about Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis's ensemble



The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles 

by Bob Gluck(2016) 


Chapter 7 The Revolutionary Ensemble 

第7章 レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブル 


Musical freedom is relative. The Miles Davis Lost Quintet was a model of a band fronted by a relatively nondirective leader who allowed his musicians substantial leeway to play as they wished. Circle took this model even further by beginning with the idea of a leaderless group that generated musical form even more substantially from interactions between its members. In Circle, individual freedom was balanced with the maintenance of group musical cohesion. The Revolutionary Ensemble expanded Circle's approach: individual and group configurations were malleable constructs, one giving way to the other without so much as a moment's notice. Collectivity could just as soon feature simultaneous and multiple individual initiatives as it could musical togetherness. Construction of a cohesive whole was constantly subject to instantaneous negotiation. Some might view this approach as anarchic, but the three musicians of the Revolutionary Ensemble functioned like a musical high-wire act, sounding sometimes like one voice and at other times like independent individuals coexisting in the same sound space. 




Introducing the Revolutionary Ensemble 



Among Anthony Braxton's most significant collaborators during the late 1960s in Chicago and Paris was violinist Leroy Jenkins. The two were members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians who, in search of greater support and performance opportunities, joined a 1969 European sojourn led by drummer Steve McCall and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Braxton and Jenkins were among the first AACM members to settle in New York City upon their return from Paris in 1970. Creative Construction Company, their collectivist ensemble that they founded in 1967 with Leo Smith, reunited, and performed a concert on May 19, 1970, at the Peace Church. 



The Braxton began to pursue his collaboration with Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Barry Altschul ― after touring the United States with Musica Elettronica Viva ― and Jenkins formed a new improvisatory trio, the Revolutionary Ensemble. The group included bassist Sirone (Norris Jones) and percussionist Jerome Cooper (who replaced founding member Frank Clayton). Despite its limited public performance opportunities, the band became one of the most vibrant open-improvisation vehicles during this era of dynamic, expressive music-making. 



Jenkins and Cooper first met in Chicago, albeit briefly. Cooper recalls: “[Pianist] Ahmad Jamal opened a club in Chicago called the Alhambra, but the club folded . The reason it folded was because he wouldn't serve alcohol, and you gotta have alcohol in Chicago. Me and a friend of mine went there for a jam session and a lot of the AACM cats were there. Leroy, Muhal [Richard Abrams] ... a lot of cats. I played, and Leroy played, but I couldn't hear Leroy because Leroy played violin and he had no amplifier. And I spoke to Leroy, and that was it. 

ジェンキンスとクーパーが、短期間ではあったが、初めて出会ったのはシカゴだった。クーパーは当時を振り返り「ピアノ奏者のアーマッド・ジャマルがシカゴに「The Alhambra」というクラブを開いた。だがすぐにたたんでしまった。酒を出そうとしないのだ。シカゴでそれはないだろう。私とその友達は、ジャムセッションをしようとそこへ行ったものだ。それにAACMの連中も沢山いた。リロイ、ムハル・リチャード・エイブラムス、沢山の連中がいたよ。私が弾く、するとリロイも弾く、だがリロイの音は聞こえてこない。バイオリンをアンプ無しで弾いているからだ。そのことをリロイに言っても、それっきりだった。」 


Jerome Cooper 



Fourteen years younger than Leroy Jenkins, “multi-dimensional drummer” Jerome Cooper grew up in Chicago. Like Jenkins (and many other AACM members and notable jazz musicians), he was an alumnus of “Captain” Walter Dyett's jazz program at Jean Baptist Point DuSable High School. His studies continued at American Conservatory and Loop College. Then, while in his early twenties, Cooper performed with Oscar Brown Jr. and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. He recalls having been invited to join the AACM at the time, but declined to become involved. Cooper joined the European exodus of Chicago-based musicians, first arriving in Copenhagen and then Paris. Among the notables with whom he played during this period were Steve Lacy, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, and Noah Howard. After a while, Cooper decided to move to New York City, where his association with Jenkins took off. He recalls: 




I was working a lot in Paris, but Paris around 1970 started to become a drag, and everybody was leaving and I was close to Roscoe [Mitchell] in those days. And I dug the idea, what I liked about the Art Ensemble [of which Mitchell was a member] was their cooperative effort, you know, everyone equal. And so I said, “Roscoe, you know, I'm interested in being part of a cooperative group.” And he gave me Leroy's number ... Meeting Leroy that one time [in Chicago] was the only reason that I had enough nerve when Roscoe told me to call Leroy, that's the only reason I called him. I thought, “He seems pretty cool,” so I called him up when I came back to New York and I went over his house, and he took me over to Sirone's [bass player Norris Jones, the third member of the band.] 





Sirone (Norris Jones) 



Sirone was raised in Atlanta, where he played as a teenager with saxophonist George Adams. Early in his career, he also played with Sam Cooke and Jerry Butler, and his broad musical background prepared him well to play a wide array of musical forms, including 




the gospel ... but the other music that I was introduced to early in high school was classical music. In some way or another if you are going to study music from a technical point of view you have to have the experience of European classical music. But I was very fortunate because my first teacher was a trombone player with a Dixieland group so I got on the job training ... I was listening to all sort of music, even hillbilly music ... in Atlanta the group that we had at this point, and this was in my latter teenage years was called “The Group” and we would be the opening band for all the main New York bands. 



ゴスペルとかもあった。でも高校に入ったばかりの頃に出会ったクラシック音楽も外せない。何かしら、技術的な面から音楽を学ぼうとするなら、やはりヨーロッパのクラシック音楽の経験がないとダメだ。その点、私は大変幸運だった。最初に出会った先生はトロンボーンがご専門で、ディキシーランドの音楽グループに関わっていた。そこで私は、職業訓練みたいたことを受けることができた。あらゆる音楽を聞いた。ヒルビリー(北米の民族音楽全般)だってしっかり聴いたよ。アトランタで、当時私が組んでいたバンドは、10代後半の頃で、名前は「The Group」と言った。ニューヨークをベースにしていた主なバンドの殆どについて、前座をやらせてもらったよ。」 


Upon moving to New York City at the invitation of Marion Brown, Sirone cofounded the Untraditional Jazz Improvisational Team with pianist Dave Burrell and saxophonist Byard Lancaster. In the late 1960s, Sirone performed and recorded with Brown, Gato Barbieri, Sonny Sharock, Pharoah Sanders, and Bennie Maupin before joining the Revolutionary Ensemble. 

