It goes without saying that next to avant-garde, free jazz is among the absolute most niche subgenres of the jazz realm. It is so targeted in its appeal because the music therein takes the term “improvisation” to the farthest extreme. Ave B Free Jam, the forthcoming recording from the quintet of Laurence Cook, Jacques Coursil, Warren Gale, Perry Robinson, and Steve Tintweiss, is a prime example of how that full on improvisation appeals to a very strict, targeted audience group. Scheduled for release Tuesday through Tintweiss’ inky dot Media, the 21-track (yes, 21 songs) record is a 78-minute ride of total cacophony that will only appeal to the noted audiences. That is proven in part through the record’s songs (if one even wants to call them songs). They will be discussed shortly. The songs’ sequencing adds even more to the argument that the recording will appeal to those audiences. It will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation. All things considered, they make Ave B Free Jam a work that the most devoted free jazz fans will appreciate, but likely few other audiences.
Inky dot Media’s forthcoming release of Ave B Free Jam is a very targeted presentation that will appeal to a very specific group of listeners. Those listeners are the most devoted free jazz fans. Said audiences will appreciate this one hour, 18 minute record in large part because of its 21 total songs. The songs in question range from full on chaotic cacophonous jumbles of noise to more contemplative improvised works throughout. The organic way in which each song evolved and came to being makes each song unique from the last as there clearly was no set timeline for each composition. Between the wild trumpet lines, the equally experimental call and response approach to the horns, the fully wild drum section and more, each song is so far out there. Through it all, there is no definitive beginning or end to any of the songs. That is at least until the fading notes of the record’s finale. Everything else comes across as one giant, jumbled mass of notes all over the place. Yes, there is at least some seeming structure, but even therein, the compositions come across as totally organic chaos. To that end, these arrangements are only going to appeal to the noted specific fans of the genre and of performance art in general.
The wild, cacophonous works that make up the body of Ave B Free Jam are but a part of what will appeal to the noted audiences. The songs’ sequencing is just as important to that limited appeal as the songs themselves. As already noted, the songs in this record come across as one, giant mass of sound. Because of the way that each song evolves as it progresses, there is no definitive real beginning to end to any of the songs. They just flow from one to the next. This means that audiences who want to even attempt to appreciate the record have to actively listen to the record, not just passively hear it as they go about their daily duties. This is going to limit the record’s appeal just as much as the songs themselves because of that required investment in the songs. Of course for those noted audiences who are devoted to free jazz as an art form, those individuals will certainly appreciate the fluid nature of the songs and in turn find more engagement and entertainment in this element.
The production of Ave B Free Jam works with the sequencing and songs to round out its most important elements. The production is so important to examine because of the age of the recording. The performance featured herein was recorded in 1967, more than 50 yeas ago (54 years to be exact). That the recording’s tapes stood the test of time for such a long time is impressive. Audiences can really hear the close quarters in which the quintet recorded these songs all those years ago through the drums and horns alike. The way in which the instruments’ sounds echo in the confines of the apartment in which they were recorded really helps audiences to visualize that recording space. On a similar note, that the album was recorded in those seeming confines, audiences will be just as surprised to hear how each performer’s part cuts through. It is interesting to note that not one instrument overpowered the others. That is a true tribute to the work that went into the recording’s original production and that used to resurrect the audio in this case. It establishes a positive aesthetic sense to the presentation and completes the appeal for the record’s presentation. When this item is considered along with the impact of the songs and their sequencing, the whole will no doubt appeal to the most devoted free jazz fans.
Inky Dot Media’s new archived recording, Ave B Free Jam, is a presentation that only the most devoted free jazz fans will appreciate. That appreciation comes in part through the record’s arrangements. The arrangements in question are full on free jazz, with each evolving organically as it progresses. The songs are chaotic to say the least, but oddly enough, there is some control to that chaos in each composition. The songs’ sequencing adds to the appeal for the noted audiences. That is because it requires listeners’ full attention to the presentation. That is because the whole of the record is presented as one full on jam session, not so much a group of separate songs. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. That is because of how well it ensures the audio is balanced from one song to the next. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make the record a presentation that only the most devoted free jazz fans will enjoy.
Ave B Free Jam is scheduled for release Tuesday through inky Dot Media. More information on this and other titles from inky Dot Media is available at:
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