MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS

Avant-Garde Jazz / Third Stream • United States
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Muhal Richard Abrams (September 19, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois - October 29, 2017) was an American educator, administrator, composer, arranger, clarinetist, cellist, and jazz pianist in the free jazz medium.

Abrams attended DuSable High School in Chicago. By 1946, he enrolled in music classes at Roosevelt University, but "I didn't get too much out of that, because it wasn't what I was hearing in the street". He then decided to study independently: "I've always had a natural ability to study and analyze things. I used that ability, not even knowing what it was (it was just a feeling) and started to read books." The books of Joseph Schillinger were very influential in Abrams' development. In Abrams' words: From there, I acquired a small spinet piano and started to teach myself how to play the instrument and read the notes – or, first of all, what key the music was in. It took
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MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Discography

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS albums / top albums

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Levels And Degrees Of Light album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Levels And Degrees Of Light
Avant-Garde Jazz 1968
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Young at Heart / Wise in Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Young at Heart / Wise in Time
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Afrisong album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Afrisong
Third Stream 1975
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Things to Come From Those Now Gone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Things to Come From Those Now Gone
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Sightsong album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sightsong
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS 1-OQA+19 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1-OQA+19
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Lifea Blinec album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Lifea Blinec
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Spihumonesty album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spihumonesty
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Mama And Daddy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mama And Daddy
Third Stream 1980
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Duet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Duet
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Blues Forever album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues Forever
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Rejoicing With the Light album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rejoicing With the Light
Avant-Garde Jazz 1983
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS View From Within album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
View From Within
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Muhal Richard Abrams & Cecil McBee ‎: Roots Of Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Muhal Richard Abrams & Cecil McBee ‎: Roots Of Blue
Avant-Garde Jazz 1986
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Colors in Thirty-Third album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Colors in Thirty-Third
Avant-Garde Jazz 1987
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS The Hearinga Suite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Hearinga Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Blu Blu Blu album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Blu Blu Blu
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS FamilyTalk album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
FamilyTalk
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS One Line; Two Views album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
One Line; Two Views
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Think All, Focus One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Think All, Focus One
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Song For All album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Song For All
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Jazz Masters - 100 Anos De Swing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Masters - 100 Anos De Swing
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS The Visibility of Thought album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Visibility of Thought
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Streaming (with George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell) album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Streaming (with George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS SoundDance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
SoundDance
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS EPs & splits

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS live albums

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Spiral Live at Montreux 1978 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spiral Live at Montreux 1978
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS The Open Air Meeting (with Marty Ehrlich) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Open Air Meeting (with Marty Ehrlich)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Vision Towards Essence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vision Towards Essence
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Spectrum (with Roscoe Mitchell) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spectrum (with Roscoe Mitchell)
Third Stream 2010

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS re-issues & compilations

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Muhal Richard Abrams, Barry Harris : Interpretations Of Monk Vol. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Muhal Richard Abrams, Barry Harris : Interpretations Of Monk Vol. 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS The Complete Rematered Recordings On Black Saint And Soul Note album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Rematered Recordings On Black Saint And Soul Note
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS The Complete Remastered Recordings Vol.2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Remastered Recordings Vol.2
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Celestial Birds album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Celestial Birds
Avant-Garde Jazz 2020

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MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Reviews

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Celestial Birds

Boxset / Compilation · 2020 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
It is almost an axiom that no-one likes compilations in jazz (and rock music as well). Still, there are hundreds and thousands of them, predominantly with the openly commercial reason of trying to sell old as new, usually collecting all the most successful pieces in one place.

"Celestial Birds" is oppositely different. It contains some more unusual Muhal Richard Abrams compositions, with a strong accent on early electronics sound.

Avant-garde jazz never had a commercial potential as musical genre, and it has even less in the 20's. The risk of releasing such albums is moderately high, but thanks to zeitkratzer series director Reinhold Friedl and German label Karlrecords the world got the rare possibility to refresh (and for many newcomers - to find out) this lesser know side of AACM founder.

Vinyl album's side A is dedicated to 22+ minutes long "The Bird Song", which originally filled whole side B of Abrams debut, "Levels and Degrees of Light", released in 1968. The composition opens with recitative Chicagoan poet David Moore's poem and continues with dominating analogue synthesizer's vibes scented with minimalist saxes(Anthony Braxton & Kalaparusha), bass(Leonard Jones), drums (Thurman Barker) and violin (Leroy Jenkins). Differently from later and more regular use of electronics in jazz, here the whole music sounds quite cold, technological and close to minimalist composers pieces. It's interesting, that for this compilation the original version of the song has been used, with reverberations removed from the CD reissues.

"Conversations With The Three Of Me" is taken from much later, 1989 album "The Hearinga Suite", released in Italy. Here we found Abrams playing solo, first on piano and then - on synth. Piano part sounds as neo-classic dry composition which ends as spacey synth improvs. "Think All, Focus One" is another Abrams solo composition, played solely on analogue synths (comes from 1995 album of the same name). Abrams sounds not much different from Frank Zappa playing Synclavier on his unorthodox album "Jazz From Hell". The closer, "Spihumonesty", is recorded with a larger combo, including Roscoe Mitchell on reeds among others. Dominating synths sound here is mixed with free jazz small orchestra.

Early recordings presented on this compilation are coming from the time when synthesizer meant actually an extremely expensive studio, which were rare and hardly accessible for the jazz musician. Abrams was among very first jazz musicians experimenting with synthesis of jazz and electronics, and his works sound interesting even now.

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Levels And Degrees Of Light

Album · 1968 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
"Levels And Degrees Of Light",released more than a half-century ago, is an almost forgotten cornerstone evidence of the entire epoch, and that's a shame. One of AACM founder pianist Muhal Richard Abrams (or simply Richard Abrams at the time of release) debut contains lot of ideas which have been developed for upcoming decades with a great success.

Just three longish compositions, all different but beautiful in their own way. One big surprise is lot of ambient sounds, similar to "white noise" on two longest album's compositions, recalling early synthesizers sound. Not common in jazz, early (rare and really expensive) synthesizers attracted interest of some known pianists, as Paul Bley or Richard Teitelbaum among others,so there are some recordings coming from 70s with use of this instrument,but the biggest surprise is that there on "Levels And Degrees Of Light" no electronic devices are used at all!

Main sources of ambient noise are Gordon Emmanuel vibes on opener and Leroy Jenkins violin on "The Bird Song". On "Levels And Degrees Of Light" classically trained vocalist Penelope Taylor sings over the ambient sounds, with addition of Abrams soloing on clarinet. Album's longest composition "The Bird Song" (filling all B-side on original vinyl release, but stated second in line on CD reissue)contains characteristic for 60s recitative poetry (read by David Moore).

"My Thoughts Are My Future - Now And Forever" which closes digital edition of this album, is shorter and more usual for the time groovy high-energy free jazz composition with staccato piano,sax soloing from Anthony Braxton (most probably his first ever recorded work) and lot of space for drummer Thurman Barker.

The album which probably doesn't sound such a radical from time distance at the day of release was innovative and perfectly illustrated the musical concept of then newly established musical school/movement of innovative Chicagoan artists which is still alive and active nowadays.

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