Jazz Tube-Free/Avant-Garde Jazz

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Top 100 Jazz Artists
By Dream Door Lists

1. Louis Armstrong
2. Duke Ellington
3. Miles Davis
4. Charlie Parker
5. John Coltrane
6. Dizzy Gillespie
7. Billie Holiday
8. Thelonious Monk
9. Charles Mingus
10. Count Basie
11. Lester Young
12. Ella Fitzgerald
13. Coleman Hawkins
14. Sonny Rollins
15. Sidney Bechet
16. Art Blakey
17. Ornette Coleman
18. Bill Evans
19. Art Tatum
20. Benny Goodman
21. Clifford Brown
22. Stan Getz
23. Jelly Roll Morton
24. Sarah Vaughan
25. Herbie Hancock
26. Bud Powell
27. Wayne Shorter
28. Fletcher Henderson
29. Django Reinhardt
30. Horace Silver
31. Dave Brubeck
32. Rahsaan Roland Kirk
33. Cecil Taylor
34. King Oliver
35. Sun Ra
36. Gil Evans
37. Lionel Hampton
38. Art Pepper
39. Eric Dolphy
40. Oscar Peterson
41. Charlie Christian
42. Ben Webster
43. Fats Waller
44. Earl Hines
45. Woody Herman
46. Wes Montgomery
47. J. J. Johnson
48. John McLaughlin
49. Artie Shaw
50. Lee Morgan
51. David Murray
52. Chick Corea
53. Modern Jazz Quartet
54. Max Roach
55. Anthony Braxton
56. Bix Beiderbecke
57. Cannonball Adderley
58. Dexter Gordon
59. Keith Jarrett
60. Lee Konitz
61. Stan Kenton
62. Chet Baker
63. Roy Eldridge
64. Joe Henderson
65. McCoy Tyner
66. Gerry Mulligan
67. Benny Carter
68. Teddy Wilson
69. Lennie Tristano
70. Freddie Hubbard
71. Jimmy Smith
72. Mary Lou Williams
73. George Russell
74. Fats Navarro
75. Albert Ayler
76. Bennie Moten
77. Jimmie Lunceford
78. Wynton Marsalis
79. Charlie Haden
80. Erroll Garner
81. Billy Strayhorn
82. Meade Lux Lewis
83. Pat Metheny
84. Jack Teagarden
85. Johnny Hodges
86. Chick Webb
87. Jimmy Giuffre
88. Jaco Pastorius
89. Hank Mobley
90. Elvin Jones
91. Evan Parker
92. Paul Chambers
93. Ron Carter
94. Philly Joe Jones
95. Carla Bley
96. Bennie Golson
97. James Carter
98. Donald Byrd
99. Johnny Dodds
100. Glenn Miller

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Jazz Discographies


Classic Jazz 1
Classic Jazz 2
Classic Jazz Box Sets
Classic Jazz DVD
Jazz Mart


Top Free Jazz Artist

Eric Dolphy
Sonny Sharrock
Cecil McBee
Larry Young
James Blood Ulmer
Leroy Jenkins
Errol Parker
Henry Threadgill
Don Cherry
Max Roach
Lester Bowie
Roscoe Mitchell
Peter Brötzmann
Carla Bley
Joe Maneri
Charles Mingus
Marc Ribot
Cecil Taylor
Joe McPhee
Misha Mengelberg
Mal Waldron
Roswell Rudd
Sam Rivers
Sunny Murray
Booker Little
Eugene Chadbourne
George Russell
Albert Ayler
Anthony Braxton
Ornette Coleman
John Coltrane
Chick Corea
Jack DeJohnette
Bill Frisell
Charlie Haden
Andrew Hill
Keith Jarrett
Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Steve Lacy
David Murray
John Zorn
Pharoah Sanders
Sun Ra
World Saxophone Quartet
Larry Willis
Archie Shepp
Albert Mangelsdorff
Jimmy Giuffre
Elvin Jones
Paul Bley
Sonny Sharrock
James Blood Ulmer
Leroy Jenkins
Billy Higgins
Don Cherry
Abdullah Ibrahim
Ken Nordine
Lester Bowie
Roscoe Mitchell
Peter Brötzmann
Joe Maneri
Cecil Taylor
Joe McPhee
Mal Waldron
Roswell Rudd
Sam Rivers
Sunny Murray
Elvin Jones
Paul Bley
Albert Ayler
Anthony Braxton
Ornette Coleman
John Coltrane
Sun Ra
World Saxophone Quartet
Archie Shepp
Albert Mangelsdorff
Jackie McLean
The Art Ensemble of Chicago
Jimmy Garrison
Bill Dixon
Marion Brown
Jazz Composer's Orchestra of America
George Adams
Last Exit
Jim Pepper
Old and New Dreams
John Carter
Fred Hopkins
Ed Blackwell
Andrew Cyrille
Chick Corea
Jan Garbarek
Charlie Haden
Steve Lacy
David Murray
John Zorn
Pharoah Sanders
James Blood Ulmer
Lester Bowie
Steve Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Jack DeJohnette
Ronald Shannon Jackson
Gary Thomas
Miroslav Vitous
Greg Osby
Cassandra Wilson
Christian McBride
Derek Bailey
Byard Lancaster
Kazutoki Umezu
Strata Institute
Al Macdowell
Jamaaladeen Tacuma
The Golden Palominos
James Chance
Ned Rothenberg




















































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Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

Avant-Garde Jazz differs from free jazz in that it has more structure in the ensembles (more of a "game plan") although the individual improvisations are generally just as free of conventional rules. Obviously there is a lot of overlap between free jazz and avant-garde jazz; most players in one idiom often play in the other "style" too. In the best avant-garde performances it is difficult to tell when compositions end and improvisations begin; the goal is to have the solos be an outgrowth of the arrangement. As with free jazz, the avant-garde came of age in the 1960s and has continued almost unnoticed as a menacing force in the jazz underground, scorned by the mainstream that it influences. Among its founders in the mid-to-late '50s were pianist Cecil Taylor, altoist Ornette Coleman and keyboardist-bandleader Sun Ra. John Coltrane became the avant-garde's most popular (and influential) figure, and from the mid-'60s on, the avant-garde innovators made a major impact on jazz, helping to push the music beyond bebop

Dixieland and swing stylists improvise melodically, and bop, cool, and hard bop players follow chord structures in their solos. Free Jazz was a radical departure from past styles, for typically after playing a quick theme, the soloist does not have to follow any progression or structure and can go in any unpredictable direction. When Ornette Coleman largely introduced free jazz to New York audiences (although Cecil Taylor had preceded him with less publicity), many bop musicians and fans debated about whether what was being played would even qualify as music; the radicals had become conservatives in less than 15 years. Free jazz, which overlaps with the avant garde (the latter can use arrangements and sometimes fairly tight frameworks), remains a controversial and mostly underground style, influencing the modern mainstream while often being ignored. Having dispensed with many of the rules as far as pitch, rhythm, and development are concerned (although it need not be atonal or lack a steady pulse to be free jazz), the success of a free jazz performance can be measured by the musicianship and imagination of the performers, how colorful the music is, and whether it seems logical or merely random.

Free Funk is a mixture of avant-garde jazz with funky rhythms. When Ornette Coleman formed Prime Time in the early '70s, he had a "double quartet" (comprised of two guitars, two electric bassists, and two drummers, plus his alto) performing with freedom tonally but over eccentric funk rhythms. Three of Coleman's sidemen (guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson) have since led free funk groups of their own, and free funk has been a major influence on the music of the M-Base players, including altoists Steve Coleman and Greg Osby.

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