Music: Emil Klotzsch
Music: Emil Klotzsch
In Movement / Jack DeJohnette Ravi Coltrane Matthew Garrison (ECM)
NY Times (review)
There’s a sly urgency in Jack DeJohnette’s backbeat, which combines a strong forward pull with something cagey and equivocal. That rhythmic signature is crucial to the feel of some Miles Davis albums from the early 1970s and a range of other music since. The latest example is “In Movement,” the debut ECM release by an exploratory trio with Mr. DeJohnette on drums and piano, Ravi Coltrane on saxophones and Matthew Garrison on electronics and bass guitar.
Mr. DeJohnette, 73, has known the other members of this group since they were children, by way of their fathers, the saxophonist John Coltrane and the bassist Jimmy Garrison (who played in Coltrane’s quartet). That lineage provides a strong background hum for the trio, informing its repertory even without the obligations of a formal tribute.
The album opens with “Alabama,” John Coltrane’s mournful hymn, and later hits peak intensity with “Rashied,” a tribute to his last drummer, Rashied Ali. (A roiling, spontaneous duo for drums and sopranino saxophone, that track feels revelatory and ablaze.) There are slow, pensive offerings like “Blue in Green,” from a Miles Davis album on which John Coltrane appeared.
But the story here more often involves an elliptically assertive groove. On the title track, a group improvisation, Mr. Garrison lays a framework of looped chords and effects, over which Ravi Coltrane ventures a soprano saxophone melody, elucidating a song form in real time. It’s an impressive show of collective intuition and no less transfixing than the trio’s intently hazy take on “Serpentine Fire,” the Earth, Wind & Fire staple, or a sinewy original titled “Lydia.”
All About Jazz (review)
There is something of the “six degrees of separation” theory at work in this newly formed trio, led loosely, by the great Jack DeJohnette. The drummer/multi-instrumentalist works in the company of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane whose lineage is well known, and bassist/electronic artist Matthew Garrison whose father Jimmy Garrison was the bassist in John Coltrane’s classic quartet. And, of course, DeJohnette, early in his career, played with the fathers of both of his trio mates.
In Movement opens with an extended and stunning version of the senior Coltrane’s “Alabama.” While the trio loses none of the original version’s emotional impact, they nevertheless take a fresh approach with the addition of restrained electronics and Ravi Coltrane’s quietly surging tenor. The title track, one of two compositions where all three trio members share writing credits, again features a soaring performance from Coltrane, this time on soprano sax. A transformative take on the Miles Davis/Bill Evans “Blue in Green” includes some fine piano work from DeJohnette, a talent for which he’s often under-recognized.
What may seem like an unusual entry on In Movement is the Earth, Wind & Fire song, “Serpentine Fire.” DeJohnette, however, had worked with the legendary R&B group leader Maurice White in an early DeJohnette trio where the leader played piano and White was the drummer. DeJohnette’s “Lydia,”—written for his wife—is slow and atmospheric and a perfect counter for the more frenetic “Rashied,” a DeJohnette/R. Coltrane composition that sees the saxophonist blazing through improvisations set to DeJohnette’s blistering pace. The drummer’s own “Soulful Ballad” is just that, with DeJohnette back on piano and Coltrane turning in a quietly moving performance.
DeJohnette, in a 2011 NEA Jazz Master interview with The Smithsonian, described playing with John Coltrane as a …”physical and spiritual experience….” When looking at the veteran artist’s variety of output in the past twelve months, including Made in Chicago (ECM Records, 2015) and the fifty-year old Bill Evans Trio discovery, Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest (Resonance Records, 2016), it is evident that DeJohnette is as much the source as the recipient of those qualities. As a drummer he runs the gamut from refined, light touches to visceral spontaneity. He finds perfect band mates in the always erudite and appealing playing of Ravi Coltrane and the refined musicality of Garrison. In Movement begs for a follow-up.
Alabama; In Movement; Two Jimmys; Blue In Green; Serpentine Fire; Lydia; Rashied; Soulful Ballad.
Jack DeJohnette: drums, piano, electronic percussion;
Ravi Coltrane: tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones;
Matthew Garrison: electric bass, electronics.
This was the 10th (‘X‘) in the elements (Jazz & Ether-Jazz) series. The serendipity of acquiring the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman album, Song X was beautiful. Thus this edition became a squawking run through free & improvisational jazz numbers (begins softly with the Jelinek composition & gets progressively louder from there!)
