Free Form Music: how it came about, the current scene and where its going by those involved in the scene.
Freeform and improvised jazz is having a hard time at the moment. Venues have to make tough choices between pleasing what is a smaller cohort of customers and bringing new, maybe transient, but paying clients who are attracted by big names, standards and music they know. Customers have less cash in these difficult economic times, so they may come to fewer gigs. This means that, for a manager, though the venue may have once been able to support freeform jazz and justify putting on gigs because they could rely on regulars, the decision has to be made whether to risk ...read more
Since free form tentatively emerged during the 1940s and '50s it has evolved with both the times and changing audiences. Now, free form elements cross genre boundaries and many musicians use elements from free form in their works. Because it is music which draws on the spiritual feelings of the players, social dramas and the atmosphere of the time, it is still developing. Long ago, it filled a niche because it was music where musicians took standards, blew them apart, improvised and eventually found the freedom to shake off constraints imposed by commercialism and convention in order to bring a ...read more
"Free form" is a term used to encompass a whole genre--or genres--outside mainstream jazz. Jazz has its roots in spiritual music, Dixieland, New Orleans, blues and ragtime, and after the 1940s these became fused into a catch-all assignation of genre. Jazz took on a predictability that was largely influenced not by the limitations of the players, but by the necessity of filling venues and adhering to musical rules. Jazz became generic and took on a style which was immediately recognizable as straight" or traditional.Since the '40s, jazz has calved several offspring. Musicians have taken traditional beats, rhythms and ...read more
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