マリオン・ブラウンの招きでニューヨークへ拠点を移すに当たり、シローネは、ピアノ奏者のデイヴ・バレルとサクソフォン奏者のバード・ランカスターとともに「The Untraditional Jazz Improvisational Team」を結成した。1960年代後半になると、シローネはブラウン、ガトー・バルビエリソニー・シャーロック、ファローラ・サンダース、ベニー・モウピンらと演奏活動を行い、録音も残している。これはレヴォリューショナリーアンサンブル加入前のことである。 


Founding the New Group 



At the time, in 1970, all three musicians were living downtown in New York City. Cooper: “Leroy was living on Bedford Street in Manhattan, in the West Village. And Sirone was living on Bleecker Street in the West Village, a hop skip from Leroy's house. And I was living across the street from the Fillmore [East]. I lived on Six Street, between Second and Third Avenue. During them days there weren't any lofts, meaning commercial lofts where they would have performances every week.” 



Sirone recalls that he and Jenkins had been playing with a larger group of musicians, some of whom he thought were not up to the task. 




We had some players that weren't hitting [playing well enough] at all and Leroy and I was walking and talking about music and I said “Listen man, I have no problem playing with you but those other cats, you gotta rid of them, they're not there, you know.” And he said, “What are you talking about, what are you thinking?” And I said “Let's have violin, bass and drums” and that's when he almost fainted and Leroy said “What do you think abut the name” and I said, “I dunno man. I dunno about the name” and he said “What about The Revolutionary Ensemble” and I thought he was crazy; three cats, but it worked. 





The ensemble's first rehearsal was at Artists House, Ornette Coleman's combination home and studio, where, according to Cooper, Jenkins was already spending a good deal of time. They also rehearsed at artist Fred Brown's, “going back and forth between there and Ornette's.” Brown was a noted painter, whose loft at 120 Wooster Street in Soho became a meeting group for numerous creative artists working in a variety of media. The year 1970 was pivotal for Brown, as he mounted his first solo exhibition in Chicago. Poet Felipe Luciano remembers Revolutionary Ensemble's rehearsals at Brown's loft. Luciano, cofounder of the Latino activist group the Young Lords, had recently joined the spoken-word ensemble the Last Poets. 




As I'm coming in the door [to Fred Brown's loft], Leroy Jenkins, Sirone is going “doom-doom-doom ...” not 4/4, 8/8, and Leroy's going “eh-eh, eh-ehhh, ehhh ...” and I'm not “beam me up Scotty” and Jerome plays with his face in your face: all I saw was his fingers. That was the first poem I wrote with Fred Brown. It was called “Fingers Moving.” After that, came the other poems, jazz poems. I remember Fred had inspiration; he would actually elicit poetry. That loft had the ability to take whatever spiritual energy you had, that you thought you had suppressed and Fred would squeeze it out of you. 


「フレッド・ブラウンのロフトにきて、ドアを入ろうとすると、リロイ・ジェンキンスとシローネが「ドンドンドン」などと弾き始めようとしていた。4拍子じゃない、8拍子か。それからリロイが「キーコキーコ」と演りだす。スター・トレックじゃないが「チャーリー、転送を頼む」とは言うまい。それからジェローム・クーパーが演奏する時は、顔をうんと近づける。おかげで彼の指しか見えなかった。」と、まあこれが、フレッド・ブラウンと最初に書いた詩だった。題名は「Fingers Moving」(指達は動いて回る)その後だった。どんどん出てきた。詩が次々と。ジャズの詩が。フレッドがよくインスピレーションを発揮したことを覚えている。実際に詩をつくることもあった。あのロフトは、自分のもつ霊感による力を、なんでも使いこなせるようになる、そんな力があった。自分が押しつぶされたな、と感じたら、フレッドが絞り出してくれるのだ。 


The context of downtown lofts as a setting for the Revolutionary Ensemble's rehearsals, and some of its performances, will be explored below. 



The “Jazz Loft” Scene in Context 



Leroy Jenkins, like Anthony Braxton, was at the vanguard of musicians moving to New York in the early to mi-1970s. Many were members of the various African American musical collective organizations that had formed in the 1960s, including the AACM in Chicago, Black Artists Group in St. Louis, and Underground Musicians Association in Los Angeles. 




These musicians' frequent encounters with clubs that refused to book artists who engaged in open improvisation were replicated in New York, so they began to take matters into their own hands. We've already seen how young, largely white musicians in the New York neighborhood of Chelsea banded together in informal settings away from clubs. A broader move was taking place among black musicians, just as it had in Chicago. Bassist William Parker explains: “People were finding storefronts, lofts, and creating and producing their own concerts because the established clubs were not that receptive to hiring them. So you had all of these musicians who instead of staying at home, came out and created work for themselves, performing and recording their music.” 



Music presented in the lofts tended to feature players dedicated to innovation and expression whose work was not constrained by marketplace demands. The commercial infrastructure that helped promote Miles Davis, including promoters like George Wein, the jazz press including DownBeat, and record companies with substantial budgets, was rarely accessible to loft musicians. Davis's Lost Quintet may have been an anomaly. While that band shared some aesthetic similarities with groups playing the lofts, it attracted attention and compensation due to Davis's personal reputation. It was not dependent on popular acceptance of the specific music it made. Lacking both the Miles Davis name and the interest of club booking agents, bands playing the lofts had barely gained traction within the jazz economy. This disparity in access to monetary sustainability meant that the economic gulf between these bands and Davis's exceeded their aesthetic commonalities. 



Lacking the organizational strength and sophistication of a true anomaly, the Art Ensemble perpetually found itself on unsteady ground. It turned its vulnerability into an asset, however, as it furthered its connections with an informal community of (mostly) black musicians in downtown New York City. A galvanizing event in the development of the loft scene was the 1972 New York Musicians Festival, which took place across multiple venues in the city. One of the key festival venues was Sam and Bea River's Studio Rivbea at 24 Bond Street. A saxophonist and composer, Rivers had mentored Tony Williams in Boston in the early 1960s and was briefly a member of the Miles Davis Quintet before Wayne Shorter joined. Rivers moved to New York City in time for the 1964 October Revolution in Jazz concerts, and opened Studio Rivbea in 1969 originally as an informal space focused on family and friends. It was at first a rehearsal space, replacing a public school Rivers had been using near his Harlem apartment. Beginning with the NYJMF, Studio Rivbea began to offer ongoing public programming. 

