Photo: Alex Woodward

Howard Slater

Listener as Operator

Our favourite Lancashire-born autodictact asks what’s political about the tension between the individual and the collective in free jazz.

In which our favourite Lancashire born autodidact/ volunteer play therapist/ writer tries to think alongside the black radical tradition. What’s political about the tension between the individual and collective in free jazz? Is it exemplified by the ability to singularise without becoming an individualist, to be prepared to improvise amidst a meeting of singularities that bring with them a collective awareness of belonging to a shared history?

  • Audio

  • Video

  • Extract

    We Insist! Handout

    In its encouragement of a group expression that supports musicians to ‘play beyond themselves’ and to evolve singularities within a shared ‘reservoir of artistic richness’, Howard Slater finds in jazz a response to the experience of oppression; one that evolved outside channels of sanctioned expression, and which preserves and propels a collective being.