Archives for January 2017

Inherently Cool Personalities

Some people are inherently cool personalities.

I think cool is an aesthetic that permeates our culture at large.

And, cool comes to most individuals with time.

Among my favorite musicians, Miles Davis was always cool, even on the records with Bird you could sense he was hearing something else.

THE CITY IS CRYING

This track is from a Brubeck quartet album released in 1964 (I was nine years old). It was also one of the LPs my brother Richie Pratt gave to me after I began playing saxophone. It’s still among my favorites from any era because it epitomizes the soundscapes created during the prime of his generation.

I also really like all of the saxophonists, who, like Desmond here, remained grounded in the blues, but also dared to play music that was not bop.

PERSPECTIVES

A critic recently referred to me as one among the unheralded musicians on the Kansas City scene.

The context was very positive and complimentary.

And, (the context) was speaking largely to the fact that at the stage I’m at in my career, I am rarely able to “hang out” like I did when I was becoming, and thus, not on the local pop radar.

That type of profile describes most of the artists on earth.

THE AVANT-GARDE

We grow up and become the artists we worked to become.

That doesn’t mean we don’t still study and grow, we do.

It simply means there is perhaps another entire scene out here that is largely ignored.

I’m guessing it’s always been.

That’s cool because most of us here have figured it out and have adjusted our lives accordingly.

The reviewer spoke positively about my artistic voice.

Acknowledgement. And the work continues. Always.

~ Cb

Also see:

THE AVANT-GARDE – The jazz avant-garde-also known as “free jazz” or “The New Thing”-explodes into the narrative of jazz history around 1960; it can be understood as a modernist agenda that underlies the entire history of jazz. With bebop, jazz evolved as a “modern art,” and it continued to challenge conventions and defy the preconceptions of audiences. In this chapter, we examine the avant-garde “pioneers,” Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor, to see how progressive ideas of jazz performance and composition finally become so outrageous that many people simply refuse to recognize it as jazz. We meet the new generation of avant-garde performers (Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler), and learn what older musicians (Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane) made of the new scene. We examine the theatrical representations of Sun Ra and the collective activism of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which includes the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, and Muhal Richard Abrams. We also consider the reaction to the avant-garde, usually known as post-bop, through the 1960s music of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and Andrew Hill. Finally, we take the avant-garde scene from the 1970s to the present through Loft Jazz (e.g., David Murray) and M-BASE (Steve Coleman, Greg Osby).

  1. Avant-garde was originally used to denote the military advanced guard. It eventually came to refer to pioneering work in the arts. Avant-gardism was meant to liberate artists from tradition and often went hand-in-hand with progressive social and political thought and action. Supporters applauded social changes; detractors bemoaned the threat of moral laxity and political anarchy.
  2. One generation’s avant-garde is the next generation’s mainstream. Two prominent avant-garde movements of this century gathered steam following the world wars. Jazz was vital to both.

Source: W. W. Norton, “Jazz” by Scott DeVeaux and Gary Giddens

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