組織としての力と、本当の意味での異端の持つ洗練さが欠如していたことにより、アート・アンサンブル・オブ・シカゴは頻繁に活動が不安定な状況に陥った。しかしながら、このバンドは、ニューヨークのダウンタウンで活躍していた(大半が)黒人のミュージシャン達による非公式なコミュニティとのつながりを深めてゆくことにより、その脆弱性を自らの財産へと転換していった。ロフトでの音楽シーンが興隆を見せるその最中で、大きな刺激となるイベントが開かれた。1972年のニューヨーク・ミュージシャンズ・フェスティバルである。このフェスは市内の複数の場所を会場として行われた。このフェスの中心的な会場の一つが、サム・リヴァースとベアトリス・リヴァースの夫妻が手掛ける、ボンド・ストリート24番地にあるスタジオ・リヴビーだ。サックス奏者であり作曲家でもあるサム・リヴァースは、1960年代初頭にはボストンでトニー・ウィリアムスを指導し、ウェイン・ショーターが加入するまでの短い期間ではあったが、マイルス・デイヴィスクインテットのメンバーでもあった。夫妻がニューヨークへ移り住んだ際、丁度1964年に行われた「October Revolution in Jazz」に間に合う形になった。その後1969年にスタジオ・リヴビーを開設し、最初は家族や友人達に絞った身内で使うスペースだった。当初は練習場だった。それをサムのハーレムのアパートの近くで夫妻が使っていた公立学校に取って代わったのだ。NYJMF(New York Jewish Music Festibal)を皮切りに、スタジオ・リヴビーはその時々の公開事業を提供する場となり始めた。 


Jerome Cooper was a denizen of the Riverses's loft. “I used to go at three o'clock in the morning. Sam would always be up. I went back into their living area. The children were really courteous and nice. I really believed it was the love between him and Bea and their children. That's why the place was so hip.” He sums up the relationship between Rivers and the musicians with whom he played: “The reason I used to go there was about love. It was total love.” 



Unlike many of their peers, the Revolutionary Ensemble did not use Studio Rivbea as a performance venue. Yet the environment and circumstances under which musicians struggled to perform was something they shared. 





Revolutionary Ensemble's Performances 



In its early years, before the mid-1970s, the Revolutionary Ensemble performed infrequently. Cooper: 



[To arrange] concerts, the few that we did-we would go up to the Public Theater, just walk in there, and walk upstairs and say we want to see Joe Papp. I'll never forget Novella Nelson was the secretary there, and she introduced us to Joe Papp and I don't know if he liked us, but he said: "I'm going to let you rehearse over at the Annex." Across the street from the Public Theater, Papp had the other building up the street; he called it the Annex, and he let you rehearse there a couple weeks. And then he gave us a concert at the Public Theater. He didn't give musical performances at that time, very rarely. There were some musical performers that I heard, but not on a regular basis. This is 1971. The only loft we played a concert was at Ornette Coleman's place, and it was jam-packed. 




It is not clear why the group did not participate more fully in the loft scene, like other musicians within its circle. 



One of the first Revolutionary Ensemble concerts, and a rare extended engagement, took place at the Mercer Arts Center on Broadway. Rolling Stone described the center as "a kind of supermarket of entertainment containing five theatres, a video tape room, an actors workshop, a bar and boutique. In its short history it housed several Off-Broadway productions, including Ken Kesey's 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and 'The Proposition,' a satirical review." The venue would soon become the first home of the Kitchen, a multimedia arts center. Cooper continues: 

レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルが公演活動を始めたばかりの頃、コンサートの内の1回と、そしてこれは稀なケースだが、比較的規模の大きな契約による連続公演が実施されたのが、ブロードウェイのマーサー・アーツ・センターだった。「ローリング・ストーンズ」誌は、このセンターを次のように記している「ある意味、エンターテイメントのスーパーマーケットのような場所。建物には、劇場が5つ、ビデオテープを鑑賞する部屋が1つ、役者向けのワークショップが開催されていて、バーやブティックもある。この小屋は「マーサー・アーツ・センター」としては短い期間であったが、その間にいくつものオフ・ブロードウェイ作品の公演会場としての役割を果たした。その中には、ケン・ケセイの「One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest」や「The Proposition」といった社会風刺的な作品もあった。ここはその後まもなく「キッチン」という多様なメディアの芸術活動を支援するセンターの、最初の本拠地となってゆく。クーパーは更に続けて 




We played four weeks there, in 1971 or 1972. It was our first really extensive [series of] concerts. The owner [Seymour Kaback] was a guy who owned an air conditioner company. He hadn't had music in there; just plays. He was a very nice person. He owned buildings. He liked us and just let us have the space. We played in the Oscar Wilde room. He said: "Come here and do your thing." We did our own advertising. What happened was we had friends, and they gave us the money to deal with posters. First week at Mercer Arts Center, nobody was there. Second week, two or three. Third week it was half packed. The fourth week it was jam-packed. We used the [Mercer Arts Center] poster later for the cover of our record The Psyche. 


私達はここで4週間公演を行った。1971年か、もしくは72年だったかもしれない。私達にとっては初の、本当に規模の大きなコンサート(シリーズ)となった。ここのオーナー(シーモア・カバック)は、空調設備会社のオーナーだった。彼が音楽活動をここで行うことはなかった。やったのは芝居だけ。とても好感の持てる人物だった。ビルをいくつも所有していた。彼は私達のことを気に入ってくれて、場所を提供してくれたのだ。私達が演奏したのは「オスカー・ワイルド・ルーム」という場所である。彼は私達に「ここを好きなように使ってください。」と言った。自分達の宣伝は自分達でやった。すると友人が何人かできて、彼らはポスターを何とかする資金を出してくれた。マーサー・アーツ・センターでは4週間公演をこなった。最初の週はお客はゼロ。2週目は2,3人。3週目になると会場は半分くらい埋まり、4週目には超満員となった。私達は後に、この時のポスターを(マーサー・アーツ・センター)レコード「The Psyche」のカバーに使用した。 


The group's 1972 performance at Artists House was heralded in DownBeat: "The music literally swirled and smoked right before the spectator's eyes, truly a devastating study in group unity." Critic Roger Riggins described the Revolutionary Ensemble as "a unique, utterly contemporary unit of extraordinarily talented players who possess a world understanding of what 'organized sound' is all about." 



