Table of Contents


 Part II

Part I:

Jazz and Society

In a recent interview published in American Heritage (reprinted in the March 1996 issue of Utne Reader), trumpeter, educator, and jazz spokesperson Wynton Marsalis commented on the connection between jazz and democracy:

Jazz is a music of conversation, and that's what you need in a democracy. You have to be willing to hear another person's point of view and respond to it. Also, jazz requires that you have a lot of on-your-feet information, just like a democracy does. There are a lot of things you simply have to know.

In jazz you have the opportunity to establish your equality based on your ability. That's the chance you have in a democracy. It doesn't mean you're going to be even, but you do have an opportunity. And often things won't go your way; they'll go the way the majority takes them. So you'll have to go with them and make the best out of a situation you might not like.

The principle of American democracy is that you have freedom. The question is "How will you use it?" which is also the central question in jazz. In democracy, as in jazz, you have freedom with restraint. It's not absolute freedom, it's freedom within a structure.

The connection between jazz and the American experience is profound. Believe me, that's the heart and soul of what jazz is. That's why jazz is so important. And that's why the fact that it has not been addressed has resulted in our losing a large portion of our identity as Americans. Because the art form that really gives us a mythic representation of our society has not been taught to the public.


Marsalis makes explicit in this statement the implicit connection between the organization of group improvisation and social/political conceptions of freedom.3 By their very natures, improvisatory groups are small societies collections of individuals reacting to each other, and the parameters of the improvisational context reflect conceptions of freedom, social organization, and democracy. This aspect is, in fact, far from hidden from the musicians, and many of them, as the quote above demonstrates, talk about it quite openly. The manifestations of the "mythic representations," however, vary tremendously, and provide a clue as to what is meant when their creators talk about them. For example, the neoclassical forms of jazz which Marsalis promotes have specific, and in my opinion rather narrow, parameters of expression, or "restraints" as he refers to them; certain types of discourse are not allowed, and therefore the music manifests a particular type of democracy, which allows a particular type of freedom.4

free jazz as a "mythic representation"

"Free" or "avant-garde" jazz (music which, interestingly enough, Marsalis would exclude from the jazz canon) are also "mythic representations of society," and were, in some instances, created with the issues of socio/political freedom particularly in mind. In an interview with with Len Lyons, Cecil Taylor addresses this issue. Lyons had asked Cecil about his piano technique:

You want me to talk about certain things, but I'm prepared to talk only about the things I think are important. I'm interested in the cultural importance of the life of the music. The instrument a man uses is only a tool with which he makes his comment on the structure of music. That's why the evaluation of what a cat says about how he plays music is not too far from the noninteresting things he does when he is playing. That person wouldn't have too profound an understanding of what has happened in the music and the culture. We have to define the procedures and examine the aesthetics that have shaped the history of the music. That's much more important than discussing finger dexterity. We might as well discuss basketball or tennis.

[Lyons] "Well, what does distinguish your approach to the music from the other approaches?

The history of the people, the culture, even the things they forget consciously. The way they cook, speak, the way they move, dress, how they relate to the pressures around them. What you experience in life informs (in-forms) you. If you work on One Hundred Forty-fifth street in Harlem and years later in Tokyo, where you are taken to see the sights, you experience . . . the environment, listen to the sounds, watch the movement.

You'll be able to see that there are not these separations between things. There are different aesthetic choices made. What happened in the latter part of the eighteenth century in Africa had a profound effect on painting. The concepts of musical organization now have to be broadened to accommodate the worldwide awareness of music.

The "mythic representation" Taylor explores has broad parameters there is an attempt to allow large-scale cultural influences to exist in his work without attempting to subsume them under a totalitarian structure; they are to emerge on their own, through the individuality of the players. Most interesting here is his comment on the relationship between musicians and musical structure; musicians are "commenting" in it, struggling with the tension between the "restraints" of structure and the experiences which "in-form" the individual. Yet this "mythic representation" Taylor postulates is not a form of musical anarchy, as his music is often incorrectly presumed to be. Structure does exist in Taylor's music, although it operates in a way which may seem anarchistic from Marsalis's point of view.

The Social/Political Environment of Taylor's Early Music

While it is literally impossible to describe the multiplicity of forces that influence and shape an artistic movement, there are three interwoven cultural forces which I will discuss as being central to the development of Taylor's music. These are the incorporation of bop into the "mainstream" conception of jazz, the civil-rights movement and the accompanying focus on black consciousness and aesthetics, and finally the musical focus on spirituality. My approach has been greatly influenced by the work of Ronald M. Radano, particularly his book New Musical Figurations:.

