Produced by Eva Soltes
In memory of Jon English (1942-1996)
The music heard on this CD, written for films by award-winning independent film-maker Jon Jost, reveals the breadth of Jon’s musical interests and the depth of his knowledge, not only of jazz greats like Coltrane and Gil Evans, but also of other American pioneers including Harry Partch, John Cage and Charles Ives.
Performed by the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra, which Jon played in and conducted, these scores are unusual for film music in that they are grounded in the feeling and sense of improvisation, the life-blood of jazz. Jon valued the quality of “indeterminacy.” That is: musical events happening in different ways for each performance. The music on this CD has that quality, a feeling of looseness created by alternating composed and improvised sections, allowing the musicians the freedom to express themselves. Jon’s commitment to embracing the creative contribution of the players together with his ability to seamlessly weave diverse musics together were the hallmarks of his legacy, both as musician and composer
There are two different instrumentations heard on this recording: one is a seventeen piece ensemble of four woodwinds, two trumpets, two trombones, four strings, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion (a conventional big band plus string quartet). The other, also unusual, consists of trumpet, woodwinds and cello, along with the standard jazz rhythm section of piano, bass and drums. (Jon plays bass in this smaller group.)