The Sun Ra Arkestra Performing Shadow World in a Concert in West Berlin

This video presents one of the most important free jazz groups ever: the Sun Ra Arkestra. They are playin a concert in West Berlin and performing the song Shadow World. It is not clear when this concert was recorded but the black and white pictures suggest it was in the late 1960s when german television still recorded and transmitted in black and white.
Sun Ra was always regarded as an excentric musician and many people have no access to this kind of music, they even say it is no music at all or that all musicians are fake, that they can’t play their instruments. However, this is not true. All musicians in the Sun Ra Arkestra were excellent on their instrument but just had no wish to play in the well known mainstream, repeating standard tunes and performing what everybody could accept. It is a fact that such great jazz musicians as John Coltrane took a couple of saxophone playing lessons from the sax player who appears in this video, John Gilmore might be his name, leave a comment if you know better.
The band was really avantgarde, watch that at the end they even come up with some rap – in the late sixties !

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The Elvin Jones Trio Performing A Night in Tunesia – Jazz Standard by Dizzy Gillespie

Elvin Jones is one of the most significant jazz drummers of all times. He became famous while playing with the John Coltrane Quartet and in some occasions he has played duets with John Coltrane, for example on the album Interstellar Space which is an entire album dedicated to this saxophone-drums duet.
In the video clip featured here, Elvin Jones is playing with a guitar player and a hammond organ player: Bireli Lagrene and Joey Defrancesco. This is a relatively unusual combination of musical instruments.
The song they perform is the well known jazz standard tune A Night in Tunesia which was originally recorded by Dizzy Gillespie and his orchestra.
This recording of the song lasts about nine minutes and of course there is enough space for soloing on all instruments. Watch how Elvin Jones beats the drums, there are very few drummers out there who play with this energy and feeling.

Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society Performing Christmas Woman

Watch this music video clip with Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society performing their sond Christmas Woman on the Moers Jazz Festival (Germany) in 1994 with bandleader Ronald Shannon Jackson on the drums, Dom Richards playing the electric bass, Rob Reddy on soprano saxophone, James Carter playing the tenor saxophone and Jef Lee Johnson on electric guitar.
The Moers Jazz Festival is well known among jazz musicians and fans of avantgarde jazz music. Every year this region of Germany attracts musicians and jazz fans from all over the world and it’s efinitely worth visiting some of the concerts.
Ronald Shannon’s mother played piano and organ at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church while his father run a local record store and jukebox business. In 1966, his family moved to New York and Ronald Shannon entered New York University where he met cats like René McLean, Charles Sullivan and bass player Abdul Malik from the Thelonious Monk band.
In his carreer as a composer and soloist he has played with jazz giants including McCoy Tyner, Charles Mingus, Stanley Turrentine, Bennie Maupin, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ray Bryant, Shirley Scott and others.
Ronald Shannon Jackson also is a recognized composer and many of his pieces have been performed by european and other concert music orchestras. And of course, Ronald Shannon Jackson is giving classes and has helped many now important jazz musicians to start their musical career.

Art Ensemble of Chicaco gets funky live on stage

Music lovers shoul watch this video of the Art Ensemble of Chicago performing a funky tune live on stage. This is pure music and pure art, not as the songs performed on major television and channels like the one from our recent post on the pop singer Albert Hammond. When the Art Ensemble of Chicage performed, there usually were only a few people in the audience and that doesn’t mean that they are performing bad music. All the contrary: as this music is really original and doesn’t fit into simple boxes, the entertainment business people do not promote it.
This kind of music requires a person to listen so that he/she can turn on his/her imagination, not as in the pop songs where people are required to turn off their brain and just follow the easy melody and very basic rhythm while listening to stupid lyrics.
In change, the musicians presented here in this video are performing an excellent example of interaction and communication between the instruments. I specially like the drummer, he establishes a cool and funky groove. His name is Fomoudu Don Moye and he studied percussion at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. All the musicians of the Art Ensemble of Chicaco have received a formal education in music, so please don’t post your comments regarding lack of musicianship of these cats. One thing is to fool around because you can’t really play your instrument and another thin is to learn to play your instrument and then playing it as you desire it to sound. That’s freedom, one of the main characteristics of art.
If you are interested in more video clips with the Art Ensemble of Chicago performing and a documentary video, you might want to visit http://www.fiesta-musical.com.

Anthony Braxton at the Woodstock Jazz Festival – Impressions

In this video Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, Miroslav Vitous and Chic Corea are performing the John Coltrane song Impressions. The video clip also shows a little conversation of cats backstage. Anthony Braxton plays the alto saxophone on this tune and the clip shows his great improvisation while the felow musicians are cooking hot. The saxophone blowing here is not the traditional bebop style, instead extremely high notes beyond the ‘normal’ range of the alto sax are played with a very intense attack and blowing are mixed with ultra-fast runs through the scales. Also watch Jack DeJohnette constantly giving impulse to the performance.
Woodstock is best known for the legendary Rock Music Festival in the hippie era when Jimi Hendrix was performing the Star Spangled Banner with guitar allusions to falling bombs and explosions and Carlos Santana was playing latin rock befor the largest audience a rock festival had ever joined. However, this recording is from around 1991 when Woodstock already was a festival for jazz music… seems like the place keeps attracting some the most important musicians of the time, no matter if they are rockers or jazz cats …

John Coltrane – All Times Tenor Saxophone Master