Alice Coltrane was a composer, performer, guru, and the widow of John Coltrane. Over the course of her musical life, she synthesized a wide range of musical genres including gospel, rhythm and blues, bebop, free jazz, Indian devotional song, and Western art music. Franya Berkman's book, Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Wesleyan University Press, 2010), illuminates her music and explores American religious practices in the second half of the twentieth century. The talk by Dr.
As jazz continues to migrate across national, ethnic, and cultural borders, jazz festivals function as physical and symbolic spaces where the dynamics between the vernacular and the cosmopolitan are put into play. In this talk, Dr. Anne C. Dvinge of the University of Copenhagen takes a closer look at jazz festivals, and specifically the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, as manifestations of this double sense of the cosmopolitan and the vernacular, where jazz enters into dialogue with local music cultures.
The Brazilian composer, bandleader, and bassist offers his views of improvisation and talks about his experiences with the legendary Hermeto Pascoal.
In this video, saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath talks with colleague Salim Washington about his new autobiography. In I Walked with Giants (Temple University Press, 2010), Heath creates a "dialogue" with musicians he has known and family members. This discussion expands on Heath's account of his life and career. He offers his thoughts on growing up in the big band era and the advent of bebop; on the experience and legacy of racial segregation; on the jazz tradition and the avant-garde; on the power of the music industry and what constitutes musical integrity and quality.
Saxophonist Roy Nathanson talks about his experiences as a Columbia student during the unrest at the University and the militant aftermath during the late 1960s, his development as an artist in an astonishing variety of forms (including composition, songwriting, poetry, acting and teaching) his work with global stars and with high school students, and his basic need to "tell a story" no matter what artistic language he uses. Click here for Part II.
An examination of the new jazz that emerged shortly after the middle of the 20th century. Discussion will include the work of musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, Albert Ayler, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago; the economics and politics of the period; parallel developments in other arts; the rise of new performance spaces, recording companies, and collectives; the accomplishments of the music and the problems it raised for jazz performance and criticism.
In 1974, Anthony Braxton was considered a radical among radicals. This was true not least for his distinctive embrace of post-war European avant-garde composition, then assumed to be particularly uncongenial to the average listener's taste.
Lewis notes that race has been "e-raced" in studies of free jazz in Europe and America, which he finds surprising given the music's emancipatory thrust. He investigates a recurrent ambivalence about the African-American contribution to free jazz, at once taking experimental cues from it, yet denying that it is capable of evolving or progressing itself. After uncovering coded assumptions about race, ethnicity, and class behind this ambivalence, Lewis explores the possibilities for artists to transcend, transgress, and perhaps even erase boundaries.
Since their emergence from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the 1960s, the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago have created a distinctive multidisciplinary performance practice centered on collective improvisation. In this article, Steinbeck conceptualizes Art Ensemble improvisations as networks of group interactions, and he analyzes an excerpt from a 1972 Art Ensemble concert recording using a phenomenological perspective informed by his conversations with the group about the performance and by my own experience as an improvised-music practitioner.