European Free Jazz - Free Jazz As An Artform in Europe

Free Jazz As An Artform in Europe

As free jazz, or 'improvised music' grew and developed as a popular genre of music in Europe, so did its supporters - both casual and scholarly. While there had always been a close association between free jazz and political and social strife in Europe, many supporters of the genre began pushing to depoliticize the music, urging listeners to consider free jazz as an art form rather than simply a provocative statement on society bereft of any actual musicality. Many listeners of the time believed that, "free jazz was as much a political as a musical phenomenon". During this time, there were fears that if free jazz was only considered as a mechanism for political commentary, that it would lose its validity as an art form, or at worst, be subject to censorship by European governments. Due to this possibility, there was a surge amongst the free jazz community to dissociate the word "free" with the political environment it is so commonly associated with. In addition to the depoliticizing of this genre of music, other critics asserted that,"Were jazz to be valued henceforth according to its capacity to reveal something of the social conditions under which it was produced or the political beliefs that its producers espoused, then its relevance for those outside the particular community from which it issues would be limited. In other words, by only associating jazz or free jazz with a particular ideology or thought process, in effect only those of a similar thought process can understand or appreciate it fully. Rather, if the free jazz genre was dissociated from the view that it is simply a vehicle for political commentary, and instead it was viewed objectively as a form of art, it would not only would be accessible to a larger audience, but it would allow itself to be judged as an art rather than the political statement it may or may not be attempting to make.

Read more about this topic:  European Free Jazz

Famous quotes containing the words free, jazz and/or europe:

    This leads us to note down in our psychological chart of the mass-man of today two fundamental traits: the free expansion of his vital desires, and, therefore, of his personality; and his radical ingratitude towards all that has made possible the ease of his existence. These traits together make up the well-known psychology of the spoilt child.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883–1955)

    The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons.
    Imamu Amiri Baraka (b. 1934)

    In everyone’s youthful dreams, philosophy is still vaguely but inseparably, and with singular truth, associated with the East, nor do after years discover its local habitation in the Western world. In comparison with the philosophers of the East, we may say that modern Europe has yet given birth to none.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)