This mix was later updated this past Spring to include the Dirkeman/Serries/Noble track, released on Tonefloat. A 5 track version is available for free download from Bandcamp
01 Jan Jelinek – Universal Band Silhouette
02 Bill Frisell – White Fang
03 Tomasz Stanko Quartet – Suspended Variations 5
04 Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Roy Haynes – Law Years
05 The Vandermark 5 – License Complete
06 Denison Kimball Trio – Cold Light of Day
07 Ornette Coleman/Pat Metheny – Mob Job
08 Miles Davis – Move
09 Charles Mingus – Bird Calls
10 Surrender to the Air – And Furthermore…
11 Anthony Braxton – Intervallic
12 Peter Brötzmann Trio – Sanity
13 Dirkeman-Serries-Noble Trio – From Assent to Refusal (excerpt)
14 Ornette Coleman/Pat Metheny – Song X
15 Jah Wobble & Evan Parker – Full On
16 Herbie Hancock – Call It ’95
17 Medeski, Martin & Wood – New Planet
Been enjoying some Techno today, courtesy of Mixcloud & Skyman. I sometimes make Techno mixes…but they’re usually Microsound & coarse-Ambient mixed in with a few minimal-techno tracks. My collection doesn’t afford me the depth to make rockin’ Techno, beat-driven monstrosities.
I generally utilize these mixes for early morning workouts…when I don’t really wanna’ drop to the floor & do sets of 50 elevated push-ups; but I simply say “Shut up!” & crank up the Techno (to drown out my thinking).
Playing tracks by:
Aturo Escudero, Flexible Fire, Ger Reccitelli , Alice Rose Malbetrieb , Kintar , Stas Drive , Artbat and more.
Atmospheres . . . !
Epitomizing a term I coined a long time ago, ether-jazz, as I began a series of mixes under the moniker ‘elements‘ (short for ‘elements of jazz‘ – but attempting to encapsulate a softer, more-akin-to-ambient, feel).
I’ve already employed Traces IX (album track 13) on an upcoming elements edition – & we’ll see what time does to the balance of these tracks…….
Back in the day bands and artists, in addition to releasing music, would publish “music manifestos” as a way of spreading their artistic vision, impacting culture, and promoting social change. Here we look at eight such documents, and why manifestos need to make a comeback.
by Leticia Trandafir on Landr
There was a time when bands made as many manifestos as they made records.
A manifesto is a statement of your artistic vision. It spells out what you stand for politically and aesthetically. It’s what you want to change in the world through your art.
Music isn’t just about how to write a song, it’s about making a cultural impact. Manifestos have the power to spark whole movements, provoke social change, and cause aesthetic revolutions that change our vision of art, music and beyond.
Some predicted the future, all of them broke away from the past.
While music manifestos may seem like a lost art, they’re a powerful tool in need of a HUGE revival. They make your musical message all that more powerful and long lasting.
Here are 8 trailblazing manifestos made by musicians that will inspire you to write your own:
What’s astonishing about this text is how early it was written: 1907. It pre-dates the more famous music innovators like Arnold Schoenberg, Edgard Varèse, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
During Busoni’s time, many people thought that music composition was in sharp decline. They lamented that the greatest music ever made was of the past – think Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.
We all know today that it’s not true – this bummed out attitude usually comes from fear and close-mindedness. Busoni’s manifesto had a fresher perspective: he wrote that the best of music was still to come – and that music would continue to get better for several thousand years. (I couldn’t agree more)
In highly metaphorical and romantic language, Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music describes music as a child that still hasn’t matured enough to become “free”.
[Busoni’s manifesto] stands as one of the most incendiary manifestos for the creation of new music and the impetus of musicians to create beautiful sound acts free from dogma, rules and hangups. – Adam Harper for Dummy mag
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Busoni was excited about technology and what it would bring to music. In his manifesto, he mentions early prototypes by Thaddeus Cahill – who created the first notable electronic instrument theTelharmonium.
Writing in 1913, Russolo believed that people were starting to become familiar with the new sounds of urbanization and factory work: mechanical, fast, and rhythmic noises.
