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Jazz Forms - Evolution 2 - Into the Seventies

The  sixties was a time of experimentation and diversification for jazz. Free Jazz proved to be the most radical development, a music which departed from many of the former jazz practices. Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus and other artists approached rhythm, melody, harmony and form with concepts more familiar to classical avant-garde. As Frank Tirro states in Jazz, A History [p.376], "The tone row, atonality, musique concrete, electronic music, computer music, random composition, prepared instruments, chance performance, happenings, and even silent music were but a few of the many forays into the possibilities of musical expression being mounted by Western classical composers before 1959. But the introduction of any of these concepts into jazz had never been accomplished with any security before the thirty-year-old Coleman took his stand."

A group of musicians in Chicago led by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams formed an organization dedicated to exploring Free Jazz called the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, or AACM. Founded in 1965, the AACM attempted to educate musicians historically, socially and economically as well as provide a creative outlet for musical exploration. Concerts, recitals and recordings were sponsored, leading to the establishment of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, which included Roscoe Mitchell and Lester Bowie. Collective improvisation and global instrumentation were among the many distinctive aspects of this sound, which helped to set the pace of the Avant-garde jazz movement of the '70s through the leadership of artists like Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill and Jack DeJohnette.

In the latter part of the '60s, jazz began to incorporate rock elements back into itself. The repetitive bass pattern of blues and rock entered jazz in the late 1960's through tunes like Forest Flower by Charles Lloyd and albums like Tribute to Jack Johnson by Miles Davis. Personnel on Jack Johnson included Herbie Hancock, who went on to record tunes like the 1973 release Chameleon, and John McLaughlin, who formed the powerful 'Mahavishnu Orchestra' in 1971. Both artists, along with Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman with 'Prime Time', Joe Zawinul with 'Weather Report', and others revolutionized electric jazz and created a new popularity for the music. The many disciplines of jazz, including individual and collective improvisation, spontaneous interaction and unique live performances, combined with rock to produce the style called rock/fusion. This popular development aided in jazz becoming a world music phenomena in the 70's.  [top]
- article by Frank Singer 2002



Jazz Origins
I - Beginnings 
II - Jazz and Technology
III - Radio and the Industrial Beat    
The Swing Era
I - Precursors
II - The Decade of Swing
III - The BeBop Strain
A First Look Back
New Orleans Revival

Jazz Forms

The Blues
The 32 bar Song Form
The Latin Influence
Hard Bop
Evolution 1 - A New Dialogue
Evolution 2 - Into The Seventies
Evolution Of The Jam Session
Post Modernism


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