Joseph Jarman
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Alto saxophonist Joseph Jarman (1937) headed a sextet (with tenorist Fred Anderson, piano, trumpet, bass, drums) for one of the pioneering works of the AACM, Song For (october 1966). Its 14-minute Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City and 13-minute Song For were typical of the soundsculpting aesthetic that was being created. Jarman, who often employed multimedia presentations (particularly poetry and dance), based the former on a poem of his, and conceived the latter as an exploration of empty space. As If It Were the Seasons (june 1968) contained two side-long group improvisations, Song For Christopher and As If It Were the Seasons for an even broader ensemble. Both focused on the space where music happens, the latter contrasting a naive theme with the emptiness in which it floated. Frank Lowe's Black Beings (march 1973) contained Jarman's Thulani. Jarman's albums after joining the Art Ensemble Of Chicago displayed a progression towards more and more sophisticated harmonies: the live solo Sunbound (december 1976), the multi-part suite Egwu-Anwu/ Sun Song (january 1978) with Don Moye, and especially Magic Triangle (july 1979), a trio with Moye and pianist Don Pullen. Jarman and Moye continued their partneship with more accessible works such as Black Paladins (december 1979), in trio with a bassist (and devoted mostly to covers), Earth Passage (february 1981), in quartet with a bassist and a trombonist (and containing his multi-part Zulu Village), Inheritance (december 1983), in a quartet with a bassist and pianist Geri Allen (Inheritance and Love Song For A Rainy Monday). But best was Calypso's Smile (march 1984), a set of duets with Moye that including Morning Desert Song and Treibhaus Tribal Stomp. After a long hiatus, Jarman returned with a duet with Marilyn Crispell, Connecting Spirits (january 1996), containing his Meditation on a Vow of Compassion, and a quartet with violinist Leroy Jenkins, pianist Myra Melford and bassist Lindsey Horner, Out Of The Mist (october 1997).

Jarman's last project, Bright Moments, with Malachi Favors (bass), Adegoke Steve Colson (piano), Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre (tenor sax), and Kahil El'Zabar (drums), was documented on Return Of The Lost Tribe (december 1997).

Jarman died in january 2019.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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