Noise accompanies every manifestation of our life. Noise is familiar to us. Noise has the power to bring us back to life. […] Noise, gushing confusedly and irregularly out of life, is never totally revealed to us and it keeps in store innumerable surprises for our benefit. – Luigi Russolo
For Russolo, these noises were much more interesting and musical than the ‘boring’ sounds of traditional orchestral music. He encouraged people to listen for noises in their environment and think of them as music.
Art of Noises also predicted the use of synthesizers to create completely new sounds. Rusolo writes: “as soon as we will have found the mechanical principle which produces a certain noise, we will be able to graduate its pitch according to the laws of acoustics.” That’s in 1913!
Even though the Futurists were known for their love of war, violence and radical right-wing nationalism, Art of Noises remains a fascinating early document. It spelled out ideas that would re-emerge many decades later in experimental, punk and noise music.
This short manifesto was published in the liner notes of the seminal albumAmbient 1: Music for Airports. In it Brian Eno defines what ‘ambient music’ means for him – a definition that came to be synonymous with the genre.
Over the past three years, I have become interested in the use of music as ambience, and have come to believe that it is possible to produce material that can be used thus without being in any way compromised” – Brian Eno
Brian Eno is a British musician and visual artist. He’s among the most celebrated and active musicians in the ambient genre.
In his manifesto, he describes how ambient music – as opposed to ‘muzak’ or background music – keeps the feeling of “doubt” and “uncertainty.” It induces calm and creates “space to think.”
Eno adds: “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”
Brian Eno’s ambient revolution isn’t a loud and violent clash. Instead it’s quiet, meditative but nonetheless profoundly inspiring.
It was an important cultural and political moment in music. It made visible the misogyny rampant in the indie rock and punk scenes. Riot grrrls made music, but also did social justice activism, organized political rallies and madeDIY zines.
The zines they produced were perhaps as important as the music was – if not more. They immortalized their philosophy, allowing for the movement to spread to a national audience.
What is Riot Grrrl? appeared in Bikini Kill’s zine from 1991 and epitomized what the movement stood for:
BECAUSE us girls crave records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways.
BECAUSE we wanna make it easier for girls to see/hear each other’s work so that we can share strategies and criticize-applaud each other.
BECAUSE we must take over the means of production in order to create our own moanings.
P.C.C.O.M is short for Personal Contract for the Composition Of Music [Incorporating the Manifesto of Mistakes]. Less a manifesto and more a personal guide for making music, Herbert warns that it’s “not intended to be a definitive formula for writing music, either by me or by other people”.
Matthew Herbert is an electronic producer known for recording everyday sounds and chopping them up to make tracks. Unsurprisingly his manifesto focuses on sampling and mistakes.
To him, presets and sampling other people’s music (or even any pre-recorded sounds) is unacceptable. Mistakes on the other hand, are highly valued. They’re as important as deliberate decisions, and should be given equal attention.
This ‘personal contract’ will surprise some of you, even make you angry. But the takeaway here is that sometimes creating boundaries and rules for yourself will spark more creativity. Having infinite options isn’t always the best.
Shaking the Habitual is the fourth studio album by the Swedish electronic duoThe Knife. They are known for their experimental take on pop electronica, the Venetian masks they wear for performing and their anti-conformism.
As the title suggests, Shaking the Habitual is a call to shake up the status quo. The album came with comics calling for the end of extreme wealth as well as a manifesto.
The manifesto is a long poetic letter, at times quite hard to decipher. But it is filled with nuggets of wisdom:
We have made some decisions.
We want to fail more, act without authority […]
Now we have to start. We choose process over everything else. […]
The Shaking the Habitual manifesto also challenges hyper-capitalism, patriarchy, climate change and Monsanto. Who said electronic music can’t be political?
The Knife demonstrate how an album can take many shapes aside from the music, including poetry and comics.
Rave Ethics isn’t technically a manifesto – it’s a zine. I’ve included it because it offers an answer to the crucial question: how can we educate people in order to make club/rave spaces safer and more fun?
Because raves are not only parties where people go to lose their minds and get messed up.
As Catherine Hilgers (the creator of Rave Ethics) says: “Raves … can also be community, culture, home, family, and an introduction to alternative or anti-capitalist lifestyles. They can be instruments of tangible social change!”
But many parties and concerts are unsafe – especially for marginalized groups (women, people of color, trans folks…).
