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  1. Thanks for the kind words, all! My opinion is obviously very skewed, but Tatsu's work with Fred is across-the-board stellar. I'm partial to On the Run (a trio with Hamid Drake), and there's a live quartet date which is extraordinary - it's sort of an alternate-universe version of the Die Like A Dog band, with Toshinori Kondo included: https://fperecs.bandcamp.com/album/live-volume-v Finally: for those afar, it's looking like the Saturday show may stream - regardless, here's the link:
  2. Hello, all- I'm very excited to announce two special live dates in Chicago, scheduled for Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 at Elastic Arts. These dates feature my What Else is There? project, featuring our friend Alexander Hawkins and bassist Tatsu Aoki. Our drummer Michael Zerang features on October 21, and October 22 features Charles Rumback, Mai Sugimoto, and Jeff Chan (in place of Zerang). We'll be celebrating the release of a brand new album on Fundacja Słuchaj, featuring Hawkins, Aoki, and Zerang. When this ensemble first convened, conversation turned to music and family. Pondering this notion, Aoki asked, "What else is there?" - hence the title. The record is an arresting blend of free jazz and free improvisation, melding my original compositions with some choice Asian American and Chicago jazz inflections. More Info: Night 1 Night 2 Thanks, all! https://www.karlevangelista.com
  3. With only a handful of exceptions, all of the records that Moore selected are landmarks. The heavy-handed language may grate a bit, but there's something telling about the fact that we're talking about this list nearly two decades after the fact. In the interval between Moore's list and now, a defined subculture has emerged that valorizes lo-fi free jazz. This contingent is at least significant enough to to have forced a critical appraisal of what constitutes valid improvised music. The advent of streaming fostered a transformation in how we access anachronistic art, which has in turn reshaped the canon. I've leaned away from posting on most topics as of late, largely because of how many of my friends and peers are discussed on this board, but this fact is worth noting: a lot of music that was considered decisively marginal some 10 or so years ago is now quite widely traded. In the early days of new media - back when one's listener base was mediated by literal physical access to LPs, CDs, etc. - history was, by necessity, shaped by the winners. Things are different now. To be perfectly frank, I don't know of many musicians who currently think of Wynton as an existential threat - he merely carries the opprobrium of having made a series of very loud and incredibly ignorant referenda on music that he didn't understand. Talent wins out in the end. I saw it happen, in literal real time, when Roscoe Mitchell began getting his flowers some 15 or so years ago. That dude is a literal genius, but culture had to catch up to his accomplishments. All of this is to say that that Moore list doesn't look nearly as dumb now as it did back when I started checking out this board. Twenty years ago, I would have said that Nommo was an exciting document that is very much of its time. Now that I'm older and am slightly less stupid, I recognize that those Pullen/Graves records are a high watermark for a vernacular that remains undigested. That shit is really advanced. Go ask Jason Moran. Go ask Steve Coleman. It's dealing in rhythmic and timbral concepts that are just so perpendicular to the norm that cats in the past fifty years did not know how to properly copy it. The fact that mammoth figures like Coltrane exist shouldn't numb people to the fact that it's very easy to be wrong about art - a fluid, ultimately subjective thing. Yesterday's dorky free jazz list is today's bellwether for a change in thinking. I'm not saying that Moore is a genius and that the essay is particularly well-conceived - I'm only saying that stuff happened behind the scenes that people rethink a lot of this music.
  4. R.I.P. RE: the above conversation - I'm a tremendous admirer of the first two records, though I have no strong sentimental attachment to the music. When the Band operated as a collaborative entity, it was truly extraordinary. The group understood pocket in a really special way, and the best of the writing somehow sounds both nuanced and effortless. The bass motion and cascading power chords in "King Harvest" are weirdly sophisticated - not in a proggy sense, but in the same way that the Pixies or Mitski would later harmonize around the melody. It deviates from the pop formula of the era by adapting the harmony to a lead voice, rather than just superimposing the vocal line over a predictable diatonic chord progression. In a practical sense, it presages the "chunks of power chord"-type writing that is all over modern indie and alt rock. Incidentally, there is a certain school of creative music that swears by Robbie Robertson's guitar playing. I admit that It's taken me a long time to get to it. It's fundamentally economical, and its specialness is based on feel and rhythmic nuance rather than energy or sophistication of line. But it's perfect for the Band, and a fine contrast to the escalating virtuosity that prevailed in the guitar heroism of the late 60's onward.
