Kenny Wheeler and Big Band

What better characterizes current times is the existence of a plurality of voices which describe situations that will
never be possible to be completed, or to be sufficient in representing its content. We live in a state of accumulated
denial and we're capable of establishing an exemplary standardized method with music. We keep depending on
the ability of getting a hold of the others' attention and of provoking a feeling capable of forcing replies from
people. The act of understanding and assimilating music is an eminently private moment through which we can
contemplate the distancing of those who surround us. The act of creating shapes the way in which we understand
life and makes us recognize the moment of great solitude to which we're subjected to. When we hear something
different, this solitary situation can assume a fatalist nature and make us try to act in a creative way about our
own silence. We develop relations from us to ourselves, induce new proceedings in the search for the essence of
musical action, compare and build memories as if there was a necessity to overrun all limits and to prove that it is
possible to act upon individual sensibility, bearing everything that is exterior to us. Maybe it is this task that we
will have to accomplish when we understand that the interpretation of a work of music constitutes and act of art.
The silence that exists inside each one of us, confronted with what we hear, is expressed in a personal experience,
impossible to be steadied through the means of description, the silence of its contemplation rebounding in the
nakedness of its character. The moment when we discover this degree of imponderability and of
communicational isolation, we understand the real challenge of surviving that is placed in it. Silence is not an
experience of the lonely individual but its identity's social consequence. When words seem to be the more
adequate ones to express a specific reality, and even when voice occurs as a grand sonic moment of that
description, we're still incapable of transforming what we feel in communicability. The music of Kenny Wheeler
nurtures a state of opposition between the voice and the silence, which mix together and that many times relate
to each other beyond language, as something that keeps recognizing itself and that implies an individual
experience. All music meets in the pure realm of sound and of its magical sonorities, where Jazz reveals a thought
through a metaphorical image in an empty space and opened up by a scream. The scream presents itself as the
negation of language and its sound is terror taken to the limits of absolute muteness. When music is capable of
expressing the sound, the attitude and the character of a race, a culture and a man, it automatically acquires the
ability to be voice and to become scream. Music reveals a state of great communication, as the only means to save
people from a generalized communicative isolation, when these meet in an environment where all reference flaws
are mere interaction flaws. By escaping this isolation through music, we're changing and bettering the difficult
relationship we established with our fear and with our silence, recasting hope upon the rediscovered and rebuilt
voice in the climax of an integration, founder and regulator of new sounds. Music can be a narrative that helps us
understand what we are and that calls upon attention to the various problems of assimilation and of reposing
truths, as a counterpoint to the undifferentiated rhetoric that surrounds us.

Terence Blanchard

The word south is a valuable reference point in the analysis of the conditions in which several cultural events,
associated and related with that geographic element have been verified. Subjacent forms of cultural expression
exist that directly concern that space of conversance. There is a code of easily identifiable symbols that recognize
social and political patterns, revealing explanations concerning many of the causes for the marginalization of the
peoples subject to a chronic lack of development, hostages of the spectre of permanent misery in which they keep
surviving. Poverty and urban culture emerge according to the same formula, in the abundant area of the great
metropolis. The city comes to us augmented by new hues, prone to be detected in the dramatic beauty of a
traditional tale or in the irreducible suffering of a domestic tragedy. The suburban concept is transformed into
an opposition between conventions and more stable social forms, originating another type of stories and
narratives that portray the people's experiences - immigrants look to find a new happiness in the promised land
of opportunities. The contrasts created by the variety of life situations, the roads opened up by a necessity of
escaping misery and injustice, create necessities in adapting to the contours of the city that develops from the 20
th century onwards as a great space for marginal action. These significant changes will now influence the way
people will understand and relate to each other. The moving populations start to unravel the invisible remnants
of their original cultures that they themselves carry as resources of identity and substance close to their
belongings and their memories. The south comes to us as a fundamental geographical reference point for us to
understand some of the artistic manifestations of the past century, as well as the modifications in the elements of
the city setting, amidst the process of cultural self-preservation. New Orleans incarnates the United States of
America of one of those sensitive spaces, a place where for a long time high degrees of ethnic and cultural mixing
has been verified. The strategic position of this city has made the process of cross-breeding heritages easier, in the
increment of imagination and in the fantastic rediscovery of fun as a process of escaping problems, turning grief
into a culminating element of entertainment. Jazz arises from that territory full of narratives of resistance and
possesses an intense passion for pleasure. A resistance against the forces that in a direct or indirect way,
transformed suffering into a mechanism that perpetuates misery and joy. Its victims were obliged to accept the
state of a, subtly oppressive, institutionalized racist and sexist conscience, through which they found the
overcoming metaphors originating from ambiguous places where many poetic justifications concerning their
origins find themselves enclosed. Jazz is one of the great manifestations of disobedience, built on the human
condition that its tragic state helped reveal. Jazz is action, an experience centred on the possibility that, by its
side, new cognitive clarifications that may take to a social or personal change can exist. When we understand a
musical phenomenon of an eminently urban trait, New Orleans begins to incarnate one of its first sights. The
music of Terence Blanchard redefines a search for these origins by highlighting a set of Jazz's timeless elements
in a recent space for new socio-cultural experiences that present times prompt and force consideration upon. It
can also be attempted to understand what Jazz is nowadays. An improvised music that seems to be disappearing
from the border between its more traditional elements and all the other artistic experiences past and present,
that, meanwhile, were developed and lived out starting from the second half of the 20 th century. When we make
this apprehension upon the phenomenon of Jazz, we feel a need to understand its mechanisms of developing in
this no man's land, where the limits of its surfaces move quickly and where everything can be found in great
altering tension, as happens in all arts. By discovering that the variety of genres and its types disables any type of
normative direction, we conclude that the lack of rigidity that all its current certainties pulverized the traditional
practices of regulated redefinition.