Rave Ethics seeks to educate clubgoers and ravers about creating an atmosphere of respect, wellness and fun. It’s a practical guide on safer behaviours on the dancefloor, from physical safety, to drug use, and consensual flirting. These concepts apply to any concert or event.
I want to permeate the rave with the incitation ‘Take responsibility for the energy you bring into the space’ (lifted from Oprah). – Catherine Hilgers
Contributors include many female-identified DJs, artists and party promoters from around the world.
Prince Rama is a New Age psych-dance project from Brooklyn formed by the Larson sisters – Taraka and Nimai. In their manifesto, they define their entire philosophy, laying down their guiding aesthetics and their own definition of reality, music, and sound.
The Now Age offers a spiritual take on concerts, discoballs, and records that will you get you thinking about those things in a new way.
In the Now Age, the music concert should serve as a bridge between worlds. This is not limited to an elite group of bands. Any band can participate in activating this potential. – Prince Rama
For Prince Rama, writing a manifesto is an integral part of making music. Some parts of the creative process go into the music, others into writing or visuals:
As Taraka told me over email: “Manifestos for me are also a way to collect all the stray ideas, philosophies, and images. […] I don’t really look at it as separate from the music at all, as it was all stewing in the same primordial soup at the time the album was written – only some bits of the soup went on to become more musical and others more philosophical and visual.”
Prince Rama are currently writing another manifesto. It will come out in September 2016 for the PS1 Art Book Fair… keep your eyes peeled!
Read The Now Age online.
Manifestos can come in all kinds of forms: online books, zines, liner notes, even t-shirts. They hold the power of artists’ ideas – and the power to spread them.
Fashion Designer and punk personality Vivienne Westwood wrote in a manifesto of her own: “We have the choice to become more cultivated and therefore more human.”
Manifestos are a step in that direction.
Your music and your ideas go hand in hand. So make your liner notes count! Write your convictions. Inspire people. Push for social change. It’ll make your creative message loud and clear and your music that much more meaningful.
So go ahead, write a music manifesto!
‘Conception’ was a beginning. ‘Reflection’ is looking forward and looking back at the same time. This is music from old friends and new acquaintances, which is just as it should be…
I was just rereading the release notes for the first release, the Conception compilation. I referred to that collection as a mission statement, declaring musically what I intended Free Floating Music to be. As I look back now, I can say that I feel that I accomplished what I had set out to do.
In the past five years, Free Floating has released
• 7 compilations representing 53 artists, and
• 29 albums representing 19 different artists
which, as of September 1, 2016, have been downloaded over 66,000 times, and played nearly 203,000 times. While I have not data to compare that to other artists or labels, I am personally gratified that this music has reached so many people.
But more important than statistics are the individuals who have been touched by the music. I’ve heard from teachers of special needs children who use the music in classes. I’ve heard from a father who uses the music to put his 5-year old son to sleep. I’ve heard from another person who said that the music greatly helps them deal with anxiety and depression.
This is the power of music. And it has been my goal to help connect listeners and lovers of this kind of music with some of the deeply talented artists who create it. And I wanted it to be free, to foster generous creativity and grateful listening. And I have been deeply blessed that artists whom I respect have trusted me to be a conduit to their music.
A reflection on the accomplishments of Free Floating would be incomplete if I weren’t to mention the Quiet Friends tribute compilation. To me, it was the pinnacle of the label’s mission and values. The album was a way to express gratitude from artists and myself to a musical inspiration and icon of ambient music, Steve Roach. And it was an honor to work with Steve personally, bringing him into the process as more than simply an honoree or listener. I am proud that I was able to create something that meant so much to him and the artists involved.
And now it is time for me to move on in my own musical journey. I am beginning to grow in my personal studies of jazz, as a listener and player. To me it is just another avenue of music, one full of expression and emotional resonance.
My goal is that the music of Free Floating will continue to endure into the future. (I am pleased that this compilation contains tracks from artists who have not appeared on the label before, which takes the music as much into the future as the past). The plan will be to make the music available free via The Internet Archive, and perhaps still through Bandcamp.
Finally, I thank those—artists, listeners, all—for being part of this project that has meant so much to me. Even more than the music, I will treasure the people whom I have connected with because of Free Floating. I am richer for you all.
This collection is the final gift of music from Free Floating. I hope that in it you find a hallowed place to think and to be.