Trevor Barre’s Convergences, Divergences & Affinities: The Second Wave of Free Improvisation in England Reviewed

British saxophonist Evan Parker performing liv...

Source: burning ambulance.

Convergences, Divergences & Affinities: The Second Wave of Free Improvisation in England, 1973-1979 is a sequel to his previous book Beyond Jazz: Plink, Plonk & Scratch: The Golden Age of Free Music in London 1966-1972, which I have not read. This book is unlike any other music history I’ve read—the closest analogue might be Joe Carducci‘s Rock and the Pop Narcotic, not because Barre has an overriding Grand Theory as Carducci does but because the perspective is relentlessly first-person. Barre is constantly interrupting lengthy quotations with parenthetical asides, usually to disagree with the writer about some minor point. He also provides a lot of eyewitness testimony, either about albums (he’s heard ’em), venues (he was there) or events (likewise). And many interesting quotes from high-profile improv musicians like Evan Parker come from personal communications with Barre. But he’s also done a ton of research, likely by wandering out to his garage and opening old cardboard boxes. The book is full of quotes from articles in tiny independent journals that were covering the improv scene, like Musics, Microphone and Resonance.

Close Encounters of the 4th Kind with the Sun Ra Arkestra in San Francisco 

English: Marshall Allen

Source: PopMatters.

Few bands can survive their founder leaving the Earth and continuing to thrive, while both honoring the departed and pushing the music forward. The Sun Ra Arkestra is one of these ultra-rare musical entities. The avant-garde space jazz big band lost their founder and spiritual leader when Sun Ra passed on from the Earthly plane in 1993 at age 80. But the spiritual power of the band’s music called for more, and so it was that long-time band saxophonist Marshall Allen would soon take the helm of the Arkestra to guide the group forward into the 21st century.


Andrew Cyrille


August 19, 2017
Laura Toxværd Trio, IBeam
Ole Mofjell Laura Toxværd Jeppe Zeeberg

August 18, 2017
Susan Alcorn, Ingrid Laubrock, Leila Bordreuil, IBeam
Susan Alcorn Leila Bordreuil Ingrid Laubrock

August 14, 2017
Phyllis & Aristotle, Max Fish
Judith Berkson Franke Vogl

August 14, 2017
Pika, Lu Yim, Chuck Bettis, Max Fish
Chuck Bettis ‘Pika’ Higashi Mineko Lu Yim

August 11, 2017
Kris Davis Trio, The Stone
Andrew Cyrille Kris Davis Eric Revis

5049 Records Podcast Episode 127 – Carl Testa  

Source: 5049 Records.

Carl Testa is an imaginative and resourceful bassist/composer who has been making a name for himself for the past decade in the fields of composed and improvised music. Based in New Haven, he has worked closely with Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, and Christopher Riggs among many others. In addition to being the production manager at Firehouse 12, he is also the Director of Publishing and Creative Technology for Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation and has spent the past several years incorporating live electronic processing into his solo performances. For the past ten years he has booked the Uncertainty Music Series, which will come to a close this September with a two day festival at Firehouse 12.