Sei Miguel Quarteto

The infallible evidence that we're penetrating a new gravitational region, situated in the space of music and Jazz
is the change of course that nowadays values individual narrative in the place of collective history. The word and
the voice hold a fundamental role in reporting history. Nowadays the concept of history has started to dissipate
itself into other genres, where narratives share different roles, encircling qualities that include representational
ways, such as myth, dream, the unconscious, movies, images and all situations that haven't yet drained
themselves of the possibility of being told. Thus subgenres like ambient music, performative sounds, electronic
musics, machines, open and multidisciplinary sources for exploring, as if all instruction manuals, the news in the
newspapers, the verbose rhetorics and the cultural clichés started to become part of the reinvented text, in the art
of reporting the present time. The incorporating of fragments, the constructing of miniatures, the dialogue, the
characters, the landscape, the talking, the letters, the anecdotes, the innumerable bibliographical materials from
traditional literature, started to reorganize themselves in a narrative space that at the same time develops
proposals from other utopias which crash against a pragmatic impossibility of materializing. All universal truths
that result from that have come to acquire a total contingency and relativity. The more one doubts, the more one
foresees the fragility of artistic forms offered by the explanation of intellectual problems. Rapid change in the
area where we look for solutions, demands that more questions be asked about events that in the past were
presented as being secure and solid. This inconstancy, this unpredictability that determines us, requires another
kind of thought about past historical processes, meanings of consolidated and stable moments, able to exist as a
point of view that makes music part of a historical reality. The lack of orientation generated by the rapid change
of references originates controversial reactions that many times are defined in a disdainful mixture of hostility
and despise. Nowadays a unified and official narrative to Jazz, by not existing, as in all the other artistic
manifestations, seems to transform the world into an undisciplined, verbose and contingent space, with an
exaggerated wideness of concepts and an unfathomable dose of ambiguity, rendering it impossible to be
organized in the historical chart where it would fit. In a fragmented dimension, if each person had the right to
enable that his/her own stories prevailed and that they were important elements in the definition of present
reality, the plurality of speeches would place the narrative in a contrary situation to its original purpose, to its
absolute text, thus nullifying the spectrum of points of view about the world, standardizing and unifying. Jazz
suffers from this problem of fragmentation and languages when it tries to narrate a reality that presents itself as
improbable and hardly plausible. When we are confronted with inexplicable standstill situations for our brains,
we become predisposed to overcome this limitation, creating artful solutions. The music of this quartet, led by
Sei Miguel, is an experience of search about self-knowledge, an investigation in emotional geographies that
constitutes an image which is possible to narrate, brought to this space by each of the persons that in it take part
and that try to make each interpretation, regarding the saturation or our speech and our writing, a coherent and
adjusted narrative to the specific problems of its existence.