His view is summed up in this paragraph from the introduction:

Today, the nebulous categories of popular and art blur into a complex and encompassing web of subverted binaries, perpetuating Marshal McLuhan's vision of an "all-inclusive nowness," a world in which "fragmentation is the essence." The previously stratified categories of culture . . . have begun to look like outmoded constructs. Urban music in the postwar United States has come to resemble an extended series of fusions and oppositions existing in the matrix of mass culture. The patterns of interaction and conflict, too complex and intertwined to be sorted out systematically. . .relate inextricably to former hierarchical divisions as well as to the new institutional formations that affect the contours of American life as a whole. These have not only encouraged stylistic intersection, but have challenged the effectiveness of the standard categories by which we define musical practice. Former classifications of musical genre, while perhaps still somewhat useful as means of distinguishing aspects of style, appear less and less helpful in providing an accurate appraisal of the complexities of contemporary artistic life.7

bebop and the "mainstream"

The history of jazz music itself is an "extended series of fusions and oppositions." One of the most pronounced was the "bebop revolution" of the late forties, with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonius Monk as the progenitors. This radical music rose up in opposition to "mainstream" jazz, a term first applied to small group, swing oriented jazz, mostly dance music. Bop was aggressive and intellectual compared to swing, and received hostile reaction and dismissal by many critics (though certainly not all) who denounced it as "cold, unemotional, and harmful to the future of jazz."
8 Charlie Parker himself had distanced his music from the "mainstream," stating "Bop is no love child of jazz. . . [it] is something entirely separate and apart."9 There were inevitable comparisons between this black "art" music and the European canon, and Parker commented in 1953: "They're different ways of saying things musically, and, don't forget, classical music has a long tradition. But in 50 or 75 years, the contributions of present-day jazz will be taken as seriously as classical music."10 But by the mid fifties, there was a deliberate, and evidently quite successful, attempt to formulate jazz history along the lines of the European canonical model. Critical approaches had been broadened to not only incorporate bebop into the "mainstream" aesthetic, but to describe it as a historical inevitability. While many American critics pushed for this, such as Ross Russell and Leonard Feather, the most extensive work was André Hodeir's book Jazz: It's Evolution and Essence. The clearest example of this type thinking appears in the chart in chapter two "The Evolution of Jazz and the Idea of Classicism" which lays out the various "Ages" or "Periods" of jazz: Primitive (c. 1900(?) - 1917), Old time (1917 - 1926), Pre-Classical (1927 - 1934), Classical (1935 - 1945), Modern (1945 - ).11

This attempt to create in jazz an analog to the European canon of music fell prey to the same exclusionary and homogenizing principles as the model which it sought (and continues to seek) to emulate. By codifying certain aspects of the music, a formulation as to "what jazz was" was created, a formulation which pronounced a new stability which undid the "harmful" effects of bop. However , the conceptual framework which gave rise to this construct was, in many respects, antithetical to the African-American aesthetics it sought to institutionalize. Radano comments:

Yet the mainstream ultimately worked against itself, its visibility coming at a price: appropriated and depoliticized, this monumental recasting of jazz stood in direct conflict with values and perspectives grounded in the African-American vernacular. By revising the nature of black music to fit the tastes and attitudes of a white consensus, the construct denatured the "blues" character of an artistic heritage built upon the necessity of culturally affirmative, creative resistance. Further, by encouraging the growth of a rountinized style as a basis for "serious" artistic progress, it went against the grain of a black ethos that had historically challenged codified common practice and the analytic frames of a European musical tradition. By removing the music from the social and ideological categories that had previously given it meaning, the mainstream of jazz would stand or fall according to the measures of "all fine music," becoming, in the favored phrase, "America's classical art form."12

the political implications of the "mainstream"

