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Scott Dolan

Free Improv recs?

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I'm not sure how many Free Improv fans there are here, but having recently gotten deeply into The Nows from Paul Lytton I'm ready to dive deeper into the genre. 

So, I have that, Parker's 50th Birthday, and have been listening to a lot of Tony Oxley and Evan Parker recordings recently (np: Natives and Aliens). Already have some albums in my queue for after Christmas from Parker, Wooley, and Mary Halvorson.

Any other "must have" recs? Are there any Kind Of Blue/Giant Steps/Blanton-Webster Band/Hot Fives & Sevens of this genre that should be in every collection? 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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"The living music"

"nipples"

"Pakistani pomade"

"baptized traveller"

"synopsis" (Howard riley)

"fragments" (icp 5)

"stalks" (Steve Lacy)

"karyobin" (sme)

"speed and space" (Masahiko Togashi)

"Nana" (Edward Vesala)

those spring to mind as some key records but there are tons more!

 

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So many great ones. I like your question, Scott

What or are there any no brainer classics?

I have a few of the above. Those are skewed more towards older music. I love "Nipples" and a couple of the others. Add Topography of the Lungs to that group for sure.

for me I think some of the more recent EP recordings are more technically accomplished and you have one of the great ones: 50th Birthday Concert with both seminal trios.

more recent awe inspiring recordings:

Ghostly Thoughts : Dunmall, Adams & Sanders

The Two Seasons: EP with John Edwards & Sanders - 2 CD set on emanem from 1999. Very intense almost all tenor with kick-ass performances by the bass/drum monster duo.

Decoy plus Joe McPhee - either of the two CDs - Alexander Hawkins on B3 with Edwards and Steve Noble on drums. McPhee is awesome on both 

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Thanks, gents! 

I still haven't heard Nipples, but that is one hell of a line up. The only Brotzmann I have is the trio date with Parker and Drake, Never Too Late, But Always Too Early. While I enjoy it, it's more closely linked to 60's Free Jazz than the more European-style of improv (IMO) that I'm looking for now. 

I'm definitely getting tuned into folks like Evan Parker, Lytton, Crispell, Schlippenbach, Tony Oxley Nate Wooley, cats along those lines. 

I will definitely check out all the titles you guys have recommended. Thanks! 

BTW, I had already heard some samples from Topography Of The Lungs, which I liked quite a bit. 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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SME for sure. Foundational work. Ditto the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.

 

 

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Spontaneous Music Ensemble

John Stevens' collective - my favorite is the last recording: A New Distance from right before his death in 1994 with a youngish John Butcher

my ultimate suggestions for this music are the 2 Mad Dogs boxes on not two records. 9 discs total with all members of the Barry Guy New Orchestra in different combinations. Best sounding CDs I own and my overall favorite releases of the last 3-4 years.

 

Tarfala, baby!!

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Not sure about "classics", but check out Dave Rempis' Aerophonic CDs.

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I agree with all the above. According to what you already enjoy in the european field, be sure to check albums with the likes of John Edwards, Steve Noble, Joëlle Léandre, Daunik Lazro (try for instance Hasparren on No Business records with the two previous), Agusti Fernandez, Barry Guy, Irene Schweizer, Peter Kowald...

The Penguin Guide to Jazz recordings and the EFI Sheffield website are good references for this music (The Penguin Guide is good for up to 2005, and most of the historic albums mentionned above receive highest distinction there).

The Ganelin Trio would be on my list of must haves. Albums Ancora da capo and the latest coproduction from Leo Records and a Chinese bookstore would be the best places to start for that fantastic trio.

 

Edited by OliverM

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Topography of Lungs, definitely.

SME are fascinating and the range of line-ups that played under that name is very interesting. Steve's already given you a later one and I'd suggest Karyobin for an early one but that'll break the bank so more realistically perhaps Withdrawal or Eighty-Five minutes both available on Emanem (don't miss Oliv either, different again). Contemporaneous to SME you've got Iskra 1903 with Baily, Guy and Wachsmann/Rutherford (go to Emanem for them too)

I like Steve's recommendation of Mad Dogs as an interesting insight into many players from the earlier generation playing now amongst younger folk. Another similar approach can be found on Brotzmann's 5 nights in Oslo. Both a pretty heavy investments to a taster though. The Von Schlippenbach Trio are about as road tested as you can get in this music and are phenomenal. None of their recordings will disappoint. It is more Evan P (never a bad thing) and he is pretty prominent in the list so far

I always think of Art Ensemble of Chicago when I think Free Improv (US branch) but maybe others don't as they've not been suggested, 'People in Sorrow'' is the statement issue for me but there are obviously many more especially the Paris years.

