"free" jazz story

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#1 Thu, 1997-06-05 07:01
John Saylor
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"free" jazz story

naismith@smartt.com writes: [x] Free Jazz I think suffers today from being played by musicians not of the highest order, and sometimes not building up and mastering past idioms before tossing it all out of the window

A brief story to illustrate this point. This story was told to me by a member of the New England Conservatory where these events transpired. I cannot vouch personally for their verity, but I have no reason to doubt it.

The Arkestra were in residence at NEC [I think this was after Sunny's stroke]. NEC has had a jazz program for some years, including many "free" players. Well, one of the jazz ensembles played some "free" stuff for the Arkestra members. I do not beleive they were impressed.

Then the Arkestra took up their instruments and did this amazing thing, starting out with drums and slave hollers and basically covering all the styles of African American music up to "free" jazz. Needless to say, everyone was astounded by the performance.

I believe they were telling the students in music what naismith@smartt.com wrote to the list.

-- John Saylor MIT E40-335 617.253.0172