Cecil Taylor - Tony Oxley - Bill Dixon

Everything that can create a new experience in life has a fundamental role in people's learning process, when
they are predisposed to hear stories, to hear music, to see art or to think. Individuals define themselves through
their own skin and in the complex web of human relations, being able to organize connections filled with
meanings and beneficial changes, despite fear, despite the weight of conflicts, despite the influence of interests
and beyond the inevitable presence of a notion of an ever surrounding death. Emotions emerge into innumerable
perceptions that go through several phases of discovery, knowledge and adjustment to each circumstance, being
able to change to situations that can help us acquire a more positive and reconciled vision with reality and with
everything that one feels from it. Jazz music can be compared to an enigma, a passage, an entry into a place that
is revealed to us by artistic creation, and that insistently escapes us, looking as if it is manifested through an
incapability to understand its true greatness and impact. We write to describe a time, more worried about the
location of a space in our own personal history than with marking the true moment of aesthetical assimilation,
inherent to all possibilities of the music we hear and to where it is possible to find pertinent explanations about
the world. We're committed in redefining our calendar of events, after the moment of its hearing, and in
comprehending what in trueness we understand as being part of the essence of any artistic object reflected in
each individual. The absence of ideas never allowed any process of understanding concerning the nature of
things of being structured. We cannot understand why one sees increasingly more in Jazz in Portugal nowadays,
a restricted and totally exaggerated underlining of its avant retro ( neo-free ) forms, that comes to us totally
devoid of analytical commitment, surrounded by a highly rudimentary mimicry. FreeJazz was never a theme
park disconnected from the existence of its musicians, neither from the way they did it. It is not about a space for
recreation, built upon an elaborated way of diversion, artificially created for an audience avid for shows, as if its
own sounds could contain the explicit superimposing of its interpreters' images, and that they would come to us
as cartoons walking amongst the audience. Whoever visits this simulated territory of pleasure is submitted to a
prefabricated scenery of joy, following an archetype of senseless fun, where the lack of entertainment would
make people more isolated, needier and dolefully bored. The degenerate utopias that invade our world lean on
each other in the coming of many softened and short lasting organizations, associated to lukewarm and irony-
deprived states of mind. Everything seems to incarnate a blind faith in technology, making development and
progress able to supply us with more reality than nature itself. Places are created where the spectators can openly
admire the perfection of their wonderful forgeries upon the world's immense parody. Imagination reflects itself
in a reality that reaches the absolute state of saturation at the place where we are no longer able to tell apart the
torrent of images and the dissemination of its rhetorics and its ridiculous simulations. With Cecil Taylor, Bill
Dixon and Tony Oxley we can find how natural the myth is, fed by a time past that structures itself with fluidity
in a real and active way hovering above our present time. Without conceding to glamour and its style posing,
anyone can enter this oasis of fantasy revealed in the depth and originality of his piano. Cecil Taylor lives inside a
hermetic field of supra-musical action, where the technique of utilizing the body and its emotional currents of
imaginative emotions insistently conspire to keep us imprisoned inside its borders. We don't need to forget or
exclude any elements that can remember us of daily life or our outside world. Musicians like these make us keep
away from the depressed extension of daily life, made out of contemporary myths adorned with success,
promoted by consumerist fantasies, supported by various forms of gratuitous violence that pervade in the chaos
generated by a new planetary order. Its music is not photogenic, nor is it recent. Its concerts are not acts of
diversion, filled with empty and deserting images, rebuilt in vulgar ways, acting against good ideas reduced to
the unfinished project of a terminal culture. The proofs of its artistic authenticity are irrefutable and strong,
though what goes on around it should be interpreted with caution. This music is the configuration of a focus, a
complex and condensed unit, defined by the cultural web of aesthetical and creative relations that constitute the
unique beam of an enraptured personality . Character and ethical values are the elements that structure
principles and that refine a life's conducts. The recreation that is viewed by many people as an escape from
problems that surround us, has always searched to find formulas for forgetting that are effective and that avoid
the reordering of our grief. The discontented beings that are able to refuse knowledge's simplification and that
are capable of creating an alternative formula to current knowledge, like the one Cecil Taylor has perfected,
through an implicitly democratic music in its mixing of voices, can reach ample resources for surviving. In a
remarkable way, the freedom in this music watches over the suppression of insignificance, which quietly keeps
establishing itself in all oppressive hierarchies.

