Spontaneous Music Ensemble Frameworks

This release of these archival recordings documents a period in time where educational and political/community actions played a significant role in improvised music. The Spontaneous music Ensemble were a collective of UK musicians active in the late ’60s and early ’70s led by late percussionist John Stevens. Stevens’s approach to music encompassed not only performance but also the act of conducting workshops in improv with groups of musicians and non-musicians alike, which then became performances. His assertion that any one can improvise music and his ability to illustrate this in workshops speak to his strong sense of community empowerment. This CD features recordings of a few of these processes with some of the finest musicians in the UK at the time, including Trevor Watts, Julie Tippet, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford and Norma Winstone. While each piece tends to start out in rather dry, formulaic ways as exercises, they inevitable blossom into robust, beautiful compositions. This CD contains not only great music but is an invaluable insight into the making of improvisation. (Emanem)