Free improvisation: still the ultimate in underground music?

Pioneered in the 1950s by musicians breaking the rules of jazz and composition, free improvisation is still as difficult – and potentially transcendent – as it ever was. A Guardian documentary takes you inside its world

“There are people that hear it once and think: never again!” says Evan Parker of free improvisation, a musical style that some might compare to a jazz band falling down the stairs – and others find transcendental. “Then there are people who hear it once and say, ‘My god, what was that?’ But they creep back, because there’s something that’s connected for them. There’s a worldview involved that touches people.” This short film, as part of the Guardian’s series on underground music, featuring Parker as well as other free improv luminaries such as John Edwards and Jennifer Allum, gives you a six-minute taste of this worldview.

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