Orquestra de Jazz de Matosinhos

By witnessing an evermore intense differentiation in the several codes of expression and in the various cultural
contexts, we are pulling ourselves away from the idea of global standardization that during some time hovered
above our minds, as a legitimate concern regarding the social consequences of modernization. Despite this
transitory process not being very linear, nowadays we have a much more refined perception of the various
existing interacting formulas and of the way its recognizing has been developing. Reality is elaborated through
the idea of archipelago , like a painting developed in space, cut up over a cultural plan, standing on a relation
that continues to be strongly intertwined with its economical component. The effect caused by this assembling
left behind a few ghosts in our more recent histories that were located in the dangerous phenomenon of
acculturation, of unification and of cultures homogenizing. The set of words of prophetic stamp, reverently
exposed in modernity's various liberal theories and in which the existence of an indissoluble relation in the
connection between capitalism and individualism was considered, was overrun by an even more subjective phase
that transformed the simplified and universal way of looking at the world, in an old essential problem of
humanity: the reply about the future of western culture, in the always contradictory presentation of the rigid and
definitive form, through which the latter starts to develop and, in a certain way, leaves itself into submission.
Amidst a scattered and fragmented development, we understand the consequence of the necessity of redefining
the more ample demonstrations of our ways of action and of our own insistence in finding local resolution
processes - multiple solutions for discovering that reveal forms of structured expression in cultural variants,
outside its monolithic and global exclusive designs. The scattering of a context that, for a long time, has been
obstinate in structuring its understanding into a practice of rationality that was intending to assume a universal
dimension, made itself reappear in several moments of counterpoint concerning this idea and concerning this
total relativism of our actions as a need of self-assertion, a basic element of identity. Initially seen as a means for
survival, in the kingdom of antitheses, of opposites, of the lack of supremacy and of the West's obstinate
hegemony, the dynamic pluralism, open to confrontation and hybridism now comes along with the
reconstructing of an open platform, located in the overtaking of the extreme limits of a conception of post-
universalistic modernity. Difference as a model of the individual's integration, with origins in several groups and
built upon a coexistence of cultural systems prone to its contamination starts to characterize the visions and the
values of our times in a clearer way. The possibility of a sole parameter not existing and, in a parallel way, the
impossibility of making a metric of interests measurable, forces us to think in a constant redefining of
reconstituting the symbolic. These structural reassessments enable many cultural situations to be maintained
and defined that, apparently, would collapse under the fast changes of current social and economical structures.
In this sense the experiment of the Orquestra de Jazz de Matosinhos reaffirms a prominence of these new ways of
thinking present reality in a natural way, relocating the importance of the idea of place upon the immense
spectre of special options in permanent change. The surface opened up by the formations its musicians' interests
and by the necessity of belonging to a place, works as a presupposition for understanding where everyone can
preserve or acquire knowledge. This collective stimulates the development of relational mechanisms that intend
to watch over the legitimate process of building an assumed identity, acting as an indispensable survival element
in the difficult moment that we're going through.

Mark Turner & OAM Trio

The simplification of language has exerted an intense fascination upon musicians, and upon many other artists.
Now that the phase of the great conceptual dissertations about art and philosophy has been overcome, forms of
analysis and a few attitudes come along that will begin to concentrate its attention on things easier of being
understood, of lesser build. The areas where this attention once fell on were structured according to the pace of
the news media's worries. The emphasizing of the day's news has rendered them invisible, opening up a new kind
of representation that cannot offer an ethical understanding about the world. The development of our creative
experiences can reach an exploring practice that will become crucial for the future, exploring the vulgarity of
language as an unorthodox project of elaborating meanings and of resolving problems. We look for an interesting
way to fight scepticism and generalized disbelief, by trying to find a space that saves us from the ironic distancing
in which we find ourselves, in a way as to avoid materializing a total loss of our faith. Doubt comes to us
disguised as an attitude of distrust towards reason, stopping the pleasure of enjoying the simple assurances of
our day-to-day and natural acquisitions of knowledge. Art is located in this terrain of difficult activity, where
various confrontational forces start to collapse, quickly destroying all manifestations that desire to avoid the
glances of a harsh scepticism. We can attain a preponderant position about what surrounds us and do as that
individual, who upon knowing he can't win, behaves himself in a suicidal manner before the necessity of facing a
world completely destitute of reasons plausible of being achieved. The search for simplifications and
explanations built upon the humility of our interior searches uses common forms of language that can allow the
rebuilding of our daily life, by setting commitments of discovery over a world turned into an inaccessible
conception. With the increased worth of the simple act of thinking, routine, as everything that does not allow us
to leave the ordinary, can help us imagine replies concerning the increase of worth of what can be done to leave
this standstill. Music, by being a creative manifestation, also suffers from problems of choosing a language, sized
by a quarrel that is placed between the more sceptic and rational side, and its more intuitive and naïve opposite -
a meeting of a two-sidedness that is fascinated in the simplicity of beauty and of common and daily life things.
We should worry about finding the unfinished flow inside the common space of life - to flow would be «the state
in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter». The pertinence of these
manifestations doesn't carry along with it situations as spectacular as those in which networks of information
and images present themselves daily in. The worth of this form of placing creativity resides in the importance of
its meaning, which is not related to the size of the spectacularity of the events. The immense possibilities of
educating our imaginative ability, when confronted with recurring apocalyptical speech, toil us completely. The
music of Mark Turner and the OAM Trio carries out exactly this presupposing of simplicity, creating purified
spaces and using simple languages, capable of inducing us into looking for answers concerning the problems we
face. Its efficiency does not reveal a loss of meanings in relation to the great narratives or our time, nor can it be
considered a minor facet in the context of contemporary musics. The experience of pleasure is not presented to us
as such a mundane and light-hearted situation that can stop the discovery of forms of artistic overcoming,
inviting aesthetical rethinking and showing an image of ourselves, in the same strength, as the one that we many
times feel is associated with the more radical manifestations of daily life experiences.

