Between May 1968 and the end of 1969, Paris became the Mecca of new jazz. Many American musicians, struggling to make a living from their activity in the USA, went to live in Paris. Thus: Don Cherry, Sunny Murray, Marion Brown, Anthony Braxton, Alan Silva, the Art Ensemble of Chicago… By their side, the French musical avant-garde gained confidence and emancipated itself with Jef Gilson, Michel Portal, Bernard Vitet, François Tusques, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Henri Texier, Jacques Thollot… Under their agile fingers, free jazz took shape, musical structures imploded, raw energy was the keyword, polyinstrumentalism became the norm, compositions were much longer, African and Oriental roots appear and for some musicians, political is inextricably linked to musical : from the Black Panthers to the streets of Paris, free jazz became aligned with the current state of affairs.
Pianist Joachim Kühn, who had escaped from East Germany since May 1966, quickly identified the issues at stake here and moved to Paris in June 1969 to mingle with the joyful ambient mess. It was also at this time that he adopted the alto saxophone in addition to the piano, an instrument more conducive to the aesthetics of the scream.
The New Thing then grew up in many Parisian clubs, theaters, the American Center, the Parc Floral de Vincennes, the Musée d’Art Moderne and of course the Maison de la Radio, where André Francis was working, nicknamed the “Mister Jazz” of the airwaves. André Francis himself recorded this concert by the Joachim Kühn Trio on October 12, 1969 at the Musée d’Art Moderne, on the occasion of the Paris Biennale. Among the many musical archives of the pianist, our choice was jointly fixed with him on this concert, perfectly illustrating what the trio was playing live at that time, higly improvised and hyperexpressive music.
The sound restoration work was carried out in partnership with the INA for this Scream for Peace vinyl, the foundation stone of the collection. Each side of the LP opens with a long piece that makes us feel all the fever, all the intoxication of free jazz, and closes with a ballad of crazy lyricism. And you will capture the urgency of the saxophone, a scream, a vitriolic cry, to deliver this Scream for peace to us. A scream that sadly is still truly needed today.