about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble


第4章(6/6)The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensemble

As time went by, Altschul would listen closely to the sounds of the city, the rising and falling of the sounds of the industrial era: 




You grow up in New York, you listen to the train rhythms, you listen to the steam heat rhythms, and you're listening to all kinds of rhythms. The radiator and the trains. Which started me in what, I guess, has been termed wave music. And so I learned to play that from the actual waves. But no, I've always listened ― car crashes, listening to when the hubcap flies, and it falls later than the actual crash, so there's extra sound coming. All those kinds of things I listened to. And eventually I listened to them to put them into the music. 




He discovered ways to play more challenging aspects of Bley's music, Annette Peacock's compositions in particular, by listening, once again, to the world. This time, he was at the beach while on an acid trip, “sitting by the ocean and the waves; the tides started coming in. And the waves started coming and hitting and splashing against the rocks. And so the rhythm of the tide and the motion of the waves hitting against the rocks, the splashing effect ― I heard all that shit. Because in the mentally induced state I was in, it broke it down to that level.” 



Also during this period, Altschul had significant experiences performing in Europe with many of the important beboppers: Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew, Jimmy Woody, Art Taylor, and Kenny Clarke. Chick Corea's invitation came after he returned from a second period of living in Europe. He had been playing with Babs Gonzales, the bebop singer in a band that included saxophonist Clifford Jordan. He had recently rejoined Bley. 



Altschul observes: “I've always considered myself a jazz drummer. I don't consider myself an avant-gardist or a free guy. I would consider myself more free than avant-garde, because to me the definition of free is 'vocabulary.' The more musical vocabulary you have, the freer you are, depending upon your musicianship and how you use that vocabulary and where you use it and so on. [That is what] makes it feel avant-garde or free, because you're not just keeping a standing form, you're not keeping to the tenets of the jazz rules.” That is to say, Barry Altschul's roots are in bebop. His approach to that music draws from an unusually rich and varied sonic vocabulary. He uses the past as grounding and guide, but not as a directive. His strong listening skills support his ability to invent and respond freely in the moment. He can thus begin with a tune, but take it anywhere that his ears might lead him in the moment ― within, around, or away from the tune. This is the quality in a drummer that Chick Corea and Dave Holland were seeking for their trio. 



Drummer John Mars astutely breaks down Altschul's synthetic approach: 




Barry's right-hand work on the ride cymbal was so intricate, and really interesting to me. In terms of the stuff he was doing with his left hand and his foot ― [there were of course] the off beats and bomb drops. But then there was a dance-y, skippy right hand that Barry had, with a bop sort of influence but yet was entirely new. It just flew with those other “birds” in the band. Listen to Barry's quick responses to the twisting and turning of the other players, how they could all turn around on a dime and head in another direction ... At times, as the band fractures, so does Barry's right hand. But then in a way, it stays in that bop sound, too. Barry made up all kinds of new and interesting right-hand bop-influenced patterns. With a free-form drummer like Milford Graves, you don't hear bebop in there anymore; his drumming just floated, and I certainly learned my own sense of freedom from his astonishing example ... 



In Barry's playing, we hear bebop, but we can also hear the influence of John Coltrane's music and that of his drummers ... Rashied Ali, who I think was influenced by Milford's freedom and Sunny [Murray's] aggressive approach, must have influenced Barry, too. Albert Ayler's music, on which Milford played, influenced Coltrane very much at the end of life ... During the whole hippie LSD '60s period, when Albert and John were letting the rhythms get to this free-floating thing, there were also the sound-effect things that came from Pharoah Sanders and Roland Kirk when they weren't blowing their horns. This aspect came into what Barry did a little bit later, in the '70s: rattling bells on chains and blowing whistles and so on, and there was a Varese aspect that I always heard in Barry's work: the incidental, staggered, percussive sounds played on things other than the drum set can have a very dramatic effect. When Dave Holland and Barry played together, you also heard some of those supersonic, fractured bebop patterns that were invented by Ornette's [Coleman's] groups. Although he was deep in a pocket with Dave, Barry was definitely also listening intensely to the notes that flying from Anthony's [Braxton's] agile mind, mouth, and fingers, and his cymbal work was always responding to Anthony's genius for twisting and turning. 




In fact, Altschul joined Corea and Holland instead of accepting a tantalizing alternative offer that was already on the table: an invitation to join Jimi Hendrix's new band. The offer was more lucrative and would have guaranteed steady pay, something unusual for a jazz musician. And it was a chance to play with, well, Jimi Hendrix, who had jammed recently with saxophonist Sam Rivers (with whom Altschul would play after the demise of Circle). Rivers later spoke of playing with Hendrix as not unlike playing with pianist Cecil Taylor. Hendrix was putting together a more experimental group to follow the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and “Jimi wanted me to join his group while he was developing new directions.” 



But Corea's offer was more musically intriguing to Altschul, who saw himself as “very idealistic at the time.” Conceptually, the Corea trio was an expansion of Paul Bley's open-improvisational ideas, this time with a collective, and Altschul indeed viewed himself as a jazz musician, not a rock musician. The finances with Corea would be sufficient, so in either case, “it wasn't about the money. Playing with Chick ― him and Dave coming out of Miles ― the money would have been sufficient for me to support myself as a musician and not have to take day gigs. This was something which I did with periods with Paul Bley; we had to take day jobs, or stay in Europe.” 



The new trio recorded The Song of Singing on April 7 - 8, 1970, immediately before Corea and Holland joined Miles Davis at the Fillmore West on April 9 -12. Steve Grossman had replaced Wayne Shorter on saxophone, and Miles had added percussionist Airto Moreira. Five weeks later, Anthony Braxton would sit in with the trio at the Village Vanguard for its inaugural moment playing as a quartet. 

この新たなトリオが収録したのが「The Song of Singing」。1970年4月7日から8日にかけてであった。直後の4月9日から12日にかけて、チック・コリアデイヴ・ホランドは、フィルモア・ウェストマイルス・デイヴィスとの演奏に参加する。この時、サックスはウェイン・ショーターにかわってスティーヴ・グロスマンが、そしてマイルス・デイヴィスは打楽器奏者としてアイアート・モレイラを加えていた。この5週間後、アンソニー・ブラクストンがトリオに加わる。場所はヴィレッジ・ヴァンガード。ここに、カルテットとしてのお披露目と成る。 


In June 1970, Dave Holland discussed the recording that the new trio had made, developed within the context of Corea and Holland's Nineteenth Street Manhattan lofts and Tom DePietro's nearby studio: “We all play regular acoustic instruments in the trio, and we've already an album for Solid State which is really very beautiful. That should be out before the end of the year.”