Vienna Art Orchestra

A set of interacting bodies, united in the search of a sonic goal, nears the concept of machine. There is a total that
overruns the sum of the parts and makes up a key idea in this collective experience. Everything is intertwined in a
unit that, being very appealing in the more current formulations of identity, makes individuals and organizations
look to develop and promote the announced advantages as ways of acquiring an absolute state of well-being. If
we consider everything that comes to as extremely divided in the context of a space where a sort of anguish of a
lost entirety hovers above, this way of feeling becomes an evident and repeated task capable of characterizing
present times. The machine replaces the idea of a lone connection amongst individuals, which are organized
through combinatory acts, made out of physical exercises and thoughts, paradigms of social motivations that
envelop us and that entice us towards organizational models according to the blind hopes of salvation rhetorics.
In medieval Christian theology the word for salvation is salus , which used to mean health. Thus a relation
between the spiritual world and the physical processes that rule us exists, organized in a plausible link, put into
effect by the political connectors and economical activators in relation among themselves. The orchestra seen as
model for acting out musical practice has evolved and developed, attempting to optimize its resources and
creating new conceptions of sound space. An approximation to the mechanistic taste logic for rationality was
done, conferring it with its own identify and a crucial status in defining its importance, becoming an active
element inside the creative process. All music that results from this composite and multiply functioning body,
through the several instruments it uses, introduces the idea of interactive system in what we can name as
«resounding link» - a connection that imposes an order of physical processes, in a random way, and that will
create decidedly different results from the ones produced by a piece or an isolated machine. A realidade presente
é constituída por muitas parcelas e é inteiramente inconcebível sem uma visão interdisciplinar que abra o
conhecimento alcançado a partir da conjugação de tantas áreas de saber distintas, a outros modelos de reflexão
que nos façam mudar a forma como pensamos. Os problemas estéticos reflectidos na tipologia do objecto
artístico, actualmente produzido, avisam que o pensamento binário do racionalismo ocidental aparece num
formato residual, relativamente ao modelo de raciocínio clássico, o qual não pode albergar ou explicar muita
coisa. Present reality is made out of many fractions and is entirely inconceivable without an interdisciplinary
vision that opens up the knowledge achieved from conjugating so many distinct areas of knowledge, to other
models of reflection that make us change the way we think. The aesthetical problems reflected in the typology of
the artistic object, produced nowadays, warn us that the binary thought of western rationalism appears in a
residual format, in relation to the classical model of thought, which cannot harbour or explain much. We need
different ways of looking at the world that abandon the dualist Cartesian system, the same that opposes science
to superstition, knowledge to error, fact to conjuncture and body to mind. The alternative no longer occupies a
marginal place in the concept of western art, not because it is more tolerated or because a consolidated form of
openness inside the system of current thought exists, but by revealing a need for change as an intrinsic part of
reality. In this sense, the orchestra is a cultural fact, interpenetrated by the summed up relation of each of its
parts, established in the meantime in a network, in the limit of this system. Some questions resulting from the
problems of existence and its representation can be asked, but nothing enables the knowing of what will happen
to it in the future, nor what it is that may replace it. The approach that recognizes the importance of this
combined action, by a series of subtle influences generated by what may become an orchestra, recognized as a
space for creation, can help redefine imaginations and ideas, acting upon its becoming and reconfiguring forces
into a new scope that has its resources at disposal using more open models of creative strategy and inciting the
projects' time-bound nature, in the uncertainty of the results and in the irony of the contents.. This complex
mechanism of instruments, can work as a global idea that expresses and modifies itself, that recoils or uncovers
itself, that devalues itself criticising, acting in accordance to the concept which is intended of being develop in a
specific period of time. The Vienna Art Orchestra is an exceptional example of independent and marginal artistic
management, without falling into the easiness of easy and expected ideas that adorn themselves with images in a
content bereft of creative intentions. The meaning attributed to this machine of sound expression does not deny
that each entity may constitute, via the good use of the means it has at its disposal, an identity that dissuades us
from making a fetish of individual differences out of its parts, by impeding us of wrongly taking its whole by the
simple sum of its instruments, as something that happened in a random way and that came up as an moment of
luck, inside a space of attempts and of pure play.

