Jack Wright (b. 1942) is a saxophone extremist, dedicated to to free playing since 1979. Described twenty years ago as an "undergrounder by design," he is a veteran improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. He has played mostly on tour through the US and Europe since the early 80s in search of interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 75 he is still the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation," as guitarist Davey Williams called him in the 80s, on the road as much as ever. He continues to inspire players outside music-school careerdom, playing sessions with visiting and resident players old and new. His partners over the years are mostly unknown to the music press, and too numerous to mention. He's said to have the widest vocabulary of any saxophonist, including leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds.
Evan Lipson (b. 1981) has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal realms in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. Drawn towards aberrant perspectives at an early age, his formative experiences were primarily rooted in extreme and often discordant forms of rock, metal, free improvisation, modernist composition, jazz, oddball pop, soundtracks, noise, and electronic music. Massimo Ricci, of Touching Extremes writes, "Lipson easily stands among the best bassists I've heard lately, his terrifically strapping tone epitomizing the decision to really learn how an instrument works." Lipson most frequently tours with Roughhousing (including Zach Darrup and Jack Wright). He is also active with Who's Your Daddy? featuring dancer Cilla Vee/Claire Elizabeth Barratt and guitarist Davey Williams. Lipson has composed music for several films, as well as a recent collaboration with Duplex Planet-creator David Greenberger, Tyson Rogers, and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. He also may or may not have some degree of affiliation with an organization known as MEINSCHAFT.
About the book: The free musics are free jazz and free improvisation, genres rooted in the sixties that continue today under different circumstances. Their approach was originally exploratory free playing, which encouraged the maximum range of sound and feeling. In Europe they were and still are accepted genres for career professionals. In North America this is only true for free jazz, a style that continues basically unchanged since its origins. Free improvisation that does not communicate a jazz or free jazz identity and feeling is outside the range of media attention, art music audiences, and credentialing institutions.
Free playing is found as often in private sessions as in performance, and is first of all aimed at convincing the musicians themselves. It follows their moment-to-moment intuitions interacting with one another. Its strength is to enter play with the lightness of “let’s see what happens," which is no guarantee that the result will be valued musically. As a result, this approach has not been the pursuit of many professional musicians.
This book presents a new way of looking at the music, not from the perspective of consumers, the promotional media, and academics. but the situation musicians find themselves in. It takes into account their assumptions and practices--their musical approach, relations to the music world, to each other, and to the social order, conditions that have changed since the origins of the free musics.
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