Just after World War II, American composers and jazz performers were interested in indeterminacy and improvisation. Yet the composers tended to deny the influence or importance of jazz in a tacit move to keep their music "pure" of associations with racial protest then emanating from the jazz sphere. Lewis identifies John Cage and Charlie Parker as representatives of "Eurological" and "Afrological" approaches, respectively, whose differences turn on their attitude toward the expression of race, ethnicity, class, and political ideology in music.
In this Berlin-New York phone interview, saxophonist Steve Coleman presents what Völtz calls his "philosophy of cosmic energy," and his ideas on improvisation, language, structure, freedom, and innovation, often making his points with the help of anecdotes about from his own career.
In Ann-Marie MacDonald's novel Fall On Your Knees, women improvisers (including a fictitious character based on Bessie Smith) use their music to transcend both conventional musical practices and gender roles. In Sidall's reading of MacDonald's book, Smith is a viable role model in life as much in fiction, since she "signif[ies] that kind of freedom to imagine, and even create, new communities."
Despite the favorable environment for jazz in France, African-American musicians’ turn toward using intellectual and formal techniques of European art music during the 1970s met with a cool reception in the French jazz press. Lehman suggests that a genuine fascination with this new music was tempered by received notions about race and musical idiom, which viewed through-notated forms and intellectualism as uniquely French or European.
Jazz history is sometimes – too often! – told as a sequence of turning points – a journey from one seminal moment to another, lingering at the milestones where everything – cultural, aesthetic, and even political – supposedly coalesces into "the new." One of these moments happened sixty years ago at the Elks Club on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. On July 6, 1947, Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon locked musical horns with their tenor saxophones. Portions of the night's playing were released on a series of four 78s on the Bop! Records label.
The Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto supports creative improvised music and musicians in the Toronto area through fundraising and generating public awareness. This Roundtable of founding and current AIMToronto Board members discusses the organization's achievements and growth, and reconsiders its goals in light of the challenges the Board has faced.
Robinson focuses on the relationship between writers associated with the Black Arts Movement (including Amiri Baraka, Addison Gayle, Jr., Hoyt Fuller, Larry Neal, Ishmael Reed, and James Stewart) and the experimental jazz of the 1960s. The Black Arts Movement looked to black musical expression as a site of authentic artistic "blackness." Robinson asserts, however, that the literati of this movement may have actually essentialized the black subject and obscured the diverse range of protest originating from the musical arena.
In this essay, often cited and reprinted, Schuller argues that a jazz solo's thematic structure should be considered on a par with its swing, melodic interest, and originality. He presents Sonny Rollins' "Blue Seven" solo as one possessing all of these qualities and analyzes it bar by bar to show the elements of formal thematic coherence within it.
Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer have been frequent collaborators. In this conversation, they share their thoughts on the challenges of becoming South Asian jazz musicians: confronting their Indian-American families' attitudes toward the music, finding their own voice amidst the richness of Indian musical forms, engaging the South Asian American youth community in New York, dealing with various kinds of prejudice-all while trying to keep the creative edge in their music.
This dissertation examines how creative women improvisers are subject to gendered representations and receptions by the media, festival, and record producers. Current dispositions towards women, whether deliberate or unintentional, influence future engagements for women improvisers. In addition, the relative exclusion of feature articles on women improvisers or as leaders at festivals leads to what I call the myth of absence - the assumption that women are not interested in participating in the exploration and development of experimental creative improvised music.