free jazz

V&B: Ornette Coleman & The Art of Entrepreneurship

Saxophonist and innovator Ornette Coleman was a musical trailblazer. Always curious and creative, he inspired a movement of new expression, questioning established practices as he sharpened even the most cutting edge of emotive performance. What do we do with inherited forms? How do we distinguish ourselves and coalesce our vision in the scrutiny and judgment of public taste? What value is there in earning the respect of our colleagues? How far are we willing to go to live our truth? What is genius and what is jive?

Sponsored by KUT radio, Rabbi and Jazz Historian Neil Blumofe in conversation with Rebecca McInroy. Featuring: Michael Malone, saxophone; David Young, trumpet; Red Young, piano; Roscoe Beck, bass; Brannen Temple, drums. Guest featuring Alex Coke, saxophone.

Sam Rivers (9.25.16)

Samuel Carthorne Rivers was an America jazz musician and composer who’s approach to jazz in the 50s and 60s added to the depth of voices coming out of the free jazz movement. Specifically River’s was known for his “inside-outside” style that moved away from and then toward predicted patterns and melody’s.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what the life and legacy of Rivers can teach us about the value of tradition, the importance of breaking away, and the significance of finding our way back.

Miles Davis’ Second Quintet (6.18.16)

In addition to his prowess as a musician, Mikes Davis was a master teacher. Inspiring generations of instrumentalists, he is perhaps best known for encouraging a young group that became known as his Second Quintet.

Along with Miles – Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams together contributed to the great furthering of ensemble playing, inspiring and challenging each other towards great expression.

In the second half of the 1960’s, this Second Quintet responded to free jazz and offered an articulation to turbulent times that still resounds in our day.

Johnny Hodges (7.27.14)

Johnny Hodges was an American jazz alto saxophonist best known for his work with Duke Ellington’s big band and Billy Strayhorn. His sound was so smooth and melodic that Duke Ellington said, just his tone could bring a tear to your eye.

In this installment of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what it means to add your voice to an ensemble, and to know that no matter how big of an impression you make it is but a blink of an eye in the cosmic landscape.

What does it mean to be everything and nothing at all? How do we negotiate our place in this universe, holding at the same time the grandeur and insignificance of each moment? Listening to Johnny Hodges we can understand how important it is to give all we have to making of each piece, and know that it is not the same without us and that we are nothing without it.

Eric Dolphy (6.29.14)

Eric Dolphy was an American born jazz saxophonist, composer and bass clarinetist who worked with many jazz greats including Charles Mingus to shape a new direction forward for jazz in the 1960s. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what Dolphy’s approach to his music and his life can teach us about courage and determination.