Clearly, the appropriation of jazz history by white mainstream culture produced a "mythic representation" which was at odds with the experience of many black musicians, and white musicians sympathetic with black aesthetics. Whereas as jazz, and particularly bop, had previously been a voice of challenge and resistance, it was depoliticized and stripped of it's context. Jazz had now even become an exponent of cold-war ideology which proclaimed a homogenized, classless and raceless society without conflict; a 1955 New York Times article stated that jazz was "America's secret weapon. . . Right now its most effective ambassador is Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong. A telling propaganda line is the hopped up tempo of a Dixieland
band . . ."
13 The State Department sponsored tours by Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, and many others. Despite the inclusion of black musicians like Gillespie, most artists sent on tour were white. Critic Leonard Feather was even hired to host "Jazz Club U.S.A," which was broadcast on Voice of America behind the iron curtain.14

jazz and the civil rights movement

One must consider this depoliticization of jazz against the rise of black awareness and attempts at cultural redefinition (or self-definition) energized by the civil rights movement and black nationalism of the fifties and sixties. The history and circumstances of this time are well known and require no restatement here; the crucial element is that it had a significant effect the reaction to the "mainstream" co-option of jazz music. For many, the struggle against the mainstream was a struggle to assume control of their own history. In his 1963 essay "The White Jazz Critic," LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) writes:

There were few "jazz critics" in America at all until the 30's and then they were influenced to a large extent by what Richard Hadlock has called " the carefully documented gee-whiz attitude" of the first serious European jazz critics. They were also, as a matter of course, influenced more deeply by the social and cultural mores of their own society. And it is only natural that their criticism, whatever its intention, should be a product of that society, even if not directly related to the subject they were writing about, Negro music.


We take for granted the social and cultural milieu and philosophy that produced Mozart. As Western people, the socio-cultural thinking of eighteenth-century Europe comes to us as a historical legacy that is a continuous and organic part of the twentieth-century West. The socio-cultural philosophy of the Negro in America (as as continuous historical phenomenon) is no less specific and no less important for any critical speculation about the music that came out of it.15

free jazz and jazz history

The fifties saw a multitude of new forms of jazz; modal, "cool," hard bop, etc. There was also an attempt by Gunther Schuller and others at "Third-Stream," a self-conscious fusion of jazz and classical. While these forms expanded and explored the language which had now been accepted as "jazz" in extremely inventive, artistic, and individualistic ways, nothing challenged the dominant paradigm so deeply as the the music variously called "free-jazz," "avant-garde jazz," "the new thing," or most tellingly "anti-jazz." New harmonic and sonic materials invoked twentieth-century developments in "classical" music. Yet these materials were not self-consciously appropriated as they had been in "Third-Stream" music, but rather were incorporated according to a self-proclaimed "black" aesthetic. These musics cast doubt on the assumptions formulated in the fifties as to what jazz was. Yet they did not reject the history which they brought into question, as perhaps Parker did, rather they embraced it. In an interview with Nat Hentoff, Cecil Taylor stated "The greatness of jazz occurs because it includes all the mores and folkways of Negroes during the last fifty years."
16 In particular, the intellectual and revolutionary character of bop was seen as a foundation for this music: "[F]or jazzmen now to have come to the beautiful and logical conclusion that bebop was perhaps the most legitimately complex, emotionally rich music to come out of this country, is . . . a brilliant beginning for a `new' music."17 The revolutionary character of this music, therefore, functioned through simultaneous acceptance and rejection the constructs of jazz history. It was the mainstream conceptions of black music history, not the history itself, which "anti-jazz" artists sought to debunk. In "An Artist Speaks Bluntly," saxophonist and playwright Archie Shepp wrote:

'Jass' is an ofay's word for a nigger's music . . . Give me leave to state this unequivocal fact: jazz is the product of the whites- the ofays- too often my enemy. It is the progeny of the blacks, my kinsmen.

In short, "the new music" presented a radically new and revolutionary "mythic representation of society"; a representation which was itself simultaneously a "fusion and opposition" of social and musical developments.
19 For many, of which Archie Shepp was perhaps the most vociferous, the music itself was a revolutionary statement against the white power structure:

My music is functional. I play about the death of me by you. I exult in the life of me in spite of you . . . My music is for the people. If you are a bourgeois, then you must listen to it on my terms. I will not let you misconstrue me. That era is over . . . I will say to you. . ."Strike the Ghetto. Let my people go."

socioeconomic struggles in free jazz

Needless to say, critical reaction to "the new thing" was often hostile, and most musicians had difficulty in booking gigs and getting record companies to take interest in their music. One of the main problems was that the only existing venues were ones that were historically created for "mainstream" jazz, and the traditional economic functioning of jazz clubs was somewhat antithetical to the demands made by the new music. Bassist Buell Neidlinger, who played with Cecil for several years, portrayed the situation accurately:

