The Art Ensemble of Chicago
The Shape of Jazz to Come
Four for Trane
Albert Ayler

Jazz » Free Jazz » Free Jazz

Dixieland and swing stylists improvise melodically, and bop, cool, and hard bop players follow chord structures in their solos. Free Jazz was a radical departure from past styles, for typically after playing a quick theme, the soloist does not have to follow any progression or structure and can go in any unpredictable direction. When Ornette Coleman largely introduced free jazz to New York audiences (although Cecil Taylor had preceded him with less publicity), many bop musicians and fans debated about whether what was being played would even qualify as music; the radicals had become conservatives in less than 15 years. Free jazz, which overlaps with the avant garde (the latter can use arrangements and sometimes fairly tight frameworks), remains a controversial and mostly underground style, influencing the modern mainstream while often being ignored. Having dispensed with many of the rules as far as pitch, rhythm, and development are concerned (although it need not be atonal or lack a steady pulse to be free jazz), the success of a free jazz performance can be measured by the musicianship and imagination of the performers, how colorful the music is, and whether it seems logical or merely random.

Free Jazz Artists Highlights

The Art Ensemble of Chicago
The Art Ensemble of Chicago
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
Sun Ra
Sun Ra

More Free Jazz Artists

Free Jazz Album Highlights

The Shape of Jazz to Come
Ornette Coleman
The Shape of Jazz to Come
Four for Trane
Archie Shepp
Four for Trane
Live in Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings
Albert Ayler
Live in Greenwich Village: ...
Zero
Matthew Shipp
Zero
Die Like a Dog: Fragments of Music, Life & Death of Albert Ayler
Die Like a Dog Quartet / ...
Die Like a Dog: Fragments ...
A Love Supreme
John Coltrane
A Love Supreme

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Free Jazz Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Free Jazz Ornette Coleman
A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement John Coltrane
Out to Lunch Eric Dolphy
Space Is the Place Sun Ra
Journey in Satchidananda Alice Coltrane
Creator Has a Master Plan Pharoah Sanders
Machine Gun Peter Brötzmann Octet
Excursion on a Wobbly Rail Cecil Taylor
Flowers for Albert David Murray
Blinks Steve Lacy Five

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Other Styles in Free Jazz