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Free form music groups

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1 Free form music groups on Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:50 am

Some of you may know of the Free Form Funky Freqs, a g/b/d trio. Anyone know of any other free form groups playing a fusion/jazz/rock genre?

I'm currently recording in a free form context, though it more like composition on the fly, and it has been a very rewarding experience. I am interested in hearing other groups going down this path, but not the Ornate Coleman jazz style. That is real "free of form" sound which isn't what I am looking for.

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2 Re: Free form music groups on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:41 am

I'd like to hear some of this free stuff you're doing. the only time i play free is when i ain't gettin paid! Cool

a few years back Terry Bozzio toured with hobolema- holdsworth, bozzio. levin mastelotto,( he had his humongous drumset with 8 bass drums whatever dude), with Allan Holdsworth , Pat Mastellotto on second drumset and Tony Levin on bass and stick. the concerts were completely improvised. the one i saw had some supreme moments and some of it was also not so great. But the stuff that was good was very good. Allan and Tony dueting and looping together and Allan completely solo was absolutely breath taking! i heard on the way to the seattle gig the axle locked up on the trailer so they dragged it 10 miles to the venue. The next day they followed the skid marks to get back to the highway south! they also did a show at NAMM I think replacing Allan with David Torn. There is some video on line of some of these shows.
i actually love ornette's prime time band with the 2 drummers, 2 guitarists and 2 bassists that just harmelodic rawks! that style called scronk a little goes a long way!

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3 Re: Free form music groups on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:10 am

The Coleman stuff I have heard (and not that much) is like a train wreck to my ears. I just cannot digest it.

I'd like to hear the stuff with Holdsworth and co.

The music I'm recording now is an eclectic mix, but now that I have played it for a year I have a hard time listening to other music. It all sounds "typical" to me - lead in, solos, back to head, more solos and out. The guitarist I work with is not into soloing in typical ways. No fretboard fireworks, as I call it. He just has a ton of effects gear and he searches for chords, and textures, and sound fields. He's really into ambient music and for some reason when he goes there I tend to turn on the jets and the tension created is pretty cool. The funky stuff is fun. I don't consider myself a jazz drummer at all, but we get into all kinds of things. It's composition on the fly, really. I have found it very rewarding musically. I wish there was a lot more of it out there.

Since doing this I really wonder what kind of music has been recorded by bands just warming up or jamming in the studio with the recorders on that shall never be heard by the general public because it isn't "song" oriented. Gems and jewels that shall never see light of day.

Our first CD will be out sometime this winter, I hope. After much discussion and deliberation we have decided to keep it just drums and guitar duo. Those few who have heard it thus far say it has an energy level and force that is captivating. Even my wife, who is into the old southern rock 1970s stuff, says it's pretty interesting. It isn't for everybody, that's for sure, but I believe it has a place at the general "fusion" table. Well see.

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4 Re: Free form music groups on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:04 am

HoBoLeMa. Interesting. Not the stuff we are doing. They sound more "experimental" to me. More sound and rhythm than melody happening.

Well, I take that back. I saw another youtube vid that actually has a vibe which was the basis for our last recording session. I need to have Tom hear it. he has a lot of respect for Holdsworth.

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5 Re: Free form music groups on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:58 pm

Allan said that kind of improvised gig was terrifying for him. He is into structure. I think most bands jam until ideas become more structured tunes. I like to know there is some structure waiting in the wings for balance. Stuff like a strong melody. I like to try to think 50/50 structure and freedom. And I've heard it said as in marriage, there is freedom in structure. Meaning, you can do much more within it than without it altogether! The idea of complete freedom although it sounds great may not be what it's cracked up to be. Just think to be guided by no laws or limits, that wouldn't be such a great world. We need those parameters to be creative inside not "outside". That creates a safe place to be free. And it's basically a matter of being able to play to your taste, listen, accompany and move creatively together. Being like minded musically in the first place helps the process.

I am much more rhythm based drummer, I used to just flail freeform with my chops a flyin. I discovered i was more into preserving the grooves and traditional rhythmic foundations from all over the globe that relate to connecting with a dancer. Then i can take those and do with them what i want. I can respect the roots while creating my own universe of music. I am not from west Africa nor did i grow up with any musical tradition in my family. other than garage beatles. So I don't feel indebted to any 1 style but feel free to use them to color my musical world without any guilt. Now i can go back to playing free form gigs with alot more to draw from. I can back it up.

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6 Re: Free form music groups on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:09 am

I agree with your take on free-form. Tom's original idea was more in the format of Bitches Brew. I hadn't heard any of that since I was a kid, on LP, so revisiting was interesting, and it formed the basis for what we do in way - I call it structured improvisation, actually, in the CD liner notes. My thing is to follow Tom or lead with tempos and beats that remain fluid, and able to switch things around when gears change musically. The challenge has been rewarding in a very fulfilling way. It's been rewarding because I do feel completely free to create "in the moment," and thus far it has worked out to some very listenable recordings. That coming from someone who has no experience in free-form music, other than jamming. I told Tom in the beginning I was not into free-form music because I want to hear some kind of form going on, not just people playing anything and everything against each other. He agreed and suggested I listen to the Mile's stuff. With that, we took off and haven't crashed yet, I don't think. Shocked

Funny you mention Holdsworth feeling terrified. He looks a little lost in some of the HoBoLeMa vids.

Bozzio has gotten into a lot of world percussion and employing that in HoBoLeMa is pretty cool. One of our next sessions is one of world music where I can use some toys like that. Tom has been looking into various examples I send him for months now. I'm looking forward to that.

We're also going to try a few other things for structural ideas. The more we play together the easier it gets. I love it.

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7 Re: Free form music groups on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:31 am

I posted a lecture given by Bill Bruford on the other thread "Bruford and the Beat." After listening to him I have even a greater appreciation for the efforts of the last year recording the music I have, and the nature of it. He used a term I also used in the CD notes - organized chaos. Our music is not really chaotic, but the concept applies. Kind of a very freeing experience. When you see a film of a quarter of a million birds take off at once it seems chaotic, but then you watch in amazement as 250,000 birds begin moving as one, turning, swooping, climbing. It's quite astounding. I feel like that when playing this music.

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8 Re: Free form music groups on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:09 pm

This characterizes what I feel when playing free-form (though not truly free of form) -


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