DARWIN’S THEORY

June 11, 2012 – 4:30 am

Update: June 25, 2012

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You all have noticed the site has been very slow about 12 days ago. It’s because our host has withdrawn the extra bandwidth they previously provided at no extra charge. Times are hard for everyone.

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The state of Free Jazz.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

JOE McPHEE’S SURVIVAL UNIT III & EVAN PARKER
Café Oto, London 2012 [no label, 1CD]

Live at Cafe Oto for BBC Jazz on 3, March 23, 2012 and broadcast April 23, 2012. Ex webstream stereo.

“Great stuff from a stellar band, real free jazz again from Jazz on 3!! - TomP who shared the music on Dime.

Free jazz was a shock to the system. Started in the ’50s by many like Archie Shepp who invented the term “fire music”, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and others, it has moved on. Shepp today sings the blues. Ayler has passed as has Coltrane and Derek Bailey.

The man with the horn, Miles Davis, dallied with the style on a couple of albums but was more into popular jazz. In his later years, Davis covered Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson.

This is why free jazz is so hard to sustain. It no longer “shocks”. It was conceived as an opposition to jazz convention but it was never able to replace it. It has gone through some permutations like “punk jazz” and “avant-garde jazz” but to the less than worldly fanboy, it is just a collection of “skronks”, “bah-doops” and “eee-uuuus”. Its day in the sun in the ’60s has probably come and gone. There are still practitioners, mostly in New York.

Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit is now on to version 3. Like Europeans Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, the American McPhee soldiers on. Every performance is entirely new. An “improv”. This performance at Cafe Oto is not fiery nor frantic but reflective and tentative. The fan who enjoys free jazz is one who immerses himself in new things, fresh experiences and deeper meaning. They are in the minority. Free Jazz is not dead. Just thinking about the next step.

Thanks TomP for sharing and fastone for the beautiful artwork.
- Professor Red

Lineage:
320k AAC > i-Stream recorder (44.1k wav) > Nero (vol/bal adjust, phase invert) > TLH (md5, flac 6 + SBE/decode check)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Interview (4.3MB)
Track 02a. Improv - Part A (34.9MB)
Track 02b. Improv - Part B (28.3MB)
Track 2, Improv, is 46 minutes, split up here for easier access.

Lineup:
Joe McPhee - pocket trumpet, soprano saxophone
Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello
Michael Zerang - drums
and guest
Evan Parker - soprano and tenor saxophone

Joe McPhee’s latest album is Syncronicity: Ltd released last year but recorded in 2007. Buy it here.

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  1. 3 Responses to “DARWIN’S THEORY”

  2. Perfect timing!

    I am seeing Joe McPhee (w. The Thing) in Detroit tomorrow night.

    By Evil dr.Louie on Jun 11, 2012

  3. This is a fantastic recording. Thank you very much. The accompanying short history of Free Jazz is, however, almost complete gibberish.

    By Jon-A on Jun 11, 2012

  4. Please visit our web site for new and vital free music.

    By Slot Sleet on Jun 14, 2012

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