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Musics for Piano, Whistling, Microphone and Tape Recorder 181 in an almost infinite number of respects radically different from that passage apprehended by someone who had read the entire text from beginning to end. Such is the modifying power of the prior experience in a temporal work that the significance of the ending can only be truly apprehended against the record of the voyage towards it. In isolation it is not an ending is it? The Artists' Jazz Band Live at the Edge 1975 Snow wrote these notes for the record pocket of the LP The Artists' Jazz Band Live at the Edge. The album was "instigated and designed" by Snow and produced and distributed by the Music Gallery Editions, Toronto. W ith very few changes of personnel the Artists' Jazz Band has been living for about 15 years. They've always played the way they play on these recordings. They didn't play as well in 1962 as they do now but the attitude and the process with which the music is brought into the world has not changed. They played and play for pleasure, ecstasy, for Music, for Art. The process which the original core of the group (Rayner, Markle, Coughtry, Kubota) have used since their first notes (McAdam, Jones and Snow have played and do play other kinds of music) is one that creates new music but is no doubt ancient. They "didn't know what they were doing" at first and didn't care. Now they know and don't care. The music alway takes everybody by surprise anyway. Chance + fate + skill. They had little contact with similardevelopments elsewhere and had no public ambitions.The music grew until sometimes it wanted someone else to hear it. The process is spontaneous group composition. Beyond the occasional decision to "start withjust horns" for example, there is no pre-arrangement and nothing written. Usually 2 or 3 times a month for the last 10 years this group and variations of it have been meeting at drummer/painter Gordon Rayner's studio on Spadina Ave. and elsewhere in Toronto and playing and tape-recording the music. Smoke, drink, talk, play and listen to the just-made tapes has been the general order of events. Playing the music is a way of getting into the present. The tapes become the group past, both relics and products, as in playing the band is conscious of the tapes as the final Result. The lived-through fugitive inspiration, the synchronous miracles are caught and become something else, for everybody, anybody or somebody else. This album then (with one exception) is itself a composition of some of the highest moments from recent tapes. The men in this group are "professional artists" in a way that pervades far more than a non-artist might expect from that description. (Their "freedom" in music came originally from precedents in the visual arts more than from music.) The art-makingseeing -hearing experience can colour everything or transform anything.Art sense ebbs and flows but it rarely turns off. The most focused energy and intention can produce the intensest art, in this case, the music. The AJB knows how holy it is and how transient and they can and do laugh and laugh at its seriousness. Seriously they laugh. In a 182 e W The Artists' Jazz Band Live at the Edge 183 way the tapes are the diaries or journals of several lives. Like the Blues in its earliest forms, playing the music is a social occasion (anarchic-democratic-therapeutic) for conversation, confession and catharsis but above that it is the shaping and forming of sound into coherent new music. Each successful piece has a definite range of musical subjects. The AJB composes the way Beethoven might have if he'd had a tape recorder. Music is organized sound. The basis of the AJB's characteristic organization is contextual authenticity of feeling (not just sincerity which guarantees nothing qualitatively ) from years of shared, lived ups and downs as friends, musicians, artists and it manifests itself in raw rythmic, tonal, timbral, dynamic and pitch variations. Guitar or piano may play "conventional" chords alone but group harmonies are the results of convergences at the right time and usually contain so much sliding metamorphosis that if one were to stop a chord and analyse it in terms of the named notes therein the description would be very limited against the once-in-life-time uniqueness of that musical moment. Side 1. "WHO...


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