Building an audience proved to be a ground-up operation for the group. As it lacked professional promoters, “our own advertising" meant extensive interpersonal networking and posting flyers. Cooper explains: 



[In terms of jazz clubs], we worked the Five Spot; at that time it was on St. Marks Place. It had moved from Fifth Street to St. Marks. I think we had a weekend or maybe two weeks, and [the owner] asked us if we wanted to buy the Five Spot! We did play the Village Vanguard one Sunday afternoon. The audience was small, but the main thing was Max Gordon. Max sat down and talked with us the whole day, and just told us the whole history of the Vanguard. He gave us a Sunday afternoon performance. There weren't that many people there, but what I remember was Max Gordon talking. One night, Leroy and me tried to get a gig at Slugs [a club on East Third Street]. It could have happened, but Slugs was going out. 


(ジャズクラブ、ということで)私達はFive Spotをあたった。当時はセント・マークス・プレイスにあった。以前は5丁目にあったが、セント・マークス・プレイスに移転したのだ。私の記憶では、ある週の週末1回か、もしかしたらもう1回やらせてもらえたかもしれない。オーナーからはFive Spotを買収したいか?なんて訊かれてしまった。実は私達はヴィレッジ・ヴァンガードで演奏したことがあった。ある日曜日の午後のことだった。客入りは少なかったが、何とそこにはマックス・ゴードンが居たことが大きかった。マックスは丸一日膝を突き合わせて話をしてくれた。その際、ヴィレッジ・ヴァンガードの歴史を初めから一通り教えてくれた。彼は私達のために、日曜の午後公演を1回やらせてくれた。客入りはよくなかったが、とにかく私が憶えているのは、マックス・ゴードンが話をしてくれたことだ。ある夜、リロイと私はSlugs(東3丁目にあるクラブ)で1回ステージをやらせてもらおうとした。実現するかに見えたが、Slugs は閉鎖することになっていた。 


Slugs had been one of the few clubs in New York City whose programming spanned a sufficiently wide range of aesthetics to include the Revolutionary Ensemble. Much farther to the west, the Village Vanguard was a mainstream club that stretched its aesthetic boundaries in May 1970 to welcome the Chick Corea Trio with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul. Lacking the name recognition of Miles Davis sidemen, a primetime or repeat performance by the Revolutionary Ensemble was unlikely. Similarly, jazz pianist Paul Bley's edgy 1969 synthesizer performance at the Vanguard proved to be his final show at that club. 



Another place where the Revolutionary Ensemble would perform was the old St. Marks Theater, where it recorded its album Manhattan Cycles on December 31, 1972. Other engagements included a recorded concert released in 1972 as Vietnam, and a show at the Jamaica Art Center in Queens, New York, in 1973. Cooper adds: "We did radio interviews on WKCR and WBAI. Verna Gillis had a radio show called Soundscape [Soundscape: Music from Everywhere]. I used to do that show a lot. She later produced the Revolutionary Ensemble concert out in Prospect Park." 

レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルが出演したもう一つの場所は、今の前のセント・マークス・シアターだった。そこでレヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルは、アルバム「Manhattan Cycles」を1972年12月31日に収録している。その他契約の取れたものとしては、コンサート音源で、こちらは1972年に「Vietnam」としてリリースされた。他には1973年にニューヨークのクィーンズにあるジャマイカ・アート・センターでの公演を収めたものだ。クーパーは更に「私達はWKCRとWBAIでラジオのインタビューを受けた。ヴァーナ・ギリスのラジオショーで「Soundscape:Music from Everywhere」という名前の番組だ。私はかつてこのショーによく出た。ヴァーナ・ギリスは後に、レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルのProspect Parkでのコンサートをプロデュースしている。」 



A Short-Lived Record Contract 



In the mid-1970s, the trio gained greater recognition and began to appear at festivals. It also received a recording contract with A&M Records during the brief existence of that company's Horizon Jazz 

Series directed by John Snyder. Sirone recalls that the Revolutionary Ensemble remained a source of controversy with the company after landing the contract. Herb Alpert, A&M's cofounder, 

1970年代の中盤になると、トリオの知名度も上がり、音楽フェスにも出演するようになる。また、A&Mレコード社が短期間だけ、ジョン・スナイダーを総指揮に据えて「Horizon Jazz Series」というレコードリリースを展開した際、トリオはレコード契約の機会を得た。この契約の後、シローネの回想によると、レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルはA&Mレコード社とともに何かと物議を醸し続けることとなる。彼によれば、A&Mの共同設立者であるハーブ・アルパート 


(Herb Alpert) 

wanted to impress Quincy Jones [the company's musical director] with the new catalogue for Horizon. They were having dinner and he put on the Revolutionary Ensemble's The People's Republic. He probably put on the first cut called "The People's Republic" and it opens with voices and Quincy said to Herb Alpert that he has been conned; that it wasn't jazz or music and blah blah blah. Mr. Jones did miss the point. If he wanted to enquire a little more about it, the point of the piece is that everybody can sing, you may not like the voices but everybody can sing and at the very end of the composition we played that line [sings the line] and that is the transition from the voice to the voice through the instrument. 

(Herb Alpert) 


同社の音楽監督だったクィンシー・ジョーンズに、「Horizon Jazz Series」様にこの新しいカタログ項目を印象付けようとしていた。彼らの夕食の席で、ハーブ・アルパートレヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルのレコード「The People's Republic」をかけたと思われる。レコードがかかると、クィンシーがハーブ・アルパートに言ったことが「自分は愚弄されている。こんなものはジャズでもなければ音楽でもなんでもない」。ジョーンズ氏は聞き所を逃してしまっていたのだ。それをもう少し聞いてみたいと、クィンシーが思ってくれていたらの話だが、この作品のポイントは、一人一人が歌える、ということと、声質は好みではないかもしれないが一人一人が歌えて、そのして曲の大詰めでそのラインを楽器で歌うのだ。それこそが、肉声から楽器を通しての声への乗り換えなのだ。 



The People's Republic actually represents an excellent entry point for listeners unfamiliar with this band, and post-Coltrane improvised music more generally. Recorded in a studio in Burbank, California, on December 4-6, 1975, the parallel voices of the trio are presented with clarity. The music is exceedingly diverse, from Leroy Jenkins's beautiful ballad "New York" (that very elegantly begins and ends with its theme) to the texturally diverse and at 

times cacophonous "Trio for Trio." The violin and bass duet in "New York" lies in the middle ground between counterpoint and parallel play, punctuated with great subtlety during the second half by Jerome Cooper's drumrolls and bugle calls. "Trio" is laced with inferences from the European avant-garde and a Stravinsky musical quotation. 

