The book begins with an overview of where, when and how new ideas in free and improvised jazz have been created and added to the canon, developing the genre beyond its initial roots. It moves on to consider how and why musicians create free and improvised jazz; the decisions they make while playing. What are they responding to? What are they depending on? What are they thinking? The authors analyse and synthesise the creation of free jazz by correlating the latest research to the reflections provided by some of the world’s greatest jazz innovators for this project. Finally, the book examines how we respond to free and improvised jazz: artistically, critically and personally. Free jazz is, the book argues, an environment that develops through experimentation with new ideas.
Included here are detailed musical analyses of improvisations, accompanied by full transcriptions. Intimate interviews between the author and Coleman explore the deeper issues at work in Harmolodics, issues of race, class, sex, and poverty. The principle of human equality quickly emerges as a central tenet of Coleman’s life and music. Harmolodics is best understood when viewed in its essential form, both as a theory of improvisation and as an artistic expression of racial and human equality.