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Thread: Lost in Meditative Jazz.

  1. #16

    Default I'd forgotten about my jazz LPs.

    I spent around ten years buying anything and everything I could afford that looked good, and then I stopped. I was usually disappointed with AEOC records, unfortunately, their solo records too. Roscoe Mitchell's SOUND never did much for me. It was as if THEME DE YO YO was a big joke for them at the time.

    With regard to "skronk" - I'm much more appreciative of "skronk" when it's implemented into a more serenely beautiful piece. I noticed the original letter writer picked KARMA and IZIPHO ZAM - both of which have beautiful, meditative, thoughtful calm and also the most devilish, obliterated NIPPLES-like skronk too as the opposite side of the coin - Pharoah often does this and I love it. It was through the skronk on these albums that finally got me into Frank Lowe's BLACK BEINGS, Brotzmann's NIPPLES, that three-disc ALAN SILVA BYG I can't remember the name of, and many others.

    I learnt to love the skronk by learning to feel it rather than think about it. Within the course of a year it became the complete opposite of my original experience: it became therapeutic and cathartic listening, like a good ear-syringing, and Pharoah's albums were responsible for that. I still haven't been able to get into JC's ASCENSION though, but I do love SUN SHIP and MEDITATIONS.

    With regard to other BYG Actuel records, Arthur Jones' SCORPIO is a blinder, as is Delcloo/Jones' AFRICANASIA, the JOACHIM KUHN's are very listenable. Cyrille's and Lyon's are nice. Lotsa great LPs there, all seemingly recorded in the space of a year, between 1968-9.

    The BYG led me to the Philly Jazz label (Byard Lancaster's EXODUS, Sunny Murray's APPLECORES), and Charles Tyler's AK-BA Records which includes his own marvellous VOYAGE TO JERICHO; and Mustevic, which Soul Jazz seem to be getting round to.

    My big faves over the last ten years or so have been pretty consistent though -- Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra.

  2. #17
    Join Date
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    for those interested in Alice Coltrane Impulse! Japan just reissued the entire Impulse! catalog (in mini lp covers) including the never before reissued "Hunthington Ashram Monastery" (sorry for the spelling, i don't have the cd here with me!) and "Lord of Lord". You can find them on Forced Exposure or Amazon.jp and probably in other good stores if you need them.

    ciao da francesco

  3. #18

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    One thing that comes out when reading through some of the replies is how shronk really comes out as a scare word -- much 'free' stuff is seen as angry, or just noise, but Ayler is really melancholic and tuneful! he had 3-4 phases in his short life when he tried different approaches to his music so I'm wondering what your friend has heard. Also ornette always sounded very tuneful to me -- esp on those quartet albums in the early 60s. Additionally, much of this is seen as political/serious element and while that is true there is a prankster, joking element to much of it -- anthony braxton plays the ballon on a BYG release; cecil taylor introduced his vocals -- a bunch of shrieks and barks and nonsense -- later on.

    I'm not saying that some of it isn't difficult for some, and some orchestral jazz like alan silva I can't quite get into but -- cecil and art ensemble/braxton introduced elements from post-war classical into their work (cecil has been said to be 'too european' as a way to dismiss him but if you put cecil taylor unit 'it is in the brewing luminuous' side by side with rihm's (german contemporary composer) 'jadgen und formen' there is that same kaleidoscopic quality), art ensemble are very spacious, their handling of silence could be similar to new york school type composers (I actually love 'sound' as much as most art ensemble I've heard) and sun ra was an amazing organizer of large-scale sound, listen to 'it is frobidden' and how he the diff elements come in and out, all the contributions, whether abstract or song like, really fitting in...there are all sorts of things to it, like when eastern classical modes have also been used by alice coltrane -- I wouldn't say she's easier than the 'harder' stuff, a gd drone can be just as diff to get into (also discuss -- that final coltrane quinet prob has some of the most fascinating music that john or alive or pharoah sanders ever made).

