This article examines Jimmy Giuffre’s unwarranted obscurity. Giuffre, who was a leader in the West Coast or “cool” school, later made some of the earliest free jazz recordings. Lock suggests that his failure to fit into predictable or convenient categories may have upset the “jazz police” in the music industry and media. Lock discusses the finely balanced ensemble playing and understated style of the pathbreaking free jazz recordings Giuffre made in the early 1960s just before a 20-year hiatus in his recording career.
Author Graham Lock accompanied Anthony Braxton's classic quartet on a 1985 tour of England, and this book is the result. It includes interviews Lock did with Braxton and other members of his group. These are connected with concert reviews, stories of the tour, and essays on Braxton's ideas on musical languages and notation systems. Braxton candidly discusses his own startlingly innovative work as well his ethical, political, and spiritual beliefs.
This artful survey of interpretations of jazz history is also a challenge to the notion that there can or should be any single one. DeVeaux shows that common claims as to what jazz is about-a form of resistance, a folk art, an autonomous high art-coexist uneasily, and that each has been used to support otherwise antagonistic stylistic agendas. He calls for closer inquiry into the nuanced history of each period and rejects dogmatic assertions of jazz' "essence."