Catalog #18: Free Jazz New York Jazz
Boo-Hooray is pleased to present our 18th catalog, dedicated to the New Black Music of the 1960s, more widely known as “free jazz.”
Usually defined by its improvisatory mode or amelodic form, the New Black Music actually troubles the opposition between improvisation and composition, taking, instead, improvisation as the rigorous deconstruction of composition and melody, as traditionally understood. During the late-1950s, and throughout the 1960s, the transformations in (free) jazz reflected Black life and politics: musicians and writers such as Milford Graves and Amiri Baraka posited jazz as a distinctly African art form, bringing into opposition the dominant Western musical stricture, its key terms and orientations (i.e. tone, melody, tempo), finding through and beyond them energy, movement, thought, timbre, texture, rhythms, overtones and microtones, multiphonics, tone clusters—the musicians’ sound released into a new limitation.