Reviews that mention Leroy Jenkins

December 6, 2014

Creative Music Studio

Archive Selections, Vol. 1
Innova 805

By Ken Waxman

Brainchild of Ornette Coleman, Karl Berger and Ingrid Ingrid Sertso, the Woodstock, N.Y.-based Creative Music Studio (CMS) has had an influence that continues to resonate past its physical presence from 1971-1984. Dedicated to erasing the false barriers among different musics, its workshops and concerts not only helped spread freer sounds among players identified with jazz or so-called classical music, but with participants from overseas welcomed, it helped birth a sophisticated variant of world music. MORE

July 13, 2009

Revolutionary Ensemble

Beyond the Boundary of Time
Mutable MM-17532-2

FAB Trio

Live In Amsterdam

Porter Records PRCD-4014

Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007) and his direct successor Billy Bang (b. 1947) occupy unique niches in the history of advanced improvised music. Arguably the first person to fully integrate the violin into both the so-called New Thing and New music, Jenkins’ impelled the traditional instrument’s rhythmic and lyrical functions beyond those of mere lyricism or rudimentary swing. While the older string player turned increasingly towards formal composition in his final years, shortly afterwards Bang added an additional dimension of unvarnished rhythmic elasticity to Jenkins’ fiddle liberation. MORE

July 13, 2009

FAB Trio

Live In Amsterdam
Porter Records PRCD-4014

Revolutionary Ensemble

Beyond the Boundary of Time

Mutable MM-17532-2

Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007) and his direct successor Billy Bang (b. 1947) occupy unique niches in the history of advanced improvised music. Arguably the first person to fully integrate the violin into both the so-called New Thing and New music, Jenkins’ impelled the traditional instrument’s rhythmic and lyrical functions beyond those of mere lyricism or rudimentary swing. While the older string player turned increasingly towards formal composition in his final years, shortly afterwards Bang added an additional dimension of unvarnished rhythmic elasticity to Jenkins’ fiddle liberation. MORE

July 2, 2008

A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

By George E. Lewis
University of Chicago Press

Home from his studies at Yale University in 1971, trombonist George Lewis was walking to his parents’ home on Chicago’s South Side when he heard unusual sounds coming from a nearby brick building. Peering inside he saw a group practicing what he calls “fascinating” music. Asking if he could attend future rehearsals, Lewis was grudgingly welcomed into what he soon found out was the disciplined but inventive milieu of the Association of the Advancement Musicians (AACM). MORE

August 21, 2006

FRED FRITH/CARLA KIHLSTEDT/STEVIE WISHART

The Compass, Log And Lead
Intakt CD 103

LEROY JENKINS’ DRIFTWOOD
The Art of Improvisation
Mutable Music 17523-2

By Ken Waxman

Welcoming a variety of non-traditional influences, both these string-oriented CDs confirm that 21st Century improvisation has become catholic enough to accommodate more than stereotypical roots influences.

While fiddler Leroy Jenkins is a long-time members of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM), jazz’s paramount musical collective; veteran Rich O’Donnell is from the legit side of the fence, having spent 43 years as principal percussionist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, been head of Washington University’s percussion department and director of its Electronic Music Studios. Chinese-born Min Xiao-Fen frequently brings the classical textures of the pipa, or four-stringed Chinese lute to jazz and New music; while prepared piano player Denman Maroney adapts his percussive techniques and intervallic playing to jazz/improv with bassist Mark Dresser and elsewhere to notated music. MORE

July 27, 2006

Leroy Jenkins’ Driftwood

The Art of Improvisation
Mutable Music 17523-2

Properly labeling his modus operandi here, Leroy Jenkins, jazz’s pre-eminent violinist, who has indulged in notated music, leads a quartet exploring the intricacies of improvisation and more.

While fiddler Jenkins is a long-time Free Jazzer, Rich O’Donnell hails from the legit world with 43 years as percussionist with the St. Louis Symphony. Min Xiao-Fen adapts the textures of the pipa, or Chinese lute; and Denman Maroney uses intervallic playing to make his prepared piano as much a percussive as a chordal instrument. MORE

April 4, 2005

REVOLUTIONARY ENSEMBLE

And Now
Pi Recordings PI 13

SIRONE
Concord
NotTwo MW 751-2

Picking things up from when they were “so rudely interrupted” 27 years ago, as the expression has it, the members of The Revolutionary Ensemble (RE) got together for concerts and recordings in mid-2004.

Their appearance at New York’s Vision Festival and this recording show that they’ve lost nothing in the intervening quarter century plus. In fact, the close cooperation between the three provide the sort of sympathetic interchange violinist Leroy Jenkins, sometimes, and percussionist Jerome Copper most of the time, has lacked in solo projects. MORE

June 21, 2004

REVOLUTIONARY ENSEMBLE

The Psyche
Mutable Music 17514-2

PETER BRÖTZMANN
FMP 130
Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP244CD

Reissues of two hard-to-find LPs from the mid-1970s point out the differences that had developed between European and American improvisers even at that early date. While both approaches are equally valid, it’s ironic to consider that at this point the Europeans were catapulting harsh, screaming textures reminiscent of the New Thing’s beginning, while it’s the Americans who were more concerned with form and structure in their compositions. Almost 30 years later, the situation is almost completely reversed, though the participants here are mostly committed to their original vision. MORE

June 30, 2003

ARCHIE SHEPP

Attica Blues
Impulse! AS-9222 024 654 414-2

ALBERT AYLER
Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe
Impulse! AS-9191 440 065 383-2

What you’re hearing on these two LP-length CD reissues, recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is the metaphoric death throes of the New Thing as a popular music.

But wait, you say, didn’t the angry unmelodic, experimental New Thing itself murder jazz’s popularity when it hijacked the music and drove large audiences away? Not really. Like other pieces of revisionist history perpetuated by the neo-cons this tale has been blown out of proportion to make more miraculous the trad revival of the 1990s. MORE

April 24, 2001

Turning Corners

The Life and Music of Leroy Jenkins
By Carl E. Baugher Cadence Jazz Books

King (queen?) of classical music, the violin has had a checked history in jazz. Saddled with the reputation of having a tone too quiet for raucous syncopating and demanding extensive study to play correctly, the number of improvising violinists has always been pretty limited. Joe Venuti, Eddie South, Stuff Smith, France's Stéphane Grapelli and Denmark's Svend Asmussen are the few cited in histories of Swing and Bop. Michael White, Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Urbaniak -- the later two more-or-less lost to fusion -- took the fiddle into the 1960s and 1970s. Only with the rise of pure improvised music did strings finally come into their own. Today the improvisations of such violin and viola players as Billy Bang, Matt Maneri, Phil Wachsmann and Mark Feldman are as valued as other instrumentalists' contributions.

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