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I've been recording some improvisations in an late Coltrane / Evan Parker / Post modernist style...I have put 2 short pieces on my myspace page..I'd love some feedback. I'm still experimenting with my multiphonic fingerings and I know to really pull the Evan Parker thing off I need to circular breathe...just wondering how many AG fans are out there?

However, if this isn't your 'cup of tea' then please, just let us weirdos enjoy it!

BTW the two tracks are called "Open Jazz 1" and "Open Jazz 2" No editing has taken place in the mixing besides a little reverb, as my studio is dead as a doornail!

www.myspace.com/danforshaw
 

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I like! Your doing really well with this, liking the reverb (would be cool to record stuff like that in a tunnel with natural reverb I think)

One thing that I always think about with more free stuff like this is development, I don't mean to criticise, im not, i think its great but just another route you could go with this really.

It makes free stuff more interesting (for me) when you start small and minimal and grow to a big climax, it creates more sustained interest throughout if you know what i mean? I suppose this is more of the ornette sort of school in free playing, I don know mcuh about Evan Parker, but I'd love to hear you do some stuff like that where developing is your only thought, and everything else is free.

liking your playing though, great sound and control and nice to hear such a range of music on your myspace as well!!
 

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I'm a fan of avant garde when it's done well, I love this as I can perceive some shape to it. With avant garde stuff you often have to think about and understand texture and space (as opposed to licks), but as with mainstream jazz, it works best when there is a good grasp of the concepts of tension and release, however you want to call it.

Well done!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments guys, very much appreciated. I was trying to open out my ideas that have been building up from practicing more contemporary classical music, such as Ku Ku by Cockcroft and some material that looks Russian that I picked up off the net. I also dug out an old DVD called 'The world according to John Coltrane' that had some more of his free stuff on it, worth checking out!!

Regarding Evan Parker, I saw him live at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queens University in Belfast in November and I have been trying to explore and understand more of his music. One thing about Avant Garde music is that you have to really LISTEN rather than hear it.....

I'll keep working on it and see what happens!
 

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Listened to 2nd then 1st, Dan. I don`t normally like this style but yours is very palatable. Makes me think of a wildlife documentary but... not from this planet ;) Some background would make it more enjoyable, strings, percussion? Give it more depth etc.

I could listen to more of this, its abstractness makes it relaxing, taking my mind to unexplored places. My only criticism, it didnt last long enough :)
 

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One thing about Avant Garde music is that you have to really LISTEN rather than hear it.....
you're very right there, but I have to say your two tracks were kind of thought provoking and I could quite happily just listen to that, its really creative stuff and it helps me feel creative if that makes sense, with this stuff thats all you in there theres nothing else so its pure creativity which is inspiring and interesting, really makes me go different places without necessarily thinknig about it like face ache said.


Some background would make it more enjoyable, strings, percussion? Give it more depth etc.

i thought the same but have some doubts, it might lose that sense of purity and complete freeness if there was anything else, i did think some loose symbols and stuff like that though might lift it up a bit, the sax always sounds kinda odd on its own to my ears but the reverb helps that a lot.
 

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I just listened to both tracks and I like them both very much. I can see where you're coming from after playing Ku Ku because both tracks to me sound very Christian Lauba-esque in their melodic elements and their "tonality", if that makes any sense. I dug the second one a little more I think because it felt like it did more and the first one to me was just a bunch of notes IMO, although I did see a sense of development in both tracks.

I like the choice to use soprano also...judging by your Myspace pic i'm guessing your main axe is tenor? Any reason you chose to do the free stuff on the smaller horn?
 

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Awesome man! Now, when I play stuff like here, I have to wait until the end of the set. That's when the true jazzers are still around. I watch for looks on the faces, and other reactions, as to how I will respond. And, like clockwork, usually only 3 out 50 people are enjoying the experience as much as me (and in some cases) the rest of the combo are!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
because both tracks to me sound very Christian Lauba-esque in their melodic elements and their "tonality",

I like the choice to use soprano also...judging by your Myspace pic i'm guessing your main axe is tenor? Any reason you chose to do the free stuff on the smaller horn?
It's amazing you think I sound like Christian Lauba I've never heard of him, probably another influence that I should really check out! I started on tenor and still play 85% of my music on tenor, @ least the stuff that pays anyway!...

