happy halloween.



About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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3 Responses to happy halloween.

  1. Love how antediluvian the melody of Ayler’s Ghosts sounds. It’s like some pre-Blues folk melody. “Avant-Garde” was in many ways a misnomer for the “new thing” in Jazz in the 60s. It was really a return to roots music.

    • HR says:

      Looks like sean bonney is making a similar point at the marxism and culture seminar tomorrow:


      Friday, 2 November 2012


      Room 349, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London

      Sean Bonney – “Of Dhamballah / And Engels”: Revolutionary Strangeness in 1960s Free Jazz

      In the aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, the modernist slogan “make it new” always includes, as corollary, “make it old”. Radical jazz in the 1960s, known as “free jazz”, or the “new thing”, drew on the earliest Black American traditions to create an uncompromising, futuristic music, the best of which still sounds radical today. By the 1950s, jazz had become a highly successful commercial industry (though rarely for the musicians themselves) and a propaganda tool for American “freedom”. Musicians like Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra refused that recuperation of the music by pushing it right back to what W.E.B DuBois had called the “veiled and half-articulate” content of the early Sorrow Songs, and making that content explicit, confrontational and absolutely unforgiving. Their combination of the hermetic content of African folkways with the secular modernity of the Black Liberation Movement negated the traditions of the American pop song, and transformed those traditions into an articulation of the history of the oppressed that was in absolute opposition to the western harmonic systems that defined and justified the structures of, among other things, American Capital. The strangeness and, even half a century on, radical modernity of the music is indicative that the revolution it articulated failed to take place, but because of that it still refuses an easy recuperation by the nostalgia industry, and still contains a living revolutionary content. The poetry, and music, of the future, is realised via an engagement with what has been left out of official accounts of the past.

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