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Thread: Free America-NEW FREE JAZZ

  1. #1
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    Free America-NEW FREE JAZZ

    Hey, I was browsing a CD shop and I came across a record by Rosewell Rudd, I checked, it was recorded in 1970 or so in Paris under a label called Gravure Universelle or something in like a series called Free America. Still browsing I came across an Anthony Braxton album with the same format (like you can tell a old Blue Note album from any other label, but even more so in this case), around the same date, recorded in Paris. Then I saw an album by Frank Wright of the same nature and then Steve Lacy and Clifford Thorton and Paul Bley etc. All of them had volume numbers.

    It seems to me that there is a new label out or series of mostly free jazz and the NEW WAVE stuff of the late 60's early 70's. All recorded in Europe and some live stuff. Maybe I'm just an ignoramus that just found out but I'd like to buy some CD's from it but I usually do research beforehand. There is limited info I have been able to find. BOTTOM LINE: do any of you know anything about this label or series? Gravure Universelle, Free America. An internet site would be most helpful. THANKS! whew.

  2. #2
    silicon valley drone Fojazz's Avatar
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    I don't know the full story, but this is a reissue program from Verve. They released 15 of these "Free America" discs earlier this month.

    The following is from Verve's website:

    March 15-A Foray into Modern Jazz…The Free America Series:
    New Thing. New Jazz. Avant-garde…The list of names would be endless if common sense hadn’t finally retained a single denomination ‘free jazz’. Yet even today, in refusing to be just another style in Afro-American music, it still questions (and with what strength!) its foundations and developments. Taken from the America/Musidisc catalogue, and recorded in majority in Paris between 1969 and 1973, these 15 albums are now reissued for the first time on compact disc, remastered in 24-bits, as a numbered, limited edition

    Art Ensemble of Chicago Certain Blacks
    Art Ensemble of Chicago Phase One
    Art Ensemble of Chicago With Fontella Bass
    Paul Bley Improvisie
    Anthony Braxton Donna Lee
    Anthony Braxton Saxophone Improvisation
    Dave Burrell After Love
    Emergency Homage to Peace
    Steve Lacy The Gap
    Rosewell Rudd Rosewell Rudd
    Archie Shepp Black Gipsy
    Alan Shorter Tes Esat
    Clifford Thonton The Panther and the Lash
    Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy Mal Waldron with the Steve Lacy Quintet
    Frank Wright Uhuru Na Umoja
    2/4/2005

  3. #3
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    hey thanks

    This seems to be exactly what I'm looking for
    appreciate it.
    Luke

  4. #4
    Registered User Jim Dye's Avatar
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    http://free-america.artistes.universalmusic.fr/

    Limited to 5000 copies of each title worldwide. 1000 in the U.S.A.

    J&R Online has 'em for 12.99 each.

    www.jr.com

  5. #5
    listening wordsandsounds's Avatar
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    I just picked up the AEOC with Fontella Bass album. The packaging is way above standard and the music is outstanding. I have no base for reference when it comes to remastering but it sounds good to me. I need to see if I can lay my hands on a couple of other of the series releases like the Mal Waldron with Steve Lacy (just a magical pairing of musicians and souls).

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    Thumbs up

    Curious, I, too, have gone to some lengths to find out info on these titles. Having purchased a great number of the BYG/Actuel reissues on lp a few years back (mostly from dustygroove.com), I was quite interested in these Paris sessions. Allmusic.com has all titles listed, most easily accessed from the "new releases" section, choosing the week of March 14th. Sorting releases by "genre" one finds all the titles listed. You can then easily jump right to each title. Most have reviews already, a few by the (in)famous Thom Jurek. All have 30 second clips available if you sign up or you can click the "buy" link and it takes you to barnesandnoble.com, with audio samples available there as well. I have listened to most clips and found all titles to be quite interesting and much in the BYG/Actuel vein. I have purchased a few as well... Have not had the chance yet to listen though... Hope that helps some. JWW

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    hey thanks a bunch
    yea I haven't been able to find sound clips but this should help
    appreciate it.

    Luke

  8. #8
    Guest maygar's Avatar
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    I have the Rudd, it is very good, with the bonus of Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums.

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    Yea exactely...
    another question; do any of you know if these Cd's are any good? And do you know about any other albums like these? I'm trying to expand my "New Thing" collection. Thanks a bunch,
    Luke

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    Sound clips for most of these releases can be found on allmusic.com. I have the Thornton CD and the two Braxton discs and I'm very pleased with them. They look great so I'm planning to get more...

  11. #11
    listening wordsandsounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzically
    Yea exactely...
    another question; do any of you know if these Cd's are any good? And do you know about any other albums like these? I'm trying to expand my "New Thing" collection. Thanks a bunch,
    Luke
    I have a couple of the releases now and find them to be very engaging. So far I have not been burned, and I am not one for an extreme amount of free playing. Although some reviews I have read were swaying me away from the Rudd and Waldron releases I found the reviewers who constantly state these are freak out discs to be wrong. I guess for myself, I can find where these players are coming from and follow their logic for the most part so I hear some great music. Give one a whirl, it's not even like they are priced to high not to give a shot. The Alan Shorter I am really interested in hearing and will probably pick up in the next couple of days. After all the talk on the Wayne Shorter about the All Seeing Eye album, I am surprised there is not more of a buzz around this item.

    My hope is that all of these albums actually get their own reveiws and not a group reveiw that marginalizes them to a sound.

  12. #12
    listening wordsandsounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dye
    http://free-america.artistes.universalmusic.fr/

    Limited to 5000 copies of each title worldwide. 1000 in the U.S.A.
    Check out the videos on the website. Pretty cool if somewhat stiff. You can also hear some extended clips of the music (all listed in the final video clip, the credits. The voice over is really, I don't know, to much for me but I am sure some will like it. I guess there are some moments where it is informative and sometimes feels like a sales pitch. But worth checking out. You also get to see all those art pieces.

  13. #13
    AAJ's Barrel Roller xricci's Avatar
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    Verve's Free America Series Reviews

    derek taylor is covering the series in three parts. here's part 1...

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=17522

    Art Ensemble of Chicago
    Certain Blacks, Phase One and With Fontella Bass

    Paul Bley
    Improvisie

    Anthony Braxton
    Donna Lee
    Discover Jazz Near You! | Visit All About Jazz.

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    So far I have purchased both Braxtons, Mal Waldron, Paul Bley and the Steve Lacy disc. Each one has been well worth it. For those of you worried that these are "freak out" discs you need not worry. There is much more structure in the music than was typical in the free jazz of the period. I plan on purchasing the Roswell Rudd next. Any feeback???

  15. #15
    AAJ's Barrel Roller xricci's Avatar
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    here's another thread on the free america series...

    http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?t=9169
    Discover Jazz Near You! | Visit All About Jazz.

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