EDITION: Guimarães Jazz 2004 Programme - Câmara Municipal de Guimarães/ Associação Cultural Convívio/ A Oficina     DATE: November 2004 


We have an ever increasing difficulty in placing ourselves in a world where reality is progressively manipulated
and defined by the omnipresence of commercial images. These images shape themselves into mass produced
artefacts, in a context saturated with solicitations, where nothing can reach a state capable of expressing the
entirety of what surrounds us. In this sense art arrives as an always partial attempt of capturing and interpreting
a permanently mutating reality. Music cannot escape this totalizing moment, which conveys a disquieting
coldness. By suggesting tensions and ambiguities, it diverts our attention from the alchemy of personal emotions
and from the mightily revolutionary sense of imaginative perceptions. Jazz, as all images of our life, assumes a
narrative where impact and mystery keep accumulating through the power of accessing a history rich in
fragments, that at the same time presents itself as being barely possible to be articulated in coherent ideas -
resulting modifications from a regime of differentiation that expands itself throughout the world. The existing
reclusion in this space of imagination and memory that is situated in current times differs from the one that, in
the past, has provided references freer from interest and useful elements to our comprehension processes, the
same that now imprison us to a refined sense of loss and concealment. In this territory of action, the artist is the
recipient of an enormous confusion caused by many redemptive solicitations. It appears in a small lonely and
central place that is developing inside a galaxy of ideas, and that in the specific case of Jazz, is organized through
an enveloping musical arch, behaving like a commercially protective atmosphere. Art expresses itself through the
advent of plural grief and doubts, and through the development of demons that stopped reflecting the inside of a
complex soul in its struggle for survival, at the moment when creativity definitively lost its characteristics of a
surface articulated by individual intimacy, in confrontation with the religious, the social and the political. The
sacred and natural powers, capable of turning the artist into a grand character of our time are inherent to the
formation of a last purpose of existing: art as a final moment of freedom. Mass culture melds itself into the
multitude of characters, commercial beings used as elements that propitiate consumption, obedient pieces in an
expanding entertainment industry. The most interesting and strange of all recently built individualities by a
society which is structured on the impoverishment and void of its cultural contents, is to be able to achieve an
enormous fascination, capable of overcoming in clearness and proximity the reality where they left from, being
more real than real itself. Jazz confirms this idea of a mirage, where a clear distinction between all images that
compose it cannot exist. Art and success are viewed as happenings of glorification and ascension. What once
were stable relationships amongst musicians, instruments, genres, types, discourses, narratives, and its exterior
context, are now marginal aspects in a circumstance which defines itself through the point of view of commerce
and profit, having relegated the subjects of aesthetic, of ethic, of authenticity, of originality and of creativity to its
margins. Jazz is currently a kind of platonic idea, an idealization for a minority lost in the midst of an ample
process of socio-cultural standardization, where the phenomenon is developed far beyond the fact of it
representing a country or a culture. Music stopped structuring itself in a socially altruistic way towards the
humiliated peoples, as is the case with many of the urban musical manifestations that have existed in the past, by
not being anything more than a form of expression amid so many materially more attractive things. Music has
forever lost its iconic function and its ability to incite urgent changes in societies in which it has proliferated. In
the polar opposite of its original state and of the singular space of greatness as a creative act, Jazz becomes a
place where innumerable elements that in it intervene are mere interchangeable and relatable units in a never-
ending series of identifications and concepts, currently associated with an image absorbed by its own reality.
Everything heads towards a deformed moment of cultural diminishing, where any figure is an ambiguous and
incoherent space, redefined in the instantaneous game of many moments characterized by a total creative
inefficiency. African-Americans have lent the culture of Jazz with the wealth of its historical fragments, the
variety of its experience based on the marginal person that knew how to take risks, who assumed having
ambitions and acted upon his/her improvisational sense. The artist found himself in a position in which he/she
was forced to permanently test his/her limits, refusing to choose between the various standardized roles that
society coercively sets him/her. His/her freedom was built from renunciation, edified in the ability to develop, by
contact with peril, a perfecting of style. From choice to choice he/she tried to overcome the view of culture as
oppressive form, stopping its practice from being limited to the selecting of a few predetermined and artistically
correct ideals. The African-American musician was able to acquire, through a very complex historical legacy,
important references of credibility, built upon its own narrative, leaning on its traditions and on the social and
political thinking that influenced his/her culture in a very peculiar way. Jazz is one of the extreme examples of
this relationship. When the meeting between Jazz and traditional European music took place, what it brought
inside was revealed in a transparent manner - moments of profound rejection and of a radical process of self-
denial. In this meeting of music and approaches, which took place in a coincidental matrix of civilization, with
experiences of different historical episodes, it was relatively easy to see how the role defining of its parts was
decided. The European field of music was placed in the opposite side emphasizing Jazz's element of aesthetical
abstraction, very distant from the problems of freedom and race that it carried. As Nietzsche said, «that which
does not kill us, makes us stronger». Jazz is a narrative that reiterates and makes aware a state of overcoming
concerning its own ironies, where justice and democracy continue to be distant and incapable of solving their
own problems. Sometimes we feel that we are submitted to an opposed feeling of fascination and delusion, where
decline is expanding in an enveloping way throughout all parts of the world, and makes us become more aware of
the cultural destruction that has been taking place.
Ron Carter

