Largely because of the success of The Fugs (Ed Sanders’ and Tuli Kupferberg’s beat group, to be discussed in my forthcoming essay on popular music), the e.s.p. label continues to exist, and has grown in size and substance. The faults we noted previously are still sometimes apparent—there are still no sleeve notes, and the recording quality is sometimes less than superlative—but, unlike any other label, it continues to represent contemporary developments in jazz without compromise or apology. Bernard Stollman is to be congratulated on his achievement.
In this article, we want to consider some music from the e.s.p. catalogue. Most of the musicians involved have never appeared on record before. It would be premature to attempt to gather up their work and present it as a general trend, so we intend to review each record separately.
The general principles from which all this music arises. All the musicians reviewed below work in directions that were first suggested by Ornette Coleman, and the basic principles have been considered in the preceding discussion of the new wave (New Left Review 31, 32, 34 & 35). This does not mean that it is all immediately and easily comprehensible; some of it is still very puzzling. Initially, the listener should try to suspend his musical conditioning and just let the music happen.
Byron Allen, alto saxophone: Ted Robinson, bass: Maceo Gilchrist, drums.
Time Is Past: Three Steps In The Right Direction: Decision For The ColeMan: Today’s Blues Tomorrow.