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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why is free jazz the ultimate genre of music? (1)

Why is free jazz so fantastic? To me, free jazz is emotionally and musically the richest music ever made in history across the globe. Classical music has a predominantly esthetical function, with the emotional component starting to surface during romanticism (dark, gloomy, menacing, triumphant, ...), but that's about it. Original jazz brought fun into music, into the performance itself, in dancing. The blues brought in sadness, but also fun with the boogie. Rock music brought anger and protest. But free jazz jazz just simply offers the whole range of human emotions : sadness, anger, pleasure, doubt, menace, pain, joy, distress, loneliness, peacefulness, ... and not always in big brush strokes, but with all the subtleties imagineable. Free jazz offers a direct emotional expression which is no longer incapsulated in rhythm and melody. That's why, in order to appreciate free jazz fully, you have listen to the whole piece of music, undergoing the chaos at moments in order to appreciate the joy. Free jazz is a genre in which you have to submerge completely. This is not wallpaper music. Listen to Joe McPhee, listen to how he forces his sax to almost human expression (panting, whispering, hesitantly, shy, but also shouting, screaming, wailing). Listen to Charlie Haden's bass on "Silence", listen to Ahmed Abdullah's trumpet on "Song of the Times", list to the sax of Ken Vandermark, Frode Gjerstad, Vinny Golia. Listen to them. Free jazz is raw emotions.