08 agosto 2017

Dopo Beyond Jazz Trevor Barre prosegue il suo avvincente e dettagliato racconto della scena del jazz d'avanguardia e delle musiche di improvvisazione in Inghilterra con il volume Convergences, Divergences & Affinities, dedicato all'emergere di una seconda generazione di musicisti - dopo i pionieri Parker, Bailey, Guy, Rutherford, AMM, SME - nel cuore degli anni Settanta, con particolare attenzione a Beresford, Coxhill e Day e alla nascita della rivista portabandiera Musics. Il prossimo capitolo, il terzo, si occuperà in gran parte delle vicende del London Musicians' Collective.

The much anticipated follow-up to Beyond Jazz, Convergences, Divergences & Affinities continues the story of early English free improvisation, tracing the path of the music from 1973 to 1979. It follows the progress of the early pioneers and the formation of the ‘second generation’ of improvisers, examining how they continued to develop the sound through such outlets as the London Musicians Collective, Company and Musics magazine. Particular attention is given to the regional scene and to the formation of various collectives across the country. Trevor Barre’s new book is another very readable history of the initial period of one of the most radical and misunderstood musical genres of the 1960s and 70s.

If Beyond Jazz suggests a Golden Age, then Convergences can be said to cover a 7-year Silver Age, when free improv developed and changed, whilst remaining challenging and provocative, England's very own avant-garde, which paralleled and interacted with more popular strains like punk and post-punk. A fair amount of recorded evidence exists and is discussed in the book, and we are lucky that it is complemented by the contemporary magazine Musics, which is also studied in some detail as the house organ of the 'movement.' The emergence of a 'second generation' is studied, and the continuing work of the first, and the formation of several musical collectives/cooperatives across the country gets the attention is finally deserves. The figures of Steve Beresford, Lol Coxhill and Terry Day are identified as key mischief-making talents that represent the serious fun that the music provided, and get their own dedicated sections in the book.