    I like marion brown but don't have much so thanks.

    Other BYG -- Frank wright 'one for john'

    the two milford graves albs on tzadik are joyously abstract.

    peter brotzmann/hamid drake w/mahmoud gania (playing the guembri) on okka disk is a must -- great cross-culture meet up.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiku
    As the original-- though no longer-- host of the "kozmigroov" pages, I'm somewhat curious to know how this concept induced such a colourful reaction.

    Not being at all defensive and would be happy to clarify my own reasoning...
    such a reasonable response deserves a thorough reply! it's a extremely useful website and no personal offence intended of course...

    what i don't like about the "kozmigroov" concept is i'm sure exactly what makes it a useful term for many. i dislike the way it rolls together a whole range of music krautrock/jazzfunk/some reggae etc ad infinitum which, although bears superficial similarity to itself ("the spaced-out groove"), is essentially extremely distinct culturally/socially/philosophically. to me it's precisely like the food one gets in "fusion" restaurants. not indian. not thai, not chinese but a godawful collision of the lot.

    again terms like "kozmigroov" can be useful to get a handle on things, but when they're in danger of turning what they describe into a browny grey formless sludge, then from own personal perspective, they cease to be profitable markers.

  5. #20
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    such a reasonable response deserves a thorough reply!
    Heh. Now those are eight consecutive words that you'll never read on ILM...

    what i don't like about the "kozmigroov" concept is i'm sure exactly what makes it a useful term for many. i dislike the way it rolls together a whole range of music krautrock/jazzfunk/some reggae etc ad infinitum which, although bears superficial similarity to itself ("the spaced-out groove"), is essentially extremely distinct culturally/socially/philosophically.
    I agree with you, in the sense that the concept has become too broad to be a reliable utility. Many have positioned their own idea of what it should encompass, whether it be on kozmigroov-l, the Kozmigroov website, Signal to Noise (implicitly) or GEPR (formal definition.)

    I relinquished editorial control of the website a few years back and can partially dissociate myself from the current editorial focus. I did however draft the original overview and most of the conceptual examples remain. I still stand by these-- except for the more recent suggestions, which were not of my choosing. The caveat here is that not all of the work of each musician/group is representative. While the list includes some "krautrock" groups such as Embryo and Dauner's Et Cetera, these choices were far more jazz-based than their contemporaries. Same goes with jazzfunkĖ not all have the free approaches that differentiate them from the more standard jazzfunk (itself already a fusion, I realize.)

    My take on it? I hear a commonality with, for example, Ornette's Dancing In Your Head, Pharoah Sanders' Karma, Miles' On The Corner, and Don Cherry's Brown Rice. Quite simply put, it's (relatively) complex collective improv with a straightforward rhythmic groove that ties it together. Historically, this was the original jazz fusion before it was reduced to the muso maneuvers of jazzrock and the uninspired slickness of mid-70s jazzfunk. It saw some life again in the late 70s/early 80s by Sun Ra, Ornette/Prime Time, then was mostly abandoned until the mid 90s. Now back in strong health with the likes of Eivind Aarset (Norway), Collectif Slang (France), Matthew Bourne's Electric Dr M (UK), Burnt Sugar (USA). See also Dave Douglas' Freak In ensemble or Zorn's Electric Masada.

    I'm currently working on a position piece for Deep Water where I hope to further resolve this murkiness. And for the record, I prefer the term "free fusion" to "kozmigroov."

    again terms like "kozmigroov" can be useful to get a handle on things, but when they're in danger of turning what they describe into a browny grey formless sludge, then from own personal perspective, they cease to be profitable markers.
    Absolutely. See also Krautrock, prog rock, modern composition, electronica, etc. I'm sure Simon has similar feelings re. the misappropriation of the post-rock signifier.

  6. #21
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    Just had this on loop. Sunday reflection tackle
    Took a rest stop that wasn't on the schedule

  7. #22
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    Just posting this rubbish here so I can listen to it while I peruse other tabs


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