実際「The People's Republic」はこのバンドに馴染みのない音楽ファンには、この上ない入門の1枚であり、コルトレーンの後に続いたインプロヴィゼーションによる音楽演奏をより総合的に紹介する役割も果たしている。1975年12月4日から6日にかけて、カリフォルニア州バーバンクのとあるスタジオでこの作品は収録された。このトリオは同じ音や音形を別々の声部で演奏する特徴があり、ここではそれが鮮明に示されている。音楽は変化に富んでいる。リロイ・ジェンキンスの美しいバラード「New York」(大変優美な出だしから、最後はテーマを演奏して終わる)。曲の構造が変化に富み、時に混沌とした演奏を聞かせる「Trio for Trio」。「New York」の中に出てくるバイオリンとベースの二重奏は、対位法と平行奏法の中間に位置する曲の作り方で、後半はジェローム・クーパーのドラムロールとラッパにより、実に巧妙に店舗が示される。「Trio for Trio」には、ヨーロッパのアヴァンギャルドストラヴィンスキーの音楽的手法を匂わす内容が盛り込まれている。 


The diversity of this recording continues with the catchy melody of "Chinese Rock," from which a violin-led open improvisation unfolds; Cooper organizes his drumming into a loosely constructed beat, on which Sirone lays down an infectious dance riff. The title track offers a kalimba-led multi percussion display featuring bells and vocalizations. 

変化に富んだこの収録音源は、更に聞き手を惹きつけて離さないメロディを持つ「Chinese Rock」へと続く。ここではバイオリンが引っ張るオープンインプロヴィゼーションが展開される。クーパーの織りなすドラムの演奏は、ゆるく構築されたビートとなり、その上にシローネが、一旦聞いたら耳にこびりつくようなダンスリフを弾いてみせる。タイトルトラックは、カリンバが引っ張ってゆく多種多様な打楽器によるもので、ベルと人間の声を前面に押し出している。 


The recording concludes with the multi-sectional "Ponderous Planets," which begins with ringing long tones, yet after a poignant, extended trio fantasia and percussion extravaganza, culminates in a section that swings, breaking apart into a freer section guided by Jenkins's breath-length phrases. 



レコードの締めくくりは「Ponderous Planets」。色々な部分が沢山でてくる。まず長く伸ばす音が響き渡り、感動的で時間と内容をたっぷり盛り込んだ展開部と、打楽器の派手な見せ場があり、最高潮に達したところでスウィングがかかり、バラけて、リロイ・ジェンキンスの一息のフレーズが引っ張る、より自由度の高いセクションへとなだれ込む。 




After its two initial recordings, the band released The Psyche (1975), followed by a studio album, The People's Republic (1976), its most widely circulated recording. The final recording during the band's initial period together was The Revolutionary Ensemble (1977); private recordings exist of contemporaneous shows at Tin Palace, September 26, 1976, and April 9, 1977. The band reunited more than a quarter century later, producing the studio recording And Now... (2004) on June 18, 2004, and a live recording documenting a May 25, 2005, concert in Warsaw, Beyond the Boundary of Time (2008). Additional live-performance recordings are in private circulation. 

最初の2つの収録の後、このバンドがリリースしたのは「The Psyche」(1975年)と、それに続くスタジオ・アルバム「The People's Republic」(1976年)は大変規模が広くよどみなく流れる収録である。このバンドのデビュー当初に行われた最後の収録が「The Revolutionary Ensemble」(1977年)。1976年9月26日と1977年4月9日にTin Placeで行われた各公演を、プライベートレコーディングの形で残したものだ。このバンドが解散後四半世紀以上経ったところで再結成した時にプロデュースしたのが、2004年6月18日のスタジオ音源「And Now ...」(2004年)、そして2005年5月25日のワルシャワでの公演を収めた「Beyond the Boundary of Time」(2008年リリース)。他にもライブ・パフォーマンスを収録したものがいくつかあるが、いずれも公には出回らず、限定者のみに供されている。 


Clearly, access to the Revolutionary Ensemble's music was limited to those who witnessed its live performances and the few who heard its recordings. From an economic perspective, the band lived on the margins, playing together for the sake of making music its members loved. 



Musical Form and Structure 



Jerome Cooper comments on the group's distinctively cohesive playing: 



When we were really together we were really together. It was almost like a basketball team! We played a concert once ― someplace in Cologne ― and people wanted to keep the tape and run off. And bam, I went here and Sirone went there. I remember we had grabbed the tapes. 



People didn't know what had happened [we were so in synch]. Musically, we were totally in tune. Totally. We didn't have to look at each other. Another thing is we never played a bad concert. We might go to a concert, fighting it out, screaming and yelling, and once we'd hit that bandstand, all the stuff would just go away. We never played a bad concert.  

(Jerome Cooper) 




The unique nature of the Revolutionary Ensemble can be first detected in its instrumentation: violin, bass, and percussion (sometimes supplemented by bugle, piano, viola, and harmonica). Trios without a piano are rare outside classical chamber music, no doubt because instruments that can play multiple notes add density to the spare instrumentation. One thinks of Ornette Coleman's 1960s trio with bassist David Izenzon and drummer Charnet Moffett (with Coleman doubling on violin and trumpet). Even saxophonist Lester Young's trio, which had no bass, included a piano, plus drums. 



The strength of a two- (or three-) melody-line trio is the ability of its instruments to interweave phrases, if not play counterpoint. If there is a harmonic foundation, it is subtly implied rather than spelled out. This was why the piano-less trio and quartet formations were excellent vehicles for Coleman's harmolodic approach, where melody lines are semiautonomous. Pianist Paul Bley sought similar results in his free-improvisation trios, where the piano's function was to provide an independent melodic voice rather a conventional harmonic foundation. The flexibility of the trio format was well suited to the dynamic approach of the Revolutionary Ensemble, as evidenced throughout the band's first two recorded performances, Vietnam and Manhattan Cycles. 