But, I suppose the Evan Parker, Jan Garbareck, Christian Forshaw (no relation) influence is a major part, I just 'feel' that Soprano was the one for these improvisations, may do some on tenor, not sure...

Regarding other instruments such as drums I always envisaged this as solo sax - there aren't many genres in which we can perform as 'complete soloists' so I wanted to explore it...
 

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Great stuff! I guess I'm the 4th avant garde fan here? I found Open Jazz 2 really interesting--especially the short foray you made into--for lack of a better term right now--whistles tones; the high smears paired with the almost pointillistic-like altissimo notes.
Have you listened to "For Alto" by Braxton?--the shapes you were exploring reminded me of some of his approach on that album.
I'm interested to know if you find that working on this approach to playing will affect your more "straight ahead" work.
 

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I thought they both were good and have a lot of potential in that direction. I preferred the second slightly more than the first, mainly because it had more unique ideas. Both tracks had some things very similar to Evan Parker, sometimes specific. The second had moments similar to some things by Louis Scalvis on soprano sax. Anyway I thought both were good and if you continue with this direction I'm sure you can improve even a lot more.

There isn't a reason that these specific tracks need other instruments or background. There is plenty of music in this style and some of it is solo and some with a group. For the same style with "background" you can just do another track with other players too. Like other players in simialr styles who play both solos and with other players. Maybe those who suggested it actually meant they are interested to hear more music from you also playing ina group.

I don know mcuh about Evan Parker, but I'd love to hear you do some stuff like that where developing is your only thought, and everything else is free.
The type of development in solos of Evan Parker is a little different than the usual concpet of develoment in jazz. For example it can be very small subtle changes that keep developing without an actual difference in energy. It is just a different idea of developing the music than is usual. I thought these tracks from Dan Forshaw showed a lot of potential for this type of ideas.

In that case I can recommend to listen to the players I mentioned :)

I heard some pieces from Christian Lauba and some techniques are similar and some ideas are a little similar (but the most basic idea is not really similar, the clips in the OP much more similar to Parker). I'm wondering if he was influenced in some way from Evan Parker who did these type of things in the 70s (or vise versa? I have no idea how old Christian Lauba is).
 

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Christian Lauba is a Tunisian composer who has written a bunch of contemporary "etudes" for solo saxophone that are generally very technical and modern. Some of them may fall in a vein similar to Cockcroft but much more difficult IMO. The first of your 2 tracks sounds a lot like a Lauba piece called Tadj that I have recently begun work on so I thought maybe you've used him as a compositional influence but I guess not.
 

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Open Jazz 2 kinda sounded like the late 20th century "music" that you hear at the North American Saxophone Alliance conferences with the 8 music stands set side by side and the saxophonist moving slowly along reading the music, stand by stand. As much as I don't care for it, I think you have the right concept, keep on going! I would certainly say it does remind me Ku Ku.
 

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Oh, I love avant garde! Liked them both, but especially the second.

Some drumming as insane as the soloing in the background would be awesome, even if it was just done minimally in a few spots here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow we have maybe 7 Avant Garde fans!!

As regards the 'straight ahead' stuff, perverse as it may sound but 80% of my calls at the moment are for pop / soul work, so I have been spending alot of time trying to nail down my chops for that. I've also taken a few lessons with Tim and he's has been trying to get me to play more 'inside' - and so the muse stirs this!!!!!....maybe if I spend more time working on this, I'll suddenly be able to nail all those 'Pres.' recordings that Branford told me to study LOL

Thanks for the comments, not sure how much I will be able to get down in the next few weeks, the main reason I've had time to record these is my wife is expected to have our first child any day, so I'm just sat in my studio waiting for the event!
 

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Very interesting music Dan.
I especially enjoyed the Open Jazz 2.
The beginning reminded me of Edgard Varese's Octandre. Your soprano sax had an oboe-ish texture to it as well as Octandre's opening passages.

You are certainly a fellow who practices unlike myself, although I should.
Your overtones were really played nicely. Overall I enjoyed your approach to the free idiom of jazz. Refreshing!
 

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To be honest I hadn't heard of Evan Parker before this thread, but am familiar with the likes of Sun Ra and Coltrane's late work.

I didn't hear any Coltrane really in either track, but then I listened to the 17 min shadow play by evan parker, and heard lots of similarities. Both tracks are refreshingly unique, and I enjoyed listening to them :)
 
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