In 1957, Edgar VarÃ¨se conducted a Jazz Workshop. Participants included Charles Mingus, Teo Macero and Art Farmer. WFMU has posted 20 brief MP3s from this session for our listening pleasure. They also include the original notes that accompanied their release:
It might be the first free jazz recording (totally unissued) of History of Music. VarÃ¨se might have influenced jazzmen or was he only aware of what was happening on the jazz scene? No matter of the answer, it’s a bomb, as this music is 3 years earlier than Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman! We also know Charlie Parker wanted to study with VarÃ¨se in autumn 1954 but the composer flew to Europe to conduct DÃ©serts. When he came back to New York in May 1955, Parker had already died. We also know that VarÃ¨se used to listen to John Coltrane at the Village.