[T]here is no economic advantage to playing music like that. It's completely unsalable in the nightclubs because of the fact that each composition lasts, or could last, an hour and a half. Bar owners aren't interested in this, because if there's one thing they hate to see it's a bunch of people sitting around openmouthed with their brains absolutely paralyzed by the music, unable to call for the waiter. They want to sell drinks. But when Cecil's playing, people are likely to tell the waiter to shut up and be still.21

The political aspects of the music were highly controversial as well, and were often discounted or seen as "a million light years away from the actual notes and chords and modes and rhythms of jazz."
22 The musicians and their supporters were not silent to these reactions, and often openly criticized the critics, such as LeRoi Jones' essay "The White Jazz Critic" quoted earlier, Archie Shepp's article quoted above, and Taylor's 1963 Village Voice article, which stated "Critics are sustained by our vitality. From afar, the uninformed egos ever growing arbitrarily attempt to give absolutes."

Even when places to play and record were found, exploitation by club owners and record companies was often profligate.
23 Despite a certain amount of recognition, in America but especially in Europe, many of the musicians lived in poverty.24 Some, like Sonny Murray, didn't even own their own instruments. The experience of these musicians was compounded by the public exposition of corruption in the music industry when, in 1960, the Federal Trade Commission reported that bribes had been taken by 225 disc jockeys and other broadcasting personnel in order to play certain records. Dick Clark of ABC's Broadcast U.S.A. television show admitted that he had a financial stake in the songs he played.

attempts at collective organization

The reaction of the "avant-garde" musicians to what Archie Shepp described as "the crude stables (clubs) where black men are groomed and paced like thoroughbreds to run until they bleed or else are hacked up outright for Lepage's glue"
25 was self-organization. In 1960 Charles Mingus and Max Roach organized "The Rump Festival" to counter the Newport Festival. The truly seminal event, however, was the 1964 "October Revolution in Jazz,"26 a festival of "the new music" organized by Bill Dixon. This festival, which included Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Guiseppi Logan, and many others. For a number of the young musicians, this was their first exposure. This and the next festival, "Four Days in December," prompted Dixon, in consultation with Taylor to form the collective organization, the Jazz Composers Guild under the philosophy that "You can't kill an organization, but you can kill an individual."27 Members of the Guild included Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Rosewell Rudd, Jon Winter, John Tchicai, Carla and Paul Bley, and several others. The racial makeup of the Guild demonstrates clearly the inclusive nature of the philosophies of many members of the avant-garde. Bill Dixon explained "[White jazz musicians] are treated significantly better, but not much betterthat's why they're in the Guildthan Black musicians, and that is simply because they play jazz, which is looked on as something `primitive.'"28 Weekly concerts were organized, and it was planned that recording and nightclub contracts would be negotiated through the Guild rather than by individual members. The Guild fell apart when Archie Shepp began individual contract negotiations with Impulse records.29

The Guild was really the first attempt a collective organization, and several others followed, including the Black Arts group (organized by LeRoi Jones), the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, and in Chicago the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). While organizations like the Guild, the Orchestra, and many other included white musicians, some, like the Collective Black Artists and the Black Order of Revolutionary Enterprise, espoused exclusionist ideology. It should be pointed out that there was a musicians union, the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802, and the musicians were required to belong to the union in order to work. Most of the artists, however, felt that the union was uninterested in them, except at dues paying time. Cecil himself called for "a boycott by Negro musicians of all jazz clubs in the United States. I also propose that there should be a boycott by Negro jazz musicians of all record companies . . . all trade papers dealing with music . . . and that all Negro musicians resign from every federated union in this county. Let's take away the music from the people who control it."

the place of the artist in society

Behind this self-empowered vision lay a rather romantic notion of the place of the jazz musician in the ghetto. If jazz musicians were freed of their poverty and allowed to pursue their artistic goals unfettered, they would "operate at a maximum capacity on all levels." Because an artist is "so close to reality, he would be able to spell out in a language the community could understand exactly what his work is about and how it has relation to them- how it comes out of perhaps the same problems they're struggling with."
31 The difficulty the musicians were having, both economically and the perceived lack of attention in the media, was seen as a form of active oppression, not just "economic inconvenience." The large attendance at certain performances, and especially the reception in Europe, were cited as evidence for public acceptance, both actual and potential, of "the new music."

