Avant Garde Jazz
Avant-Garde Jazz is a catch-all for a wide number of experimental developments within the last forty years, many of which continue to defy further classification. Counted among its more established sub-genres are Third Stream, the fusion of jazz with modern classical music, and Free Jazz, an intensely expressionistic idiom epitomized by the wild saxophone playing of '60s legend Albert Ayler. More recently, eclectic composers such as Chicago's Henry Threadgill and New York's John Zorn have forged wild hybrids, giving form to the open-ended spontaneity of Free Jazz while incorporating influences from Funk, rock, and world music. Zorn's Masada group, for example, runs Jewish melodies through a mill of Post Bop and Free Jazz, with side trips through Surf, Lounge, and Thrash territory. Threadgill's music has blended vocal chants, Chinese pipas, accordions, and rock backbeats with dense ensemble charts. Countless other musicians from around the world -- some working in abstract Free Improvisation, others dealing with cutting-edge electronics -- have helped Avant-Garde Jazz continue to grow and mutate.