The 22nd Annual Vision Festival presents the world’s premier talents in Free Jazz music, dance, poetry, and visual art. Arts for Art is proud to honor multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his uncompromising artistic vision over the past four decades.
Vision Festival 21..FREE-JAZZ IS A DISCIPLINED DISREGARD FOR TRADITIONAL BOUNDARIES!
Continued from P.1:… Jackson‘s piano offered crystalline sounds and deft transitions between styles and moods. (The way the grand piano he played was mixed, or perhaps the effect of the room’s acoustics, made it sound somewhat like an upright.) Bluiett stood above it all with an authoritative mastery and strong conviction of what needed to be said.
At one point, the music became a gaseous cloud, swirling in and around itself and abstract shaped inanimate objects. After a drum solo, the music coalesced into a joyful gospel tinged groove. After another rousing gospel of a different ilk that ran through its own world of possibilities, they continued with a beautiful and moving ballad. The piano set the stage for the sax melody. The drums provided excellent ornamentation, and the tuba assumed the mantle of arch bass with astonishing aplomb and grace. The whole piece was quite emotional and moving. After this, they concluded their set with an immersion into the blues.
This past Wednesday evening I entered the Roulette, a very nice, perfectly sized theater on Atlantic Ave just about where it intersects Flatbush Ave with no idea of what to expect from the night of music ahead of me. Prior to going, I had never heard of Milford Graves, although I suppose it is very possible that his music has slipped through my ears without knowing at some point in my lifetime. That said, being a drummer myself, I was excited to experience whatever lay ahead.
Before I give any opinions or reviews of the music let it be said, that, in my understanding, the evening was a celebration of Dr. Graves’ lifetime achievements – not only his music, but his contributions to humanity through his music, as well as, through his teaching and research. As I gather, said contributions and achievements have been ample in Milford Graves life. From there it would be prudent to point out that a recurring theme throughout the night – and Dr. Graves life – was that of his openness of mind, of heart and of ear. This openness is a state of mind and a state of being – and for this I can say with much respect and admiration that Dr. Graves has earned the praise and acknowledgement that he has received.
As I arrived, Hamiet Bluiett’s Bio-Electric Ensemble was taking the stage. Joining Bluiett was DD. Jackson piano, Hamid Drake, drums, Harrison Bankhead, bass, and special guest Matthew Whittaker, on keyboards. A free, major key gospel-like invocation filled the air. Bluiett came on and played an enormous baritone sax. Low notes and melodies riding their