  5. Just got back from a wonderful tour (and grueling, near-death-defying cross-country trip) - just now saw this. Thanks, all, for your support! Our guy Clifford runs a fantastic show. If you ever wonder how creative music survives outside of the major cities and festival circuit, know that independent curatorial work and concert production are hugely important. All it takes is one person and some ears.
  6. Thank you, man! I thought it pointless to start a new thread for this - in anticipation of these shows, I conducted a pretty lengthy interview with Andrew. He's (characteristically) loquacious in the first half, but about 10 mins in, he begins offering some pretty intense insights regarding the intersection of race, commerce, and the future of the music. I know that the majority of you reside in lands afar, but hopefully you can find something of interest here:
  7. Hi, all- I'm excited to announce that a long-gestating project is finally coming to fruition. Karl Evangelista's Bukas with Special Guest Andrew Cyrille debuts May 27-28 in the Bay Area. Both of these shows are free admission, with all proceeds going to support local arts organizations. "Bukas" is Tagalog for "tomorrow." This piece explores the idea of Free Jazz/Free Music as an aspirational practice, using musical exploration as a method of imagining better futures. Bukas uses cutting-edge sounds to commemorate and embody the stories of radical Black and Asian artists. More info on the events may be found here: https://www.karlevangelista.com A few bullet points: Andrew is seldom on the US West Coast these days. I just want as many people as possible to get the opportunity to hear him. Thanks to some hard work (and the generosity of the California Arts Council), we were able to make that happen. This isn't a repertory exercise. I've written an entire program of new music for this show, and we're taking some real creative risks. Joining Andrew and me for date will be a cadre of top-flight Bay Area improvisers: Asian Improv aRts cofounder Francis Wong, United Front saxophonist Lewis Jordan, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, and my partner (and bandmate) Rei Scampavia. On May 26, we'll be releasing Ngayon - a more "in-the-idiom" free jazz recording we made back in 2021. Excited to say that we'll have physicals available at the shows. All the best to y'all, K/ep1
  8. This band is absolutely stacked, and I have my doubts that Braxton would pen something and name it "Geese Suite" (unless these are random track titles assigned by a bootleg producer).
  9. Terrible news. I don't much care for the term "underrated," as it tends to serve as shorthand for "something I get and other people do not." If any free jazz saxophonist deserved that honorific, however, it was Kidd. Like Frank Wright or early Frank Lowe, Kidd was an energy improviser. There's a through-line in that continuum that is, obviously, based in R&B and the blues. At the same time, Kidd had such a singular preoccupation with his altissimo register that you could hear multitudes in it. His smears of sound assumed a structural quality that was really remarkable, especially in extended contexts. Outside of Cecil and a handful of others, I can't think of many improvisers who more completely inhabited the intersection of physical stamina and intuitive constructivism. One of the most memorable concerts I ever witnessed was up at Guelph. Kidd was joined by Joel Futterman and Alvin Fielder. As the evening wound down, someone draped a cape over Kidd's shoulders, ala James Brown. In hilariously studied fashion, Kidd whipped around, saxophone in hands, and proceeded to dash around the room. Just bananas. My Mom was in attendance with me and - God bless her - she couldn't stop raving about it.
  10. Exactly. The music conforms to the performers and not the other way around. Emergency sounds to me like an expansion of existing vocabulary. The Tony on this record existed implicitly on Nefertiti.
