Loft jazz

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The loft jazz scene was a cultural phenomenon that occurred in New York City during the mid-1970s, at venues such as Environ,[1] Ali's Alley,[2] and Studio Rivbea,[1] all in former industrial loft spaces in NYC's SOHO district. Hence, "Loft Jazz".[3]

The scene was documented by Gary Giddins, the late Robert Palmer (author/producer), and Stanley Crouch.

Many of the musicians featured were from Chicago and particularly the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and St. Louis' Black Artists Group (BAG). These included notables such as: The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Dave Holland, Sam Rivers, Rashied Ali, Charles Tyler, Perry Robinson, John Fischer, Jeanne Lee, Oliver Lake, Joseph Bowie, Keshavan Maslak, Hamiett Bluiett, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, David Murray, Olu Dara, George Lewis, Air, the Revolutionary Ensemble, and Anthony Davis.

Loft jazz was a continuation of the free jazz and avant-garde jazz traditions inaugurated by John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and Sun Ra.


A series of five LPs was released on Casablanca Records in 1976, documenting different sessions of Sam Rivers-hosted loft sessions.[4] Portions of the sessions have been reissued variously on Alan Douglas Music and Knitting Factory Records.

  • Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions - Complete Knitting Factory 3037 (2000 reissue)


  1. ^ a b Cherches, Peter. Downtown Music, 1971-1987: An Overview and Resource Guide, 2007.
  2. ^ Koenig, Steve. Rashied Ali's Survival Records, Perfect Sound Forever, 2001.
  3. ^ Loft jazz,, 2000.
  4. ^

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