Different Methods of Dissemination: Fielder, Jarman and the AACM

            Although the recent deaths of multi-instrumentalist Joseph Jarman and drummer Alvin Fielder have led to new appreciation for their celebrated musicianship, NPR Music’s Howard Mandel, points out that each man's contributions went past mere playing. Both nascent members of Chicago`s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 1960s, both demonstrated their exploratory playing skills with, in Jarman’s case, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell bassist  Malachi Favors and others who later made up the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC); and in Fielder's case with the likes of saxophonist Mitchell, Fred Anderson and may others. But it was Jarman's interest in theatrical trappings – he always performed in face paint and a hat – poetry and affiliated set narratives that encouraged new listeners to appreciate the AEC's style and those of subsequent AACM performers. Meanwhile, relocated to Mississippi, Fielder helped organize activities to bring experimental music to the region, with opportunities expanding even further when Dallas trumpeter Dennis Gonsález joined and followed a similar course in his area. Initiatives like these helped organize groups and a network of sympathetic venues that provided opportunities for later generations of ACCM members, from now-established bandleaders like drummer Kahil El`Zabar and saxophonist Ernest Dawkins to relatively younger ones like trumpeter Corey Wilkes and cellist Tomeka Reid.

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Anthony Braxton and the future of Opera

The New York Times’ Seth Colter Walls seems more concerned with showing how much he knows about other experimental opera created by the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and seems amazed that composer Anthony Braxton is still creating important, exploratory music at a frenetic pace as he nears his 75th birthday in 2020, but he does supply some information about the newest chapter of the composer’s Trillium L opera project. With a slightly condescending tone,Walls emphasizes Braxton’s honors such as his MacArthur “genius” grant and NEA Jazz Master designation before praising the composer’s justly famous Jazz-oriented quartet of the 1990s; his influence on other composer/performers like saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock; and finally noting where other important works like the recently released 12-album Ghost Trance Music set are available. Audio examples embedded may add more to understanding Braxton’s work than the article.

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