メロディラインが2つ(場合によっては3つ)あるトリオが力を発揮するのは、対位法とは行かないが、フレーズを相互に絡め合うことができる楽器群の能力だ。和声の土台がある場合は、逐一全部音にするというよりは、わずかに聞かせるという感じ。だからこそ、トリオでもカルテットでもピアノ奏者を置かない編成は、コールマン流の、メンバーが自分の考えでハーモニーやメロディを作ってゆくやり方(ハーモロディックなやり方)にとって、この上ない推進力となるのだ。ここでは、メロディラインは半分は自律的に機能する。ピアノ奏者のポール・ブレイは、同じような演奏効果を、自身のフリーインプロヴィゼーションのトリオで狙っていた。そこでは、ピアノの役割は、従来型の「和声の基盤を与える」というよりは、独立したメロディ声部としてものだった。トリオ編成のもつ柔軟性が、レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルのダイナミックなアプローチにぴったりだったのだ。そのことは、このバンドが最初に収録した2つの作品「Vietnam」と「Manhattan Cycles」によく現れている。 


On Manhattan Cycles, the importance of the instrumentation is immediately apparent. We first hear the sound of strings and wood ― unmistakably connecting these sounds to their source in the physical instruments. The musical action unfolds quickly: Sirone rapidly sets the stage by playing a rapidly repeated high C, first arco and then pizzicato. Jenkins adds textural pizzicato sounds and then a melody that morphs into an upward arpeggio. 

「Manhattan Cycles」では、この編成の重要性が、演奏開始早々から明らかにされている。まず耳に飛び込んでくるのが、2つの弦楽器と、木を叩くような音だ。明らかにこう言ったサウンドと、自分たちが実際に使っている楽器の持つ根源とを、結びつけている。演奏面での機能が、すぐさま明らかになる。シローネが速いテンポで細かく刻む高音域のCの音を弾いて、演奏はあっという間に動き出す。まずは弓を使って(アルコ)、そのあとピチカートで。ジェンキンスが曲の基本構造となるようなピチカートを添えて、その後、上昇形のアルペジオとなってゆくメロディを演奏する。 



His whimsical gestures lead to a rising and falling arco run, from which flows a melodic exposition. Moving into the upper register, Jenkins plays a double stop, repeatedly sliding up and down the neck, as Jerome Cooper enters with quiet taps on the side of a cymbal. Sirone's sonorous arco bass emerges from a brief silent pause. Jenkins joins with lightly bowed figures, and then the two string players race furiously upward, reaching a note that they rapidly repeat, at the top of their ranges. Cooper taps a cymbal in support, and Jenkins adds harmonics as filigree. Sirone returns to his opening figure, which again closes out the section in silence. Next, the band mixes lo-fi sounds of a barely audible recording of Billie Holiday with Cooper's light tapping sounds, to which Jenkins juxtaposes a quiet melody, variations on the song Holiday is singing, now louder, "Lover Man." 

彼の奇抜な演奏の仕方は、弓を使っての上昇/下降を繰り返す音形となり、そこから主題提示となる。音域が高いところへと移ってゆき、ジェンキンスは同時に2つの音を鳴らす。上昇/下降を繰り返すスライドする音形を繰り返し、そこへジェローム・クーパーが押さえた音量でシンバルの縁を叩きながら入ってくる。シローネの高らかに歌い上げるベースが、一瞬静寂をもたらす間から現れる。ジェンキンスが軽快な曲線を描くフレーズで加わる。そしてこの2人の弦楽器奏者は、上昇音形で激しく追いかけっこを展開し、頂点で、2人共最高音域で細かく速いテンポでの繰り返しの音形を弾く。クーパーがこれを支えるシンバルの刻みを加え、ジェンキンスは優美な飾りとしての倍音を加える。シローネが冒頭の音形に戻り、これが再びこの部分を締めくくって、静寂をもたらす。次にバンドは、ビリー・ホリデイの演奏音源を殆ど聞こえないくらいの「ロー・ファイ」(⇔ハイ・ファイ)でミックスする。ここに、クーパーが軽快な刻みを添えて、そこにジェンキンスが静かなメロディをそっと置く。ビリー・ホリデイが歌う「Lover Man」の変奏が、ここで音量を上げてくる。 




Parallel Play as a Mode of Musical Engagement 



The balance of the first half of Manhattan Cycles, part 1, represents a shift from foregrounded solos with accompaniment to parallel play, in which the three musicians match energy levels and rates of change, but rarely intersect in unison or display conventional harmonic relationships. This is the kind of interplay and group dynamic at which the Revolutionary Ensemble particularly excelled ― its own realization of Coleman's theories of intergroup dynamics, simultaneously individualized by each musician while joined together in ensemble. The group creates a breathless speedy gesture that becomes a shared leitmotif, with each player freely expressing variants. Throughout the second half of part 1, all three musicians are fully engaged, listening closely to one another, yet contributing in a manner that betrays little obvious conventional musical dialogue. Instead, there is a shared energy level, evidence of a cooperative construction. Even when vigorous and forceful, the musical glue has qualities that are more inchoate and magical than they are the product of rules governing idiomatic jazz or classical music. Parallel-play construction continues to govern Manhattan Cycles, part 2. 

「Manhattan Cycles」第1部の、前半のバランスのとり方を見ると、全面に押し出す各ソロに伴奏を添えるというやり方から、パラレルプレーへとシフトしていることが分かる。パラレルプレーとは、3人の奏者が、演奏そのものの圧と展開する変化の度合いを、同じレベルで保ちつつ、調和させてゆくやり方だ。滅多にユニゾンで重なり合うことがなく、また従来型の和声を添え合うという奏者間の関係性も、滅多に見られない。これこそ、レヴォリューショナリーアンサンブルの真骨頂である、インタープレイのやり方であり、グループ内での互いの音量のとり方である。コールマンの手法をバンド独自に消化したやり方により、グループ間で互いに音量を設定しあい、同時に、個々のメンバーが、合奏体としてお互いにその中に身を置きつつ、個性を発揮する。バンド全体が生み出す、息もつかせぬスピード感のある演奏表現は、やがて3人が共有する示導動機(レイトモチーフ)へと変わり、個々のメンバーが自由にその変奏形を披露する。第1部の後半全体を通して、3人全員が完全に噛み合い、互いに集中して聴き合いつつも、従来型の演奏面での会話のやり取りであると、多少明らかに示すようなやり方をしている。それでもなお、3人が共有する演奏の圧のレベルが維持されており、それこそが、3人が協調して音楽を作っている何よりの証拠である。活気に満ちて力強く演奏する場面においてさえも、コテコテのジャズだったり、クラシック音楽だったりを演奏する際の縛りとなる決まりごとの産物というよりは、どちらかというと混沌として神がかった性格の結束の仕方をしている。パラレルプレーによる曲の組み立て方は、「Manhattan Cycles」第2部も全体を支配することになる。 


