Archive for the ‘Avant Garde’ Category

The Avant-Garde…Don Cherry & John Coltrane

April 14, 2010 1 comment

Don Cherry played the Cornet or Pocket Trumpet. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1936 and raised in Los Angeles, California. He played with Ornette Coleman’s landmark quartet becoming very well known by 1958. One of my favorite of his is his album as co-leader with John Coltrane “The Avant-Garde” , this one is a classic, two incredible artists recording this in 1960 but wasn’t released till 1967 on the Atlantic label. The lineup features bassist Charlie Haden, Percy Heath on Monk’s “Bemsha Swing”  and drummer Ed Blackwell. Lots of improvisations going on here and Coltrane’s “Sheets Of Sound” being matched by Cherry’s high energy, showing us how a Cornet can be played.



Dave Holland Quintet

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Mr. Dave Holland, British jazz bassist. Dave was a regular at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in 1967. Miles Davis and Philly Jo Jones were there in 1968 and after hearing  Holland play Jones asked Holland to join their band. His first recording with Miles Davis was “Filles de Kilimanjaro” and can be heard on two other of Miles’s most  incredible albums, “In A Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew. Holland stayed with the Miles Davis group for two years. He then joined the avant-garde jazz group “Circle” with Chick Corea, Barry Altschul and Anthony Braxton recording on the ECM label. Hollands first recording as a leader came in 1972 his landmark  “Conference Of  The Birds” Through the 70’s Holland played with Stan Getz, and the “Gateway Trio” with John Abercrombie, and Jack Dejohnette. The 80’s saw him playing in many quartet and quintet formats and with Herbie Hancock on occasion.

The Dave Holland Quintet is his resent group formed in 1997 including  Robin Eubanks on trombone and cowbell; Steve Nelson on marimba and vibraphone; Chris Potter; and Billy Kilson and more recently, Nate Smith drums. The quintet has also recorded as the Dave Holland Big Band. Dave Holland won his first Grammy award as a leader for “What Goes Around” (2002) in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. The second Big Band recording,” Overtime” (2004) was released on Holland’s own Dare2 Records  label and in 2005 won the Grammy again in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Recently Dave Holland released his web exclusive “Archive Series Vol. 1  The Dave Holland Quintet 97”. Enjoy, Discover!!

Jimmy Giuffre…overlooked innovator.

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

James Peter Giuffre (April 26, 1921 – April 24, 2008) was an American jazz composer, arranger and saxophone and clarinet player. He is notable for his development of forms of jazz which allowed for free interplay between the musicians, anticipating forms of free improvisation.

“Jimmy Giuffre (pronounced “Joo-fray”) was not part of the “Free Jazz” movement of the mid 60’s, but his subtlety and understated music was part of the early creating process that lead to free improvisation. His goodwill and spirituality, good humor and lofty technique, soulful blues and classical influence combine to make his body of work unique. Jimmy Giuffre 3, The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet and Free Fall are essential albums I highly recommend.

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Coleman Hawkins

April 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Coleman Hawkins considered the first important tenor sax player. He is strongly associated with swing , big band and was influencial in the bebop and avant guarde era. Many tenor men and horn players to come would try to emulate his mood and style of playing. Miles Davis was quoted as saying “when I heard Hawk I learned to play ballads”. His 1939 jazz recording of the pop standard of Body and Soul featuring him improvising almost the whole song except for the first four bars. A definate evolutionary step in the jazz world. He also was the leader of the first ever bebop recording session with Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach in 1943.coleman_hawkins Known for his adaptable playing style he  had no problems communicating with younger players. In the late 50’s he was considered a “has been” when he recorded with Roy Eldridge and John Coltrane. theloniousmonkwithjohncoltranecoverhawkins-and-eldridgeLester Young known as “The Prez” said that Coleman was the first “Prez” and I was the second.

Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster is a favorite of mine.

Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival 2009


John Coltrane

March 7, 2009 Leave a comment

John Coltrane beginning in Bebop and Hardbop, he later practically invented Free Jazz. He is one of the most significant saxophonist in jazz history. He played on Miles Davis’s Milestones and Kind of Blue albums playing the tenor sax. His influences were Sidney Bechet and Steve Lacy and in 1960 he formed his own group McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Steve Davis recording for Atlantic Records My Favorite Things which also was a debut for his decision to change to soprano sax. 1961 saw his switch to Impulse where he was given creative freedom to explore and help lead the way in the Avant-garde or Free Jazz movement. 1961 also saw Reggie Workman replacing Steve Davis on bass and Eric Dolphy as a second horn. During this period critics branded him and his group as members of the “anti-jazz” or “Free jazz” movement lead by Ornette Coleman. 1962 Dolphy left the band and Jimmy Garrison replaced “Workman” to form his “Classic Quartet”. This quartet in 1964 recorded the most favorite album A Love Supreme. In 1967 John died of Liver Cancer leaving behind a tremendous legacy. Ravi Coltrane his son is a tenor and soprano saxophonist, band leader and composer. He plays in the group The Blue Note 7 commemorating Bluenotes 70 years as a jazz leader.

John Coltrane discography Link