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Thread: Free Guitarists

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    It's all of it. Without any tension it would just be pretty-pretty forever and utterly boring. And likewise the other way round, equally pointless. But the trouble with a lot of free stuff is that the only release is when it stops :-)
    "A lot" doesn't imply a majority. In my small and biased sample of the genre, it certainly isn't the majority. Check this out.


  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    I couldn't listen to free jazz much beyond a track or two because I don't care for the feeling of being lost. To me it's like listening to someone speaking a foreign tongue; at first the simple sounds themselves might hold my interest, but eventually my non-comprehension frustrates me.
    Honestly, I don't get excited by a lot of free improvisation or free jazz in recordings. For me, it's not a music that's at home in that medium. It takes a lot of concentration, the context of the "now" is rooted in what just came before, and I feel the story has no context if it's not complete. 4 choruses of Autumn Leaves is different that way. The timeframe of engagement is completely different.
    People who say "I just don't like the sound of it; it's too different" are akin to those who say "I don't think French theatre is valid because I can't stand the sound of that language."
    Yes, it's different. Yes I see a lot of free form improvisational music. And yes, the spectrum of music among the really good music is profoundly masterful. But I could never walk out, or let my concentration lapse during a good performance. They're telling a story, cooperatively, and I'm included. It's really exciting and even if I've recorded it, an essential element is missing when the actual space is not part of the equation.
    Live music has been a part of jazz performance and the genre itself, since the beginning. The convenience of recordings has worked well for the parameters of song form jazz, but not so well suited for free improvisation. That's been my experience. And it may be that attending a good performance could be a mind changing experience.

    David

  3. Such a great thread, i 've never heard of many of these players. Made my weekend!

  4. #34
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    That thread is interesting indeed. I also have heard players I had never before, some of them clearly still express musicality. (in my book).
    With some player however, particularly one that doesn't belong in the same post as Frisell, a question is still popping in my mind, can you be out of the pocket when there is not even one...
    Of course putting a value on art expression is tricky and what is art and what is not? I would say if there is an artistic intention behind an action then it becomes art.
    A toddler vomiting on a canvas by accident is not expressing art while an artist purposely doing so, does...
    I find free jazz interesting and to some extent contemporary stuff because rules are getting twisted or "voluntarily" ignored.
    I personally still need some structure and would even put reactive noodling in front of expression of randomness.
    Last edited by vinlander; 09-16-2017 at 08:29 AM. Reason: better choice of wording
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    a great site for this kind of stuff is

    PREPARED GUITAR

    sadly the site has been dormant for awhile now, but still has much great info archived
    the editor had some health problems, cut back on the blog and stopped.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    some great names^...(sharrock!) but not yet mentioned-

    pete cosey, keith rowe of the amm (very early 60's uk ), sonny greenwich, fred frith, arto lindsay, tisziji munoz, gerry fitzgerald, hans reichel

    a great site for this kind of stuff is

    PREPARED GUITAR

    sadly the site has been dormant for awhile now, but still has much great info archived

    here's pete cosey with miles..the fireworks begin around the 5 minute mark



    cheers
    Cool, but I'd hardly call this 'free' playing. It had a definite structure---that 1-chord vamp. To me 'free' is more like Ornette and people like that: listening and bouncing off each other rather than off chord structures or straight time.

    Was that Mtume on percussion?
    Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble

    ---Me

  7. Jon Damian is also kind of a gem player and teacher, lots of left side ideas on playing and composing, has a great book on the subject too.
    Jon Damian


  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    Cool, but I'd hardly call this 'free' playing. It had a definite structure---that 1-chord vamp. To me 'free' is more like Ornette and people like that: listening and bouncing off each other rather than off chord structures or straight time.

    Was that Mtume on percussion?
    My guess would be that it's Mtume. Jimmy Heath's son btw. I agree that this Miles tune isn't an example of free playing.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endorphins View Post
    the editor had some health problems, cut back on the blog and stopped.

    thanks for that info...sad..great site!..had regular elferink column as well

    good thoughts sent

    cheers

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by fasstrack View Post
    Cool, but I'd hardly call this 'free' playing. It had a definite structure---that 1-chord vamp. To me 'free' is more like Ornette and people like that: listening and bouncing off each other rather than off chord structures or straight time.
    i get ya..but for me free is as much about sonics as notes played..and cosey certainly upped the ante for sounds a "jazz" guitarist should/ or shouldn't be making!!! haha...he certainly played with the idea of noise!! and ways of incorporating it into "music"

    like sonny sharrock did (pre miles) with herbie mann...totally took the sound elsewhere

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 09-16-2017 at 06:44 PM. Reason: clarity-

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    It's all of it. Without any tension it would just be pretty-pretty forever and utterly boring. And likewise the other way round, equally pointless. But the trouble with a lot of free stuff is that the only release is when it stops :-)
    I think the art in going outside is how you bring it back in. That's where the magic is, in this context.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    I think the art in going outside is how you bring it back in. That's where the magic is, in this context.

    yes all art is measured by its contrasts..what is white without black...silence without noise?

    it's the balance and myriad of shades, textures and tones that make art


    cheers

  13. #43
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    But some music is just outside. There's almost no coming back in.

    I considered myself a free guitarist, kind of. I played with Muhal Richard Abrahams and George Lewis in NYC for a minute among others. Did some playing with Myra Melford. The best thing, I think, is to open yourself up to play some early Ornette. If you can, play a bunch of Ornette with a piano-less band. That'll do wonders for your ears. There are no chords changes but OTOH they're there in an implied way. It makes you listen in bigger ways. Highly recommended.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 09-17-2017 at 10:16 AM.

  14. #44
    You might like this. 'In A Sentimental Mood' is the practical standard of the month. This is a take on that.


  15. #45
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    I think its good to let structure and familiar rest .. and walk around naked in a supermarket at noon..of course your safe and sane world will come to an end very quickly.

    way back in Brockport NY a friend wrote a play (the magic stone) and the music..at one point he went into the piano and played the strings to get an eerie effect that the play needed

    The guy who did the lighting had a guitar - he was left handed and played it upside down..that is the low strings were on the bottom of the fretboard and the high strings on top..so I played it the way I normally do..chords, runs all of it..I was fascinated that it sounded so strange it was like a "tape played backward" .. what normally were high notes now were bass lines and all the expected sounds were gone. I had to rethink the normal rhythm in a progression as the chords now demanded new directions and voicings

    this to me is a very easy way to play "freestyle" try it..play a tune you know well .. at the very least it will stretch your ears a bit while you walk around the supermarket..
    play well ...
    wolf

  16. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    Muhal Richard Abrahams
    Wow! So cool Henry.

    This is an important name! One of the founders of the AACM, anyone interested in creative music would be wise to investigate. In fact the first guitarist mentioned in this thread, Jeff Parker is also a member.

    I'd also encourage checking out the Chicago label International Anthem. They are putting out great records, check out Makaya McCraven's In the Moment, Jaimie Branch's Fly or Die, and Jeff Parker's The New Breed.

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