spirituality in free jazz

Co-mingled with the collective social and political movements of the late fifties and the sixties was the religious revival, the most visible examples of which were The Nation of Islam, Malcolm X's Afro-American Unity group, and Martin Luther King Jr. As theses movements fused religion and spirituality with political discourse, so too "The New Music" was often considered a spiritual as well as political voice. Some of the musicians made the connection explicit; for example in December of 1964 John Coltrane recorded the album "A Love Supreme."
32 Coltrane was a practicing Christian, and the supreme love referred to is the love of Christ. Yet Coltrane's spirituality, like the spiritual musics of others of the movement, was inclusive rather than exclusivefor example McCoy Tyner, the pianist for his quartet at the time, is a Muslim. Sun-Ra was a mystic and practiced astral projection. Perhaps the most pronounced spiritual orientation was in the music of Albert Ayler, who based much of his music on "Negro" spirituals. His album titles included Angels, Spirits, and Spiritual Unity.
The nature of the spiritual characteristics of this music are addressed LeRoi Jones' (Amiri Baraka) 1966 essay "The Changing Same (R&B and New Black Music):

The new jazz people . . . seek the mystical God both emotionally and intellectually . . . John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun-Ra, Pharaoh Sanders, come to mind immediately as God-seekers. In the name of energy sometimes, as with Ayler and drummer Sonny Murray. Since God is, indeed, energy. To play strong and forever would be the cry and the worshipful purpose of life . . . The music is a way into God. The absolute open expression of everything.33

The religious character of the music, then, is not devotional but rather an invocation of divine energies, a trait not unlike some African religious music. Coltrane claimed to have a "vision of God" before composing A Love Supreme, and had "visions of God a lot of times when he was playing."

Of course, not all of the musicians involved in "The New Thing" were attached to a religious tradition, but the lack of an institutional base did not nullify the spiritual characteristics of their music. While Archie Shepp (a Marxist), Cecil Taylor, and Ornette Coleman were "three versions of a contemporary Black Secularism,"
35 the spiritual aspects of their music emerged "in the spiritual precincts of its emotional telling."36 As Jones described it, collective improvisation is an "all-force put together, and is what is wanted . . . pushed by an emotionalism that seeks freedom."37 The freedom sought is a personal quest for individuality, the "freedom to want your own particular hip self."

The investigation of the self through improvisation is at the basis of Taylor's music in particular: "The investigation of oneself means the attempt to hear the calling of those great black minds that have preceded one, and to understand the responsibility, through the investigation of the orders that they maintain, to define what the essential and aesthetic perimeters are that make this music."
38 Spirituality, then, derives from the "free" sonic interplay between the individual and the collective: The music "once free, it is spiritual." Specifically, through the invocation of the "mores and folkways of Negroes" the music becomes an "actuality, [a] summoner of Black Spirit, the evolved music of the then evolved people."39 The music is not about spirituality, rather it is spirituality manifestthe making of the music is itself a religious event:

[The] first order to be recognized in the rhythmical celebration is indeed the homage that the musicians pay to the continuance of life, and that is not only the life of people, but the life of all things that move.

It means the magical lifting of one's spirits to a state of trance. It means the most heightened perception of one's self, but one's self in a relationship to other forms of life, you know, which people talk about as the universe. It means experiencing oneself as another kind of living organism much in the way of a plant, a tree- growth, you see, that's what it is. And, at the same time, when one attains that, one also genuflects to whatever omnipotent force that make you, made it, possible. I'm hopefully accurate in saying that's what happens when we play. It's not to do with "energy." It has to do with religious forces.40

