97

Spontaneous Music Orchestra: For You to Share

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
The orchestra here in question is the renowned English free drummer John Stevens and reedman Trevor Watts (on soprano here) plus – on the first track, the four-part "For You to Share" – "numerous young musicians and audience members." It was May 20, 1970. The sound is a bit dodgy, especially this first track, with the soprano and drums sounding as if they've been recorded on a personal cassette recorder, circa 1970 – and they probably were – but what comes through loud and clear is the (mostly) vocal drone provided by the audience members. It was 1970, after all, and the idea (Stevens' idea) was to involve everyone in the process of making spontaneous music by having them hold long tones, which would form the backdrop of what Stevens and Watts would come up with.

It comes off rather well, really. Watts is a tremendously underrated and markedly lyrical player. After awhile here he seems to run out of ideas and begins to harp on a couple of repetitive figures, although that may be part of the trance music aspect of the piece. He certainly begins with some wondrous melody-making. The audience's drone harks back to some of the earliest notated music, where drones by one voice set off a melody by another; the "orchestra" here has numerous affecting moments.

The second track, "Peace Music," was recorded in a studio four months before "For You to Share." There's no telling who was in the studio, but here the drone is instrumental, and Watts' soprano is Oriental in a Coletrane-ish mode. You hear his playing a bit better here (although the drone threatens to overwhelm him on occasion) and it deserves to be. Stevens contributes some tabla-like drumming, and the whole thing could be going on in Bombay.

This is fine and fascinating music. The words on the front cover are arranged in a peace symbol, and perhaps the whole thing is a bit dated. But the marvelous playing by Watts and Stevens is timeless, making this a most welcome reissue.

| Record Label: Emanem | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Plus Equals
Not On Label (Spontaneous Sound Self-released)
2001
buy
Mouthpiece
Not On Label (Spontaneous Sound Self-released)
2000
buy
SME + = SMO
Not On Label (Spontaneous Sound Self-released)
1975
buy

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Colors for the Masters" CD/LP/Track Review Colors for the Masters
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!