It’s always difficult to predict what will go down well with the punters on Mixcloud. For example, many of my friends are heavily into early seventies spiritual jazz, me too. But it appears that the listeners on Mixcloud are not that enamoured with the genre. I consistently get low volumes of listeners when I post a spiritual jazz mix. Quite the opposite for Japanese jazz, it always gets a lot of plays. Why? Does Mixcloud have a hardcore of Japanese jazz aficionados? Search me! I wish I knew. In order to try and analyse my listening trends I have logged my plays over the last six months. Surprisingly, my mix inspired by Eric Satie came top of the list. There must be a lot of Satie fans out there. Well I guess there are, but I didn’t expect so many on Mixcloud. Spanish Jazz came a close second, lets here it for the Iberian peninsular. And, in third place “Verse” my poetry and jazz joint, another surprise. Must be some Ginsberg fans in the mix!
Anyway, here is my top twenty mixes – take a listen if you care to, but I’d be just as happy if you checked out some of my less successful mixes at: http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/. They are all my children and just because they failed to make the charts doesn’t mean I’m any less proud of them.
01 Satie http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/satie/
02 Jazz Espana http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/jazz-espa%C3%B1a/
03 Verse http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/verse/
04 The Crusaders http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/dj2tee-presents-the-crusaders/
05 Unusual Suspects http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/unusual-suspects/
06 Jazz Reggae http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/jazz-reggae/
07 Japanese Jazz 2 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz-2/
08 Japanese Jazz 3 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz-3/
09 Japanese Jazz 1 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz/
10 Universal Musical Mind http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/universal-musical-mind/
11 Nordic Noir http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/nordic-noir/
12 Turkish Delight http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/turkish-delight/
13 Talk to the People http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/talk-to-the-people/
14 The Joyous Sound of Flute http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/the-joyous-sound-of-flute/
15 Ocean of Sound http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/ocean-of-sound/
16 Modal Jazz http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/modal-jazz/
17 Bad Sneakers http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/bad-sneakers/
18 Polish Jazz http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/the-story-of-polish-jazz/
19 Amen Break http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/amen/
20 Afro-Blue http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/afro-blue/
I recently a Twitter conversation about the listen-ability of the jazz musician Albert Ayler. Now I have to say up front that I love a bit of free jazz, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I suggested to my twitter colleague that a good place to start maybe with Ayler’s LP ‘Music is the Healing Force of the Universe’. Which is, let us say, a little less in your face. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided to do a new mix with Ayler as the jumping off point. So, if you fancy a little bit of Ayler followed by some other great tracks have a listen at: http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/music-is-the-healing-force/ And, if you like the mix, please leave a comment, love and/or Tweet.
Synkro I Miss You
Albert Ayler Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe
The Bennie Maupin Ensemble Penumbra
The Clifford Thornton New Art Ensemble Uhuru
Carlos Garnett Under Nubian Skies
Hamid Drake / Albert Beger / William Parker Rain Is Coming
Billy Harper Soran Bushi, B.H.
Dorothy Ashby Pawky
Ahmed Abdul-Malik Nights On Saturn
Bitter Funeral Beer Band Chetu
Cheikh Tidiane Fall / Bobby Few / Jo Maka Dream Drums
Gary Bartz Celestial Blues
Free jazz was developed in the 1950’s and 60’s by pioneering musicians such as Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. What is Free Jazz? To be honest – there is no clear definition of the term. I’m not totally convinced it actually exists, other than from a marketing point of view. Although, thinking about it, marketing an album as free-jazz may well give it the kiss of death to the majority of potential buyers. It would be fair to say that most free-jazz is not exactly “easy listening”. It requires the listener to abandon themselves to a whole new form that is unpredictable, un-melodic, noisy, brash, and lets face it difficult. The term free-jazz originally came from the title of Ornette Coleman’s Double Quartet album, “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation” (Atlantic 1960). Free Jazz was recorded in one uninterrupted “take” (without any splicing or editing) of 36 minutes 23 seconds. Though only intended to be the name of the album, it soon became associated with the entire avante-garde jazz improvisation movement.
Always controversial, even amongst fellow jazz musicians, critics argued that the style could be not be called jazz at all, due to its abandonment of previous established chord progressions and harmonies. Full of howls, overtones and atonal screeches, free-jazz is heavily reliant on collective improvisation and an abandonment of traditional rhythm or beat. In the 1960’s it came to be known as The New Thing or Energy Music.
If you are interested in sampling some free-jazz I have put together a taster on Mixcloud. It includes some artists associated with free-jazz, such as: Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and Archie Shepp. The mix concentrates on the more accessible end of the free jazz spectrum – so leave your pre-conceptions behind and give it a listen. Just click the image above to access the mix. If you enjoy the music or even if you hate it, please come back and leave me a comment.