How well do you know free jazz?



9 Questions

What is free jazz?

What is the origin of the term 'free jazz'?

What were some of the jazz conventions that free jazz aimed to break down?

What was the role of improvisation in free jazz?

What inspired free jazz musicians?

Who were some essential composers and performers during the beginning period of free jazz?

Where did the setting for avant-garde jazz shift to in the 1970s?

Who were some of the well-known early European free jazz performers?

What is world-influenced free jazz?


Free Jazz: A Genre of Avant-garde Jazz

  • Free jazz is an experimental approach to jazz improvisation that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • The genre aimed to break down jazz conventions such as regular tempos, tones, and chord changes.

  • The term "free jazz" was drawn from Ornette Coleman's 1960 recording "Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation".

  • Free jazz musicians drew heavily from world music and ethnic music traditions from around the world, sometimes playing African or Asian instruments, unusual instruments, or invented their own.

  • Free jazz emphasizes emotional intensity and sound for its own sake, exploring timbres.

  • Free jazz eliminates the dependence on a fixed and pre-established form, and the role of improvisation is correspondingly increased.

  • Free jazz retains pulsation and sometimes swings but without regular meter.

  • Free jazz almost by definition is free of harmonic structures, but it retains much of the language of earlier jazz playing.

  • Free jazz musicians drew inspiration from the music of John Cage, Musica Elettronica Viva, and the Fluxus movement.

  • The term "free jazz" is connected to the American social setting during the late 1950s and 1960s, especially the emerging social tensions of racial integration and the civil rights movement.

  • Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler were essential composers and performers during the beginning period of free jazz.

  • By the 1970s, the setting for avant-garde jazz was shifting to New York City, where musicians sought to bring in different genres into their works, including pop music and world music.Free Jazz - Summary

  • Free jazz is a subgenre of jazz that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • It is characterized by its rejection of traditional musical structures and improvisation.

  • Free jazz was seen as a political statement in the 1960s, as an extension of black consciousness.

  • Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor, John Klemmer, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, and Sun Ra are some of the musicians who have employed this approach.

  • Canadian artist Stan Douglas uses free jazz as a direct response to complex attitudes towards African-American music.

  • New York Eye and Ear Control is Canadian artist Michael Snow's 1964 film with a soundtrack of group improvisations recorded by an augmented version of Albert Ayler's group and released as the album New York Eye and Ear Control.

  • Quatuor de Jazz Libre du Québec was Canada's most notable early free jazz outfit.

  • Free jazz scenes have become established in Europe and Japan.

  • Saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, trombonist Conny Bauer, guitarist Derek Bailey, pianists François Tusques, Fred Van Hove, Misha Mengelberg, drummer Han Bennink, saxophonist and bass clarinetist Willem Breuker were among the most well-known early European free jazz performers.

  • Japan's first free jazz musicians included drummer Masahiko Togashi, guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, pianists Yosuke Yamashita and Masahiko Satoh, saxophonist Kaoru Abe, bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa, and trumpeter Itaru Oki.

  • South African artists experimented with a form of free jazz that fused experimental improvisation with African rhythms and melodies.

  • American musicians integrated elements of the music of Africa, India, and the Middle East for world-influenced free jazz.


Test your knowledge of the experimental genre of free jazz with this quiz! From its origins in the 1950s and 60s to its influence on jazz and world music today, this quiz will challenge your understanding of the genre's history, key players, and musical characteristics. Whether you're a seasoned jazz fan or just curious about this avant-garde style, this quiz is sure to offer a fun and informative challenge. So, if you think you know your Ornette Coleman from your Sun Ra

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