The viewpoint of the audience or of the fan becomes, in a last analysis, the looking of the I to the object body. The
innocence and triviality that express the showing of bodies are a current fact in our times. We live in an era in
which everything makes the necessity of self-promotion clear so we can exist and where the body takes on a
fundamental role in determining the limits of our being, serving as a promotional poster for an individual ego
diminished or filled with power. Mass advertising helps maintain the state of excessive rushing in of the senses
that exposes redundant exhibitions concerning every person, in an unprecedented manifestation, where bodies
selected by its photogenic characteristics commit themselves in conquering spaces of survival. Everyone looks to
find a new plasticity for his/her image, which has become a manipulated product in a perfection that updates the
images of the immaculate body, placed somewhere in the middle of many futurist utensils. Most movie stars, pop
singers and models have to project their body as if it were a sexual subtext . Sometimes that narrative is pure
performance. Fashion helped the broadening of that process, by replacing an act of presenting clothes, for a
highly personalized and theatrically sexual choreography of bodies in motion. The bodies, fashion and
performance meld themselves together under the disciplining and castrating eye of the cameras, producing
electronic merchandise in recorded figures. The world is permanently being fled by successive images, that
occupy our attention and submit us to a new mythology, built upon the fascination and glamour of mass-media
culture, that has gone on to deify commercial design and attributing publicists with the supreme task of arousing
the stimulating of desires. The critical analysis of what is present reality cannot be reduced to the mundane and
empty rhetoric devoid of a mere satire of habits, where ironies abound amidst disasters, anorexia, beauty
pageants, pornography, bodybuilding, cosmetics, silicone, plastic surgeries, corruption, overdoses and politics.
The creation of an illusion no longer possesses the utopian effect of a prophecy, felt as the possibility of finding a
beautiful body, which is a synonym for healthiness and that, in this sense, justifies each and every suffering.
What conveys this state of absolute search of well-being, inseparable from the search of the ideal form, is the
nausea people feel about their own imperfections. The combining of music, motion, sculpture and body
generates a consummate multimedia artefact, mixed in with its eclectic origins and uprooted in the references it
uses, constituting a kinetic and audiovisual performance worthy of the theatricality of the great shows. The
perfect body, the body recovered through a powerful cosmetic, achieved through the intensive exercise practicing
and biomedical therapies is, beyond any evident sign of pain or interior self-punishment, a facsimile of the
ideal/unreal image of he/she who possess it, presenting itself as a kind of icon of overrunning limits. This body,
changed by factors of restriction and fear, is transformed into a strangely dematerialized space, like the perfect
smile of a movie star. Several implicit dangers exist in the fixating on images of perfection. Its power of lulling
the consumerist paradise into fantasies in which we inhabit, where blind happiness requires all the shopping for
outfits so one can achieve an idealized metaphor of goodness in the perfectionist body, turns this sight's objects
into bodies painfully reinvented through commercial photography, se they can be revealed as symbols of
perfection in surrounding degradation. The difficulties of living in this reality built on image transmission
mechanisms would be unsurpassable if the world would be totally apart from music or from art. That fault
would steal from us an indispensable biological gift of knowledge and preservation, dragging our culture into
unrecognizable patterns. Ron Carter's music is the ideal moment to shape a culture that has known to live under
the myths of perfection placed in its utopian fantasies. Ron Carter knew how to situate himself on the outside of
current fashion's edge of ultra standardized ideas, revealing an attitude of resistance towards the tendencies of
our culture that only encourages aggressiveness and competition. His music dispossesses the places privileged
with utopian transformation and applauds the one who found out that those moments are worthless, when he
affirmed that «the imperfect is our paradise».

