Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge
The music is very conversational, and ranges from free jazz ferocity to quiet stillness. Until this release, there were no published SME recordings from between mid and lateand none of Stevens playing cornet before late - so a considerable gap has been breeched by Michael Wycoff Love Conquers All vital playing, mostly at London's Little Theatre Club.
All previously unissued. This 40 minute performance from starts off with just the 11 workshop musicians for Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge few minutes, and then everyone joins in for a long mainly sustained section, before ending with an all-out improvisation.
The London concert features two more of Stevens' didactic pieces, performed by nine Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge ten musicians. I guess there are some similarities…. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. On Challenge, the lineage can easily be traced directly to the innovations of George Russell and Ornette Coleman, as the horns focus on short, Jim Porto Rio riffs that segue to tight, focused solos.
Kenny Wheeler's playing is a big surprise, with thrilling, crisp spurts that point in a different direction than the some of Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge more staid roads he later pursued. Paul Rutherford articulates cleanly, seemingly indebted to a somewhat conservative post-bop aesthetic which he generally abandoned in later years, at least with SME.
The band acknowledged its debt to Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy with the floating, open-ended 2. Ornette and the brisk, leaping E.
The soloists give off sparks - Trevor Watts' biting alto sax, Kenny Wheeler's probing Kawand Tafari Trying To Keep I Down and Paul Rutherford's bruising trombone - with Stevens' fluid drumming holding everything together.
Few would guess that this was the first document of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Yes, there are tunes here Eno Another Green World dedications to Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman and some of the most burning free jazz ensemble playing going! Make no mistake about it.
This is music with clear ties to the free jazz developments of the mid-'60s. By the end of '66 they would go on to evolve a unique and personal approach to improvisation that would leave the influences of free jazz behind.
But this document catches the musicians at a critical juncture. Here, they are grappling with the balance of swing and freedom; torrid solos and collective interplay; thematic improvisation and spontaneous invention.
They tear into this set of thematic free exploration and deliver music that is imbued with hints of what was to come. Though there are a string of memorable heads and fervid solos, Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge is the collective interplay that stands out.
Intros to tunes swirl around the shifting sense of time Oasis Let There Be Love the horn players duck and bob around Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge other before settling on the driving free swing that ensues.
Rutherford's gruff trombone edges in on Watts' keening alto and Wheeler's clarion sweet tone cuts through the ensemble with a conceptual clarity. And underneath it all, Stevens propels things along with an elastic approach to time that stretches out into freedom without ever loosing a sense of pulse.
But listening to pieces like Travelling TogetherLittle Red Headand the closing End to a Beginning makes it clear that these are musicians who are on the brink of a discovery.
The inclusion of the 15 minute-long Distant Little Soul recorded in April of provides a telling contrast. Here, pulse and swing are set aside and in its place Sun Ra We Are In The Future a timbral exploration of bracing abstraction. Watts' piccolo is buoyed by the shimmering waves of Stevens' pointillistic percussion, Parker's spare probing lines, and Cambridge's resonant bass which acts as a grounding force.
The improvisation unfolds with an open feeling of space and momentum that slowly gathers force as the four move toward a conclusion that climaxes with bristling energy in the final moments. The final edition of the group was a trio of Stevens, Smith, and the saxophonist John Butchera configuration documented on A New Distance Inspired both by Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge free jazz and by the radical, abstract music Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge AMMas well as influences as diverse Mark Ernestus Ndagga Rhythm Force Yermande Anton Webern and Samuel Beckett two Stevens touchstonesthe SME kept at least a measure of jazz in their sound, though this became less audible in the later "string" ensembles.
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