A second example of parallel play is in evidence at the opening of Vietnam, after a pentatonic melody is played in unison by the strings, repeated, and then extended with a coda. From there, the floodgates open and out flows an energetic violin and bass duet based on the melody, lightly accompanied by Cooper on shimmering cymbals. Jenkins's and Sirone's lines move sometimes in parallel, counterpoint, or parallel play, often sharing aspects of all three. Five minutes later, Jenkins's lines continuously flow forth new material, adding twice- and multiply repeated double stops and scalar runs, while Sirone sculpts continuously unfolding, cascading bass lines, never resting long in one spot. Cooper presses the ensemble's thick, dense energy forward. Near the end of the twenty-three-minute-long part 1, after many ebbs and flows of parallel and sometimes imitative play and an extended bass solo, the trio is back in its trademark integral yet parallel-play ensemble mode.  



Parallel play was an approach found to a limited degree in Circle and even less so in Miles Davis's Lost Quintet. The Revolutionary Ensemble had no leader looking in from outside the hub of activity, no Miles Davis to limit musical forays from continuing until their logical end, however anarchic the journey.  




Integral Role of the Bassist 



Sirone's understanding of his function as the group's bassist is another important feature of the Revolutionary Ensemble. In idiomatic jazz, the bassist's role is to anchor the harmony, keep a metric pulse, and solo when it is time to do so. These distinctions often lose their meaning in the setting of this band. A superficial listen to its recordings might suggest that Leroy Jenkins's violin is the lead instrument, supported by a rhythm section that doesn't seem to keep much rhythm. Certainly, Jenkins's obvious virtuosity is constantly on display. Yet a closer listen clarifies that the band is an integral group of three that, as we have seen, sometimes plays in parallel, with the bassist as an equal partner.  



Sirone rarely plays a conventional supportive role, in that he constantly invents and generates new melodic, rhythmic, and textural ideas. In an ensemble dominated by parallel play, distinctions between solo and support can sometimes be obscure. Throughout his solos, Sirone constructs continuously unfolding gestures built from a collection of articulations, performance techniques, and idiomatic elements. Among them are walking melodic lines, often jagged and angular and sometimes stop-start, along with arpeggiated motifs, repeated notes, hints of ostinati, harmonics, double stops, portamenti, and metrically changing lines. Literal repetition is rare, but gestures are treated as material for endless variation and extension. A phrase suggests its antecedent, although the relationship between the two may not be linear or obvious. Stream of consciousness can suddenly give way to surprise turns in direction. 






In Manhattan Cycles, part 2, the start of Sirone's solo overlaps with Jenkins's. After a while, Sirone's melody briefly suggests qualities of a folk tune, but quickly returns to a more abstract, stop-start, stitched-together alternation of lines and repeated notes and octaves. Later, harmonics lead to a more textural section where Sirone's partners scratch and tap rhythmic patterns as the bassist plays high pitched portamento lines. Twelve minutes later, Sirone's solo continues unabated, focusing on high pitches and harmonics while the others make further tapping sounds. He then revisits the musical figures that opened part 1, playing a rapidly repeated, high note arco. Jenkins adds intense, rapid bowed figures, supported by Sirone's fragmentary lines and Cooper's drumming. All three fade out, and a brief segment of recorded instrumental music returns to conclude the performance. 

「Manhattan Cycles」第2部では、シローネのソロの出だしに、ジェンキンスがオーバーラップする。暫くした後、シローネのメロディが、短く民謡のような性格を示す。だがこれは、そそくさと元に戻り、それまで以上に曖昧で、中断しながら進んでゆき、複数の旋律を交互に縫い合わせたり、繰り返しの音形やオクターブ違いの音を発信したりしてゆく。その後、倍音のあとに続くのが、それまで以上に曲の全体構造を魅力にした部分である。ここではシローネの相棒2人は、ひっかくような音や、叩くような音で、リズムのパターンを作り、そこをこのベース奏者は、ポルタメントを生かした、高い音域のメロディを聞かせてゆく。その12分後、シローネのソロは依然力をキープし、高い音域と倍音に焦点を当て続ける。この間他の2人は、更に叩くようなサウンドを発信し続ける。するとシローネは、第1部冒頭の音形に戻り、今度は速くて細かい繰り返しの音形を、弓を使って高い音域で弾く。ジェンキンスがこれに圧の強い、速くて細かい音形を弓を使って加える。これを、シローネの断片的なメロディラインと、クーパーの刻みが支える。3人揃ってフェードアウトし、予め録音した楽器音の短い部分が戻り、演奏を締めくくる。 


At ten minutes into Vietnam, part 2, Sirone provides a five-note bass ostinato, from which he periodically draws while constructing a continuous, forward-moving line. He is joined by Jenkins's fluttering violin and then Cooper's tom-toms and cymbals. He offers glimpses of the ostinato figure along his hesitant walk. Then the drums and violin lay out, leaving him to solo, which he constructs from harmonics and widely angular arco phrases, and then pizzicato articulation. Sirone plays an energetic phrase, pausing to reflect, and continues, next ferociously strumming the strings, before he returns to a more spacious construction, which builds in energy despite the pauses between phrases. High-register double stops are followed by intense melodic phrases and then a return to a more angular, repeated gesture approach. Sirone's solo concludes with strummed strings before shifting to walking bass, joined by Cooper's steady cymbal-ride pulse and then Jenkins's stop-start phrases. 



Listening to Sirone is akin to reading James Joyce, where sound, diction, and grammatical construction work in tandem, obscuring familiar roles and expected emphases. With Sirone, the listener should expect invention and surprise. 





