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People Band - 1968 (1970)

Ufff ... trochę mnie nie było, ale postaram się nadrobić zaległości i sprostać Waszym oczekiwaniom. Na początek tego wiosennego setu znowu niełatwa pozycja - grupa People Band. To chyba jakiś jednorazowy free jazzowy projekt, który żywcem przypomina realizacje innej wytwórni promującej podobne rzeczy - ESP-Disk. Ten album nagrała wytwórnia Transatlantic specjalizująca się w zupełnie innej stylistyce (np. Pentangle). O samym zespole nie powiem nic, bo nic nie wiem (więcej można dowiedzieć się z angielskiego opisu).

Mel Davis - piano, trombone, cello, etc
Terry Day - drums, alto saxophone, etc
Lyn Dobson - tenor saxophone, etc
Eddie Edem - congas, trumpet, etc
Tony Edwards - drums, djembi, etc
Mike Figgis - flugelhorn, acoustic guitar, etc
Frank Flowers - double bass, etc
Russell Hardy - piano, keyboards, etc
Terry Holman - double bass, one-string thing-a-phone, etc
George Khan - tenor saxophone, flute, etc

AMM, Sponteneous Music Ensemble, Group Ongaku, Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Musica Elettronica Viva are all groups which were formed in the 60s and tried to function as a supplement for some traits of improvised music that had been only vaguely explored up to that point and a catalyst for others that needed to be researched in a practical manner. A partially-academic take on improvisation, notions of performative hazard, a collective stature, radical interventions on the acceptance of electronic and pre-recorded sound, an inter-mixing of the arts, an endless stream of possibilities - these are several of the qualities of interpretation which these groups wanted to expand.

I think they were more interested in the interpretation than in the actual sound, trying to explore new uses of previous or innate concepts. Political radicalism, as it's often made out to be, has little to do with their interests. Of course, these groups have spawned several highly succesful solo carreers, with some of the members making music up to today. Breaking ground for forty years, I call it, and it's fascinating that some of those guys have collaborated with three generations of sound-makers.

Spontaneou/continuous music and electro-acoustic improvisation are two of the approaches they signaled with their groups. Back in the day, the two hadn't yet been able to perfect their new takes but, as time went on, the bearers of the torch have managed to do so, finally bringing their ideology from simple chance tests to definitive forms from which other new approaches have stemmed, revealing the continuous time-loop by which everything fuctions.

People Band was yet another collective of improvising musicians and, allegedly, the first British one of the bunch. Interestingly, they were organisationally less structured than their peers while musically more so.

Neglected by the canons which glorified the other groups, People Band found themselves maligned by the label which decided to release a recording of theirs, resulting in feuds on various issues from the trimmed-down record to the cover art. Luckily, Julian Crowley and David Keenan of the Wire digged it up and all their efforts led to an adequate reissue on Emanem in 2003, featuring the entire material which originated from that particular recording sessions in 1968, the original cover, detailed sleeves and all the other related goodies.

An earnest approach, without experiments regarding electronic cross-over and statements on the ubiquitous nature of improvisation, had perhaps cast a shadow upon their potential fans' visibility radius. Get ten musicians to perform whatever crosses their minds but do impose certain rules in what concerns the instruments used, the length of the improvisations, the appearance of solo passages. This is what you're bound to end up with. Free jazz pastiches with equal reliance on the "free" and "jazz" factors, with saxophones driving nothing but the air around them. It doesn't make sense on a cerebral level, oh, but it works so excellently on a reflexive one and then for those who've heard enough to appreciate open-ended music, who know what clattering percussion means, who've dabbled into No-Neck Blues Band, who don't look for pretexts and guises and treat sound arbitrarily, who find beauty in a song suite without a plot, who fathom making the players their slaves.

Make them swap instruments while playing, make them rearrange themselves into various sub-groups for seconds, make them turn their back on the audience, hide behind curtains, conceal their sound to themselves and then extract their psyche out of the equation, explain them the musicality of eternal silence and banish them into it, phasing out their hearing of the sounds they produce into oblivion, not noticing there's any actual playing, only trusting the moves of their fingers and the breaths of their mouth, not that they ever mattered. Free sound up from its generative means, for better or worse, after all. Play without attitude and don't let that become an attitude in itself; just play. (bychanceuponwaking.blogspot.com)

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5 komentarzy:

ankh pisze...


Progtense pisze...

Cześć! Great blog here. I linked your blog. Hope you don't mind. Do widzenia.

isabelbc pisze...

Thank you!


toller pisze...

O, Mike Figgis w składzie. To chyba ten sam?

zappahead pisze...

sounds like a masterpiece to me....thanks for the share.

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