Countdown to Christmas
19 - Pushing Boundaries
- Free people are always trying out new things. In doing so, they push the boundaries of knowledge and aesthetic forms of expression. They create the previously unseen and unheard, they surprise and provoke people.
- New things are not always easy to receive, understand and enjoy. Established listening and viewing habits are challenged and broken. However, there is no doubt that new spaces for feelings, associations, imagination and thinking are always created.
- By no means everything that is attempted is successful, especially not with a broad majority. But new forms of expression in turn influence the work of others and thus push the boundaries of creative possibilities ever further.
John Coltrane's Ascension is not the first great album of free jazz. But it is probably the most influential in the perception of critics and the wider public. "Trane" and his congenial collaborators (among them Freddie Hubbard, Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner) enter into an intense dialog with each other without any one star taking center stage. Both melodic and tonal elements are constantly being developed, questioned and taken up again. The variety of expression is immense and impresses me anew every time I listen to it. From the point of view of pushing boundaries, it is exciting that John Coltrane had already released very artistically and commercially successful albums at the time of the release of "Ascension", which tended to move within the structures of "conventional" jazz. So he was also pushing his own boundaries.