Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Rock Lover's Guide to Jazz (2): Punk Rock Starts with Free Jazz

When I started out I was inspired by people like Ornette Coleman. He has always been a great influence- Lou Reed

This is the second installment of Jazz For Rock Lover's, a chance for lovers of rock and roll to have a look over the fence at 'America's classical music'.

Free Jazz is certainly the most experimental genre, one that was at it's peak in the 50's and 60's while rock was still in nappies.

Masters like Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler and John Coltrane (his later works) set out to sytematically challenge the established structure of the music. Yes, they still started with a quick theme, but from then on pretty much abandoned a reliance on set tempos or chords.

That doesnt mean there is no logic, however, listen closer and the sophistication and talent of these artists really comes thru.

One of the fascinating things about free jazz iit's connection to US punk; MC5, the Stooges, the Velvet Underground and Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band were all great fans of free jazz and tried to simulate it's wild horn solos on their guitars

When Iggy Pop guest was lectured at a college a few years ago he played too records: the Stooges and John Coltrane. Without these heroes of the avant-garde there may never have been punk !

Where to start in terms of albums:

1. Love Supreme John Coltrane
2. Fire Music Archie Shepp
3. Free Jazz Ornette Coleman Double Quartet
4. Sun Ra Atlantis
5. Art Ensemble '67/'68: Art Ensemble of Chicago

1 comment:

The RIpple Effect said...

Completely agree. Punk rock begins with free jazz.

Doesn't mean I can always listen to it, but your selections were great.

Very punk, very jazz

The Ripple Effect