  11. Jim - something I've always admired about your contributions to this forum is that you're very dialed into context. When I first joined this forum, I was getting a lot of my education from editorialized histories. The practical history of this music is so convoluted that I found myself heavily scrutinizing everything that wasn't a primary (or participatory secondary) source. Like, it's easy to cotton to a series of sensible truths, but seemingly every day of my working life has been filled with - "Welp. I was wrong about that one." A canon informed by documentation is intrinsically unreliable, mainly because western modes of information digestion train us to see patterns where they may not exist. Like, "Fusion" isn't really a thing so much as a series of compatible actions and ideas that happened to manifest in the same timeframe. My occam's razor-informed understanding of Lifetime is that Tony just wanted a rock band. Lifetime is a reverse-engineered Cream, in much the same way that a band like Sonic Youth or Rollins Band gets at free jazz from the opposite direction. The deal is that Lifetime is a syncretic construction - it's simultaneously an organ trio and rock band, and the components don't necessarily mesh into their intended shape. The drums are loud, in part, because they were mixed poorly. The albums are filled with vocals because Tony wanted to play songs. Neither of these identified problems confound Tony's intentions, because - like Raw Power - the music makes more sense when it goes into the red. I can guarantee you that if a young organ trio recorded something that sounded exactly like Emergency in 2023 - with worse mixing and ill-conceived compression - it would find an enthusiastic and un-perplexed audience. This is in part because "acceptable sound quality" has become a generationally subjective phenomenon, and in part because whoever recorded this hypothetical new album would not have played in the Miles Davis Quintet. Understandably, I think that we want badly for things to exist in forms that they do not. The Platonic ideal of Lifetime is not Lifetime. That Trio Beyond record is rad, but it's also not it. The fact that both of the classic Lifetime albums are flawed constructions is exactly the point - it's impossible to both experiment and land every decision.
  12. I also think that the feel is pretty elusive, but it helps to find an anchor point. The first bass note is on the and of 1, and the phrase "You ain't..." starts on the 1 (i.e., "You aint" = "1 &"). I try to focus on the keyboard. I just listened to it again, and I feel like the time feel is a little easier to make sense of if you start at the chorus and move forward.
  13. Stopping by to leave my condolences. Wayne's music has meant so much to me at so many different stages of my life, and it's difficult to process a loss of this magnitude when his music is still virtually everywhere - on stage, at sessions, coming out of other peoples' horns, popping up on news feeds, and on and on. I will say this re: Wayne's taciturnity - the debate over whether he had receded a little too far into the wallpaper of Weather Report - and, indeed, if his late-career resurgence constituted a return to form vs. a mere change of scenery - always struck me as a little wrongheaded. Like, what was the alternative? Did he need to play a two minute solo on every Weather Report track? I feel as if the core principles of Wayne's improvisational ethos - the unerring patience, the care and intention of his phrasing, the unexpected densities and silences - are the same ideas that animated his participation in Weather Report, his later fusion efforts, etc. Maybe he didn't play because he didn't want to? This also gets into some artistically awkward territory with regard to the valuation of maximalism over minimalism. The liners to It's About That Time (the "Lost Quintet" FIllmore shows) touch on this a bit. I do not think that Wayne the "fierce maximalist" is as a rule more appealing than the Wayne who plays two notes and dips. Your milage may vary, yes, but we're dealing at that point in subjectivities rather than qualitative absolutes.
  14. Turn It Over does Bruce a disservice, I think, in that he's clearly peripheral to the trio dynamic. The quartet on that record is not a "band" so much as a "trio + guest" - which is a reality that seems to have been rendered by decision rather than fact. The Laswell reconstruction/remix of the album is far more comprehensive than the original LP, and even that project is hedging between Young and Bruce. There is an unrecorded (or possibly unrealized) version of Lifetime with a fully integrated Bruce that is just as interesting as the Emergency trio. I think that Williams was looking to hook into that liminal space between electric Miles and Cream, which would require that both Young recalibrate his role and the music lose some of its rhythmic dynamism. This semi-imaginary version of the band might have lost the mercurial energy of the trio, but it would have gained something that virtually all of the fusion projects of this era lacked: density of attack. It's not that Bruce was a better technical bass player than, say, Rick Laird - it's just that was arguably a better rock bassist than most of his contemporaries. In terms of audio quality - I agree that the crappiness of the original Lifetime recordings feels correct and oddly necessary, but the Laswell remix changed my mind on everything. It is actually a better album IMO - it's just lacking the original LP's brutal brevity. The improvisations are are more complete, the mix is better, and Bruce at least makes a little more sense:
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