thanks! My email is
  21. Roy Campbell

    Roy's Lennox Lounge gig is high up on my "to do" list. I've seen Roy Campbell live many times, in Other Dimensions In Music, Little Huey, and various other configurations. I don't own anything that he's a leader on... What do people recommend? Is "Ethnic Stew" the no-brainer, obvious first choice, or should I go with "Krunch Time"?
  22. New Impulse! Reissues

    Don't know if Simon's still reading this thread, but I wonder as well if there's a rekindling of interest in Ayler. Why all the various reissues in the past couple of years if not?? Still, I often feel that it's just my own wishful thinking... I just hope New Grass is re-issued soon. I've only heard snippets, but I realy liked what I've heard. I played Music is the Healling Force... in the car with my girlfriend. She can handle lots of out stuff, but after a while she said, "this is really depressing." I kind of agree. Still, I think the TONE of his sax on this recording is just incredible.
  23. So who gives you a jazz high?

    I agree with the Velvet Underground, Fugazi, and Hank Williams. I would add... Skip James Television/Tom Verlaine Stooges Big Star/Alex Chilton (the "3rd" record) MC5 Bad Brains Drive Like Jehu Yo La Tengo
  24. *** Cecil Taylor ***

    While I'm not questioning brownie's knowledge or taste, it seems to me like Unit Structures might be kind of a daunting place to go to next--one man's opinion. The Candid stuff, as well as the 70s solo work, might be a good intermediate step between the two...
  25. New Impulse! Reissues

    Outside of the danger of the 'grabber' breaking (and, in my experience, the Impulse! ones are awfully sturdy), I love digipacks! I think that the Impulse! ones are the most appealing CD packaging I've ever seen! Granted, the new reissues are kind of chintzy (not as glossy, not as much fold-out, worse spine font...)