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Old 11-08-2011, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Free Improvisation

Not really sure where to start... I noticed that there wasn't a thread on this genre, so I figured I would go ahead and make one.

Definition: free improvisation or free music is improvised music without any rules beyond the taste or inclination of the musician(s) involved

Technically, improvisation has existed since the dawn of musical history, but free improvisation (more or less) began in the 1960s with musicians, such as: Derek Bailey, Group Ongaku, AMM, The Nihilist Spasm Band, and Sun Ra.

Some examples:





So... as you can see from the videos above, there's a lot of variety in this genre of music.

Thoughts? Favorite musicians? Any interesting information?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's an improv between Melt Banana and Mr.Bungle I really like, sounds like neither:

Melt Banana + Mr.Bungle part A:



Melt Banana + Mr.Bungle Part B:



I would also recommend John Zorn, Fred Frith, Sun City Girls(not on albums but you can find some crazy **** of them doing stuff live), Boredoms(sometimes), Melt Banana lite(Melt Banana with only electronic noise), Anything with Yamataka Eye, Mike Patton, Keiji Haino, Peter Brotzman, Chris Cutler, Hanatarash(again, Eye does his fair share), Tatsuya Yoshida, Hijokiadan(Warning: REALLY disturbing show), Merzbow, etc.

Here's a fun one by Merzbow:

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Old 11-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The likes of Zeena Parkins, No-Neck Blues Band, John Butcher, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Lol Coxhill, Joëlle Léandre, AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band and Art Ensemble of Chicago are gold.

There are some great bands around too, like Sunburned Hand of Man, Vocokesh and Sapat, who approach it from a contemporary psychedelic rock angle. Quite a few current psych-folk acts incorporate free-form into their music as well
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Double post, apologies, but how could I forget the awesome Limbus 4?



The Cosmic Jokers material is great too.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
The likes of Zeena Parkins
Yes! Another Parkins fan! To be honest, even among the improviser/avant audience she for some reason falls between the cracks. Ridiculously underrated talent:



I also really like her work with Elliot Sharp(who is vastly overlooked as well). I should probably also add Karou Abe, and Evan Parker to the list I haven't already, as well.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I once took a very long lesson (entire day) with Bern Nix from Ornette Coleman's group (the grandfather of Free Jazz), we talked about the mechanics behind Harmolodics, Ornette's theory of Free Improv.

Instead of playing things that we already know and patterns rehearsed, he imparted to me the concepts behind letting everything you know just go, keeping your technique poised for free-flow thoughts and interaction. Distancing yourself from your expectations, allowing there to be a Collective Consciousness within the room, within the musicians, the surrendering of Ego.

I realized how difficult it was to maintain this type of improv, it was brutally honest, to yourself at the very least, you can't lie to yourself, you know when you are 'really' free-formin' and when you were not.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
The likes of Zeena Parkins, No-Neck Blues Band, John Butcher, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Lol Coxhill, Joëlle Léandre, AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band and Art Ensemble of Chicago are gold.
What albums would you recommend for The No-Neck Blues Band and The Art Ensemble of Chicago? I've been meaning look into them, but I've never really known where to start.

Quote:
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I should probably also add Karou Abe, and Evan Parker to the list I haven't already, as well.
Definitely. They're two of the most unique free improv/jazz sax players to ever live... especially Parker (who sometimes sounds as if he isn't even playing the saxophone).
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Pat View Post


What albums would you recommend for The No-Neck Blues Band and The Art Ensemble of Chicago? I've been meaning look into them, but I've never really known where to start.



Definitely. They're two of the most unique free improv/jazz sax players to ever live... especially Parker (who sometimes sounds as if he isn't even playing the saxophone).
Clomeim by the No-Neck Blues Band is a must I'd say, whilst People in Sorrow, Les Stances a Sophie, Phase One and Bap-Tizsm are my favourite AEC albums... Though I've only delved into about a quarter of their huge discography.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is really cool!"
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I never liked it until I started unintentionally doing it with my group. Maybe improvisational music is the true essence of what many would consider music for musicians.
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