 Table of Contents


 Part II


2 Tony Sherman, "The Music of Democracy: Wynton Marsalis Puts Jazz In Its Place" Utne Reader no. 74 (March-April 1996): 29. back
3 Musical interactions based on social/political ideology are by no means the sole purview of African-American musical traditions, although it can be argued that African-American musical structures have profoundly influenced most other American and European improvisational constructs in the latter half of the twentieth century. back
4 For example, Marsalis says "Jazz means learning to respect individuality. You don't have to agree with me, I don't have to agree with you. . . . it's learning how to reconcile differences, even when they're opposites." In a couple of paragraphs, he states "You have to want to make somebody feel good with what you play." Later in the interview he opines ,"It was with the type of things that that late-period Coltrane did that destroyed its relationship with the public. That avant-garde conception of music that's loud and self-absorbed nobody's interested in hearing that on a regular basis. I don't care how much publicity it gets. The public is not going to want to hear people play like that." Clearly, certain individuals' voices, influences, and lines of thought are excluded in Marsalis' democracy, where all communication seems, ultimately, determined by what he thinks "the public wants to hear." (As of present, I have been unable to find a definition of democracy which takes as it's basis that all communication should "make somebody feel good.") back
5 Len Lyons, The Great Jazz Pianists (New York: W. Morrow, 1983), 304. back
6 Ronald M. Radano, New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton's Cultural Critique (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). back
7 Radano, 12. back
8 Leonard Feather's description of Nat Hentoff's denunciations in "A Plea for Less Critical Infighting, More Attention To The Music Itself" Downbeat (Dec. 16, 1965): 13. back
9 Downbeat (September 9, 1949): 20. Reprinted in December 1990. back
10 Downbeat (July 2, 1964): 40. back
11 André Hodier, Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence (New York: Grove Press 1956), 24. back
12 Radano , 17. back
13 The New York Times (November 6, 1955): 38. back
14 It should be noted, of course, that this propagandistic unity was not all it seemed, of course. Gillespie commented at one point: "The black people are becoming more and more dissatisfied. And if changes don't take place within the next ten years, there'll be a revolution." Quoted in Frank Kofsky's essay "Black Music: Cold War Secret Weapon," Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (New York, Pathfinder Press 1970, 20. back
15 Leroi Jones, "The White Jazz Critic,"Black Music (New York, William Morrow & Co. 1968), 12-14. back
16 Kofsky,140. back
17 Jones, "The Jazz Avant-Garde"Black Music , 69. back
18 Archie Shepp,"An Artist Speaks Bluntly," Downbeat (Dec. 16, 1965): 11. Many other musicians rejected the term "jazz." In 1971 Miles Davis said the label "jazz" was equivalent to calling someone a "nigger." back
19 The forms this new music took were as highly individualistic as the artists who created them. Most well known, other than Taylor, were Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, and at the end of his life, John Coltrane. Coltrane is a particularly remarkable case. One of the most highly influential jazz musicians since the forties, he pioneered a variety of styles; "cool" with Miles Davis' band; as a leader; hard-bop, modal jazz, and then finally, in the last two years of his life, the "avant-garde". As attested to by the earlier comment from Marsalis, many musicians reject his late music, but his music developed in a clearly organic progression. back
20 Shepp, 42. back
21 A.B. Spellman, Four Lives in the Bebop Business (New York: Limelight Edition 1966, 1992), 8. back
22 Leonard Feather, "A Plea For Less Critical Infighting, More Attention To The Music" Downbeat (Dec. 16, 1966): 13. Ironically, Shepp's article quoted above appears two pages earlier in this same issue. back
23 Frank Kofsky provides an economic analysis of an evening at the Five Spot in Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music, 148. His "evidence" is not documented, however. back
24 I was informed by Marilyn Crispell that Cecil didn't make money enough to pay taxes until he was fifty years old in 1983. back
25 Shepp, 42. back
26 Named, of course, after the Russian October Revolution of 1917; a good indication as to the ideological leanings of the musicians and the political nature of the music. back
27 Valerie Wilmer, As Serious As Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz (New York: Serpent's Tail 1977), 214. back
28 Ibid. back
29 This footnote has been deleted. An explanation and link to further information on the Guild will soon appear here. back
30 Kofsky, 144. It should also be noted that, while Cecil musical and political focus is on racial equality and "African methodology," he was always inclusive of white musicians. back
31 Ibid., 144. back
32 Interestingly enough, this album was the last of his "middle-period albums", and thrust Coltrane into his final period which was undoubtably "avant garde". Soon after "A Love Supreme," he recorded "Ascension" (recorded July 28, 1965), a lengthy collective improvisation featuring many of the well known avant-garde players, including Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Pharaoh Sanders and Marion Brown. back
33 Jones,"The Changing Same (R&B and New Black Music),"Black Music, 193. back
34 from a quote by Bobby Timmons, J.C. Thomas Chasin' the Trane (New York: Da Capo, 1975) 187. back
35 Jones, "The Changing Same," 197. back
36 Ibid., 186. back
37 Ibid., 195. back
38 Cecil Taylor interview. J. B.Figi, "Cecil Taylor: African Code, Black Methodology" Down Beat (July, 1975): 13. back
39 Jones, "The Changing Same, " 189. back
40 Figi, 14. back