Texture as a Musical Feature 



A third key aspect of the Revolutionary Ensemble's musical approach is attention to texture, the use of sonic qualities as a musical device. A clear example of this is found in Vietnam, part 2. Following Jerome Cooper's drum solo, we hear quiet harmonica phrases in the background. In the foreground, Sirone plays sharply articulated, highly amplified fragments of a musical line. Then Leroy Jenkins steps forward with a delicate, harmonic minor solo line, which leads us to the sounds of bird whistles in a forest. Within that sound event, Jenkins plays a melancholy lyrical line, at times echoing the birdlike gestures. A happy/sad harmonica quietly joins Jenkins in a duet, disturbed only briefly by a gong. A bugle phrase appears ever so fleetingly before Sirone enters on arco bass, above which Jenkins hints at the opening melody.  



The band's textural interests and the physicality of its instruments come together not only in the spontaneous improvisation but also in the players' choices regarding musical form. Cooper comments: 





My music was based more on what I would call "structured and patterned," because as a drummer I don't rely on B-flat and C-sharp. I have to rely on colors. I would write out a letter A, in which I might say at letter A, I want you to play viola, Leroy ― improvise. And we'd move into letter A1, where Sirone would come in with trombone, and then we'd move to letter B, which would be the written out song-things that would be really written. Then we'd go into letter B2; it would be a variation of, maybe, B. It would be like that. 



When I first [started] writing, I used to write my tunes in the old bebop way, meaning you write a melody and improvise off that melody and play the melody and end the song. It wasn't musical from a drummer's point of view. If you took away the harmonization and just left the drums there, it would be totally unmusical. 





In its place, Cooper offered structures and instrumentation, reflecting his coloristic interests.  



Each of the three musicians composed, and often the works presented unique challenges. Sirone describes the preparation for a reunion concert in 2004: "Leroy had this incredible piece that we didn't even use. It was changing rhythms, damn, every four bars and sometimes every two bars and I'm not talking common 4/4 rhythms. I'm talking about 9/8s, 7/4, 5/4." His reflective conclusion was that "each one of our compositions is very different. But the beautiful thing about it is the freedom to create; get that color; that sound; that expression; that motif, and it comes from the raw spirit; from the soul." 




The Revolutionary Ensemble really constructed collective sound paintings. Whether playing a melody, a rhythmic pattern, or a more abstract sonic gesture, the varying qualities of sound itself were central to the band's musical inventions. 








Cooper remembers how tenuous the existence of the Revolutionary Ensemble was: "When we got together ― we had no work from 1971 to '75 ― what kept us together was the music. The Art Ensemble, them cats worked. Air [another AACM-related improvisation ensemble] used to have a lot of gigs. I don't know. Maybe it's because we weren't like a trio. We were three individuals playing. A lot of times, people would come up after the concert and say, 'Leroy, I really like that song you wrote.' And it would piss Leroy off, because it would be my music." 



Cooper's observation that the Revolutionary Ensemble was "three individuals playing" ― unlike a conventionally conceived band ― is a helpful guide to understanding this group. Its music, like everything else about it ― its internal process as a group and its face to the world ― was informal and collective. This was collaboration in the purist sense. Although compositions could be tagged to individual composers within the group, the spirit of the Revolutionary Ensemble was that of the revolutionary anarchist. As I recall strongly from my own experience seeing the band perform, there was no formal presentation: the band just got up and played. There also was no discernible business plan, because the band played for the sake of making music, doing its best to go from club to club in search of gigs, but often happening into them. And the timing proved right, for a very brief time, for the music of the Revolutionary Ensemble to fit within the vision of a record producer, resulting in a major label record contract. Yet the band had no marketing scheme, just an ad hoc affixing of posters to light posts, walls, and bulletin boards. 



The collaboration was sustained despite strong wills, as Cooper recalls: "So me and Leroy ― a lot of people think we argued ― we did argue, but we argued about how we were going to go about something, so you've got to get your point across. I loved Leroy. Leroy was really cool." Well-formed musical personalities aside, there was also no front person representing the band. There was just... the Revolutionary Ensemble. Sirone's observation about the band's focus and work ethic, that "we rehearsed three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday four hours a day, and in-between we'd be looking for jobs, so it was every day, really," is summed up in his conclusion: "But the first thing we thought about was the music."  



Love of shared music-making was not enough to keep the Revolutionary Ensemble alive, however, and the group disbanded in 1977. As Cooper recalls, this happened for "a lot of reasons. The main reason was we didn't have no work. There was no work. And the other reason, musically, we were going in different directions. I was going into more of a shamanistic journey. I was hanging out with this Mexican, pre Columbian drummer, Antonio Zapata. And Sirone was going into theater and moving to Berlin. Leroy was going into a more notated European music." Sirone's interest in the theater continued throughout the rest of his life. 



Six years was nonetheless a substantial duration for a band. While the Art Ensemble of Chicago remained together for decades, the Miles Davis Quintet of the '60s lasted five years, Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band for three, Davis's Lost Quintet for a year and a half, and Circle for less than a year. 



Leroy Jenkins passed away in 2007, followed two years later by Sirone. Yet even in the years after the demise of the Revolutionary Ensemble, Jenkins and Cooper's musical bond remained strong. Cooper recalls: "After we broke up, me and Leroy kept playing. We did the Chicago Jazz Festival together as a duet. Leroy would hire me as a composer for his European classical stuff. So I could play through his connections." The drummer's admiration for Jenkins has never faded: "Leroy didn't show off. Very undercut. His shit was really ― you know what I mean ― he wasn't no show-off cat. He could play his ass off, and he wasn't a show-off." His death came as a shock: "When he passed away, I just got back from Burma ― something told me to come back, and Roscoe [Mitchell] called me up and said, 'Leroy died.' I said, 'What?' He said he died of lung cancer. And Leroy didn't smoke that much. That's crazy." 



Sirone sums up the experience of all three members of the Revolutionary Ensemble: "It was very difficult even to be alive for the three of us, and it's a miracle in itself playing this music; the dedication that we put towards this music... having the rare opportunity to write music like that and have musicians to honestly approach it. That just don't happen every day."  



The daily miracle experienced by Sirone very much defines the Revolutionary Ensemble. Yet it is not distant from the ever renewing and evolving musical journeys of Circle and the Miles Davis Lost group. 



For all three bands, every musical moment was filled with surprise and spontaneity. At the same time, the Revolutionary Ensemble was a far less economically sustainable organization than either of those peer groups. With limited financial expectations, the band played for the sheer joy of making music, seizing whatever opportunities might emerge. Despite its inability to build a listener base beyond its largely informal network of listeners and fellow musicians, the band remained vital for a number of years. And twenty-five years later, it returned for a final, energetic bow.