Dewey Redman

When we finally understand that we are a consequence of a process of individual self-creation, we make an
important leap in our lives. We don't take anything that did belong to the gods, nor did the gods leave any of their
supernatural qualities to us. In this abrupt passage of human existence, located in a before and an after in which
we cease to believe in, a vision takes place revealed in the simple form of an opposite, that presupposes a sharp
process of analytic perfecting and of ontological overcoming. The belief in our capabilities and possibilities,
facing the adverse environment created by the various existing cultures and by its bellicose dissertations, confirm
that people that knew how to get to their individual liberation have existed and will always exist, in opposition to
the others that left themselves to be entangled in a fatality determined by their gods and their most earthbound
representatives. If we wanted to place the first signs of the birth of this opposition we would have to look way
back, in our histories. Today this problem continues to be perfectly up to date, by people existing that, in an
accomplice way, keep this confrontation alive. Leaning on a series of conformist ideas of looking towards the
world, we desire and claim for urgent changes, or some amendment that modifies the placing of the institutions
and the organizations that kept seeping into the area of our daily life. The redemptive aspiration to the world is
translated according to its place, its time, its economy, its politics, its culture, factors that have always taken the
fundamental part of the history of Man. Everything seems to indicate that the confrontation of interests ends in
an unsurpassable cleavage concerning our nature, thereby being an unsolvable problem. Despite the fact that we
are carriers of wisdom and data that nowadays overruns all expectations, the two-sided nature of our origins
makes way for events to indeterminately continue heading sometimes towards the good, sometimes towards the
bad. Oppositions and confrontations are part of our lives as if we were permanently in the centre of a tragedy,
where characters contradict themselves, not being able to defend any point of view apart from their own. Each of
them subjects itself in a blind and radical way to the absolutely incompatible logic of negating the other , in a
struggle without truce and without compassion, forgetting that in this difficult context they may never be right,
for there will never be one last word in the logical plan of things and people. The essence of this moment is not to
be reasonable, nor to adopt an attitude of understanding facing the troubles that surround us. The opposite side
is the most important reference point of this posture, and the sole existing goal will be to take this state of
antagonistic contact to its last consequences, for us to be able to find a definition for our roles and attain a
pleasant sense of usefulness that makes living justifiable. The idea of self-limitation, by appearing at a certain
point in the tragedy, will become an indispensable element inside its context, precisely because we are terrible
and because nothing on the outside can truly limit this faculty of being terrible. The dilemma arrives in the
sequence of an impossibility, in which man will never have enough dissuasion mechanisms against the tendencies
of enjoying exploring confrontations and antagonisms, nor of prevailing above the other non-violent forms that
result from this practice. Therefore, how are we able to survive inside this problem that structures itself in an
extremely reducing manner, by emphasizing the importance of opposites? Everything is ready from the start to
suppress every one of those who do not follow the passionate moves of domination. Man is, as was said, a self-
creation, and this fact induces us to a reasonable dose of understanding, located in the twenty centuries of grand
works and of criminal monstrosities that have been committed in the name of the best of reasons. To live in this
difficult moment can depend on the way in which we establish our own commitments without being dragged by
contradictory simplifications. To incentive a freedom that is situated on the outside of this spiral of violence that
submits so many people who are always accompanied by a justifying and witty rhetoric reasonable in words of
persuasion, may be the best way for us to face the grotesque contours of life. The music of Dewey Redman
establishes the intelligent connection between two great historical forms that have been defined during many
years and that have determined our perspectives about the world. Structured in opposition, tradition versus
modernity, the sides of these two elements of our contradictory diary require solutions. Avoiding nullifications
and not dictating contents enables the intertwining of each of its parts, creating and imagining objects of art that
are revealed to us as essential processes of thought and of rebuilding our understanding.