about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble


第6章(5/5)The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensemble

The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles 

by Bob Gluck(2016) 


Chapter 6 Circle 






The life of a touring ensemble is rarely a long-term affair. Circle and the trio that preceded it had a yearlong run, a respectable length of time for a band that brought unconventional music to mainstream commercial venues. According to Corea, “It ran its course as so many high-spirited and creative groups of artists do. We had a good run and made some memorable recordings. There came a point where our musical goals went in slightly different directions.” For him, “Circle was a deep and meaningful part of my life. My musical association with Dave has always been dear to me. We seemed to spur each others' inclination towards musical discovery and freedom of musical expression. There was always a great joy in our duet improvisations. This was the spirit that became Circle with Barry, then Anthony.” 



Perceptions between band members often differ, and such was the case with Circle. Altschul: “There was tension toward the end, yes. The music that we were playing, we wanted to continue to play; Me, Dave, and Anthony, but Chick was changing. We didn't realize at the time. There was just tension in the band. But when it [the music] was happening, it was really great. We had an audience, and for us at the time, it was enough. We would have liked bigger audiences, but the Jazz Workshop was full up every day of the week when we played there.” 



Braxton believed that some level of conflict is an inherent and unavoidable part of musical life: “We already have some very interesting music and it's very nice to work with Chick. It seems to me ... that once we started travelling and touring we lost something. Relationships in different situations tended to have too much stress, the personal relationships, but with this band we seem to have good personal relationships and this is very important when you're travelling. We have a desire to understand each other ― seemingly, and it's important. I mean, it definitely wouldn't 'hurt' the music if musicians liked each other!” 



Interpersonal challenges may have contributed to Circle's demise, but these are more the concern of a gossip magazine than the present musical study. Whatever the exact source of Corea's changing interests and sensibilities, his musical plans were changing. After a stint with Stan Getz, he formed the first Brazilian-tinged Return to Forever. The pianist's interests were in transition to a simpler presentation that was more accessible to audiences. Dave Holland continued to keep one foot in the aesthetics of Circle, joining Sam River's band, and the other in more straight-ahead jazz, joining Stan Getz in 1975 (along with Jack DeJohnette and pianist Richie Beirach).  



Holland felt that were it not for the conflicts, Circle could have continued musically and economically: 




Well, that particular group [Circle] I think could have survived had we stayed together. You see there were enough people who knew who the people in the group were, so we were assured of a certain number of people coming to hear us. With the right kind of handling of a group of that kind, and with enough travelling, you could cover yourself between albums that you might do. You could go to Europe for the summer, doing concerts over there, coming back to make it to a university, doing things like that. We had a very large following from young people, partly from the fact that they knew Chick and I from Miles, and had heard some of those albums, and wanted to come and find out what we were doing on our own. And the music seemed to appeal to them, it wasn't just idiom that we were using, it was the feeling that we produced as a group.” 




But it was not to be. Holland and Altschul became two-thirds of Sam Rivers's band, and for a time worked as Braxton's rhythm section. Altschul: 




So Anthony goes back to Chicago and then I think goes back to Europe. I go back to New York, and Dave goes up to Seattle for a while and then his wife was pregnant, so they went up there for a while, and then they came to New York. While I was in New York for the first year I was there, I got a gig ― I took Billy Cobham's place with the Paul Winter Consort. I'm on their album Icarus. It was before [Dave Holland's] the Conference of the Birds. And it was a great gig because they only went to colleges on weekends. So that was good for what was happening in my life at the time. And I was also playing with Sam Rivers, but I couldn't really leave town at that time, so the weekend thing was cool. And Sam Rivers's thing included Cecil McBee playing bass. So then Dave comes back to New York, and eventually I hook Dave up with Sam, and that becomes the trio. 


そんなわけで、アンソニーはシカゴへ戻る、その後ヨーロッパへ帰っていったんじゃないかな。私はニューヨークへ、そしてデイヴはシアトルへしばらく逗留し、奥さんが妊娠されたから、またしばらくそこに居て、その後ニューヨークへ行った。私が初めてニューヨークに居を構えた最初の年、ある本番に出演する機会を得た。ビリー・コブハムの代打で、ポール・ウィンター・コンソートに参加したのである。彼らのアルバム「Icarus」に私も関わっている。(デイヴ・ホランドの)「Conference of the Birds」より前の話だった。素晴らしい本番だった。というのも、彼らは週末に大学へ行くだけだったのだ。当時私の身の回りで起きていたことを考えると、都合が良かった。私は同時に、サム・リヴァースとも一緒に演っていたが、当時はニューヨークを離れることができず、週末のことは、非常に良かった。そして、サム・リヴァースのバンドには、ベースにセシル・マクビーがいた。その後、デイヴ・ホランドがニューヨークへ戻ってくる。私はデイヴ・ホランドとサム・リヴァースとを引き合わせて、これがトリオとなってゆくのだ。 


Altschul continues: “And then Anthony comes back [from time in Chicago and then Paris], and says he wants to form a quartet with me and Dave and Kenny Wheeler. And we said, 'Okay!' So we are working both ends [simultaneously with Rivers and Braxton's bands] at the same time.” What was first called the Sam Rivers, Dave Hollandn Barry Altschul Trio was renamed the Sam Rivers Trio, a collective improvisation ensemble in which “whoever had the most creative energy could dictate the direction ... We gave up our egos to the music ... Any given night there were no compositions, nothing, just the trio improvising. Everybody was a composer.” Ultimately, Holland and Altschul felt the need to choose between Rivers and Braxton, “and we both decided to go with Sam ... because it was closer to more of our musical experience. Braxton's was more written out, more compositional ... And then Braxton went and became Braxton; he was already Braxton ― he became more Braxton.” 



Braxton and Holland would again cross paths with Jack DeJohnette when vibraphonist-educator Karl Berger formed Creative Music Studio and began to run workshops in Woodstock, New York, in 1972. The organization was established in conjunction with Ornette Coleman. Berger, Braxton, Holland, and DeJohnette, all living around Woodstock, were among its core master teachers. Berger developed a curriculum based on his experience teaching at the New School. The principles similar in spirit to Circle's: improvisation that was not limited by genre or stylistic concerns. 



Looking back on his experience with Circle, Holland concluded: 




And this is something that I've noticed happened with the music, is that no matter what kind of music you play, it doesn't matter what the style, if the spirit is in the music, if there's really a spirit in the music, it communicates to people. The people sense that, and we really had a unified feeling going on for a while, and people immediately caught fire because of it. They saw what happened on the stand, which made them feel good just by virtue of the fact that they could see that kind of closeness and communication and love between people was possible. The music kind of represented that, and so that took them beyond the idiom that we were working with, whether we were using strange or common sound, it didn't seem to matter, it just could relate to the feel of it. So in that sense, I think survival means that, survival means flowing. Survival means doing, and I think Circle was doing and was flowing while it existed.   




But long-term musical survival also engages economic issues. Circle was never going to be able to inhabit the economic world of Miles Davis's bands. Chick Corea's change of direction had economic implications in that it gradually moved him into a more mainstream position in the music business. Anthony Braxton's, Barry Altschul's, and Dave Holland's choices solidified their connection with a more informal, less commercial and thus economically marginal musical enterprise. Examples of musical collectives that have remained economically viable for longer periods of time are rare. The Art Ensemble of Chicago will be discussed briefly in the pages that follow. The Revolutionary Ensemble, one of the most economically marginal yet long-lasting groups, is the focus of the next chapter.