Thinking about now there's some interesting current stuff being played out of Portugal (often featuring Luis Vicente but by now means exclusively) - The Red Trio (often with interesting collaborators), Chamber 4 http://www.discogs.com/Marcelo-dos-Reis-Lu%C3%ADs-Vicente-Th%C3%A9o-Ceccaldi-Valentin-Ceccaldi-Chamber-4-Chamber-4/release/7296174 and Clouds and Clocks http://www.discogs.com/artist/3819502-Clocks-And-Clouds

It could be worth sampling some sounds from French label Improvised Beings and definitely worth checking the work of Didier Lassere, Benjamin Duboc, Daunki Lazro on different French labels. Dark Tree Records would be my first port of call followed by Ayler Records

And finally, at the risk of parochialism check out the London label Fataka for what's happening in this fair city at the moment

Scott, you've got a fabulous journey ahead with many different roads and routes some of which will inevitably be dead ends, when you hit one just turn around and head down the next turning.....

 

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Excellent!

This should keep me tied up for awhile as I tend to thoroughly absorb every album before moving on to the next.

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You probably have enough recommendations at this point, but do make sure you have For Adolphe Sax (a personal favorite Brötzmann album):

MI0000361512.jpg?partner=allrovi.com


I'm also a fan of the Treader label. Three issues stand out (for me):

John Tchicai With Strings
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Abbey Road Duos
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Love this one. For people who "don't like" Parker, this might be the recording to open their ears. Gorgeously recorded, too.

Trio With Interludes
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More Parker, with John Coxon and Ashley Wales — who, though they do play traditional instruments, might perhaps more accurately be called "sound artists." This album is an homage to Sun Ra's Nuits de La Fondation Maeght recordings:

R-567259-1132407037.jpeg.jpg


Discs on the Treader label come in cardboard sleeves with beautifully embossed covers. I don't know how difficult they are to find these days. I think I purchased most of mine about ten years ago. It looks like you can still contact the label directly, however.

 

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Good suggestions indeed, Late (Adolphe Sax is a great record). Treader was recently reactivated and released some new discs this year, Wadada/Tilbury being a highlight.

Edited by mjazzg

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11 hours ago, mjazzg said:

I always think of Art Ensemble of Chicago when I think Free Improv (US branch) but maybe others don't as they've not been suggested, 'People in Sorrow'' is the statement issue for me but there are obviously many more especially the Paris years.

Not sure if this recommendation belongs here either, but mjazzg is right - Scott, if you haven't heard PEOPLE IN SORROW, it's a must (independently of genre).

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The AMG review makes it sound like it's right up my alley, actually pointing out how it was different than the higher energy 60's Free Jazz.

It's not on iTunes, but I'll check for it on Spotify. 

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On 12/19/2015 at 2:30 PM, jlhoots said:

Not sure about "classics", but check out Dave Rempis' Aerophonic CDs.

The quartet with Wooley, Niggenkemper and Corsano is off the hook!

Also, Icepick is excellent - Wooley, Corsano and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass.

Could add many historical recordings but it seems like the contemporary stuff gets short shrift. There's a wonderful new Portuguese label called Cipsela that has done some stuff with Carlos Zíngaro, Daniel Levin, Burton Greene and others, all in the 'chamber improv' realm.

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I'm definitely more interested in the contemporary stuff, but please feel free to add some historic albums as well. 

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Nice to see you love the Rempis, Wooley, Niggenkemper, Corsano disc, Clifford. One of my new favorites.

the new 2 CD Steve Swell disc on Not Two fits the bill for brand new very successful free improvisation with various ensembles (despite the inclusion of one jazz tune on disc 1)

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On December 20, 2015 at 7:19 PM, uli said:

Santanna.jpg

I still can't find this in the U.S.

 

28 minutes ago, erwbol said:

That seems to be impossible to get on CD at the moment. Would the recordings for Nessa from this era come equally highly recommended?

2 answers:

1.) Yes.

2.) AEC: Americans Swinging In Paris contains People In Sorrow, along with Les Stances A Sophie - but it isn't inexpensive.

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26 minutes ago, jlhoots said:

I still can't find this in the U.S.

i ordered it from Alexander Hawkins. he shipped it to the u.s.

i enjoy it very much.

Edited by uli

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OK, potentially silly question: how extensive are liner notes in this particular sub genre? Being essentially brand new to it, I'm wondering if I would be better served moving back to CDs for a while so I can learn as much as possible from liner notes. Most Jazz CDs contain a wealth of information, and I learned a great deal from reading them. 

So is it the same with this...um..."music"? 

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Anecdotally I'd say not very common. Many releases are on smaller labels that understandably keep costs lower. Exceptions might be Clean Feed, Matchless and some Emanems.  Looking at my list of recommendations above none have significant notes that I can think of.

Maybe read Point of Departure http://www.pointofdeparture.org/ and Free Jazz Collective http://www.freejazzblog.org/ for often informed reviews. Also there's some reliable champions of the music right here on the board

Also don't forget label and musician websites for some info and links to reviews, articles etc

Someone needs to write the book

 

Edited by mjazzg

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Agreed, when looking at my collection I think less than 1/4 has any extensive liner notes. Reading the Point of Departure blog would be a good place to start if you want to learn about the music. The Freejazz blog (only album reviews) is especially nice as it has a new review on a daily basis.

 

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OK, I kinda had a feeling that was going to be the case as most modern Free Jazz albums I have have little to no liner notes. Downloads it shall remain. 

Thanks again, gents. I'll check out the Point Of Departure blog. 

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