Archive Selections, Vol. 1

Archive Selections, Vol. 1

A glimpse into the heart of creative musicmaking
Ed Blackwell
Charles Brackeen
David Izenson
Frederic Rzewski
Ursula Oppens
Karl Berger
Leroy Jenkins
James Emery
Olu Dara
CMS Orchestra
Oliver Lake
Roscoe Mitchell
Ismet Siral
Nana Vasconcelos
Foday Musa Suso
Ed Blackwell
Charles Brackeen
David Izenson
Ingrid Sertso
Frederic Rzewski
Ursula Oppens
Karl Berger
Leroy Jenkins
James Emery
Olu Dara
Michael Gregory
James Harvey
Garrett List
Steve Gorn
Adam Rudolph
Hamid Drake
John Marsh
CMS Orchestra
Oliver Lake
Roscoe Mitchell
Ismet Siral
Nana Vasconcelos
Foday Musa Suso
Catalog Number: 

Woodstock, NY

Release Date: 
Apr 29, 2014
Liner Notes: 
3 CD
Creative Music Studio (Archive Selections, Vol. 1)iTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
1.Untitled 109:00$0.99
2.Untitled 205:31$0.99
3.Untitled 307:39$0.99
4.Untitled 402:30$0.99
5.May Day02:14$0.99
6.Child of the Night05:42$0.99
7.I Am a Leaf for Today04:11$0.99
11.Untitled 1 (Orchestral)06:45$0.99
12.Untitled 2 (Orchestral)10:59
13.Untitled 3 (Orchestral)06:36$0.99
14.CMS Scene 104:34$0.99
15.CMS Scene 206:45$0.99
16.CMS Scene 305:15$0.99
17.Two by Two04:56$0.99
18.Untitled (Orchestral)13:59
22.Call and Response07:22$0.99
23.Berimbau Solo07:44$0.99
24.Kuumba Sora07:00$0.99
25.Demba Tenkeren07:27$0.99
26.Disco Gate07:40$0.99
One Sheet: 

Founded in 1971 by Ornette Coleman, Karl Berger, and Ingrid Sertso, the Creative Music Studio (CMS) had a simple goal: create music, without boundaries. Artists came to CMS’s 45-acre campus in Woodstock, NY, to be a part of a collective synergy, to live and work together as they found common ground and developed a personal musical vocabulary. The CMS Archive Selections documents that vocabulary and those creations, and this 3-CD set on innova Recordings represents its first fruits.

“Any person in today’s music scene knows that rock, classical, folk and jazz are all yesterday’s titles,” said Coleman. “I feel that the music world is getting closer to being a singular expression, one with endless musical stories of mankind.” In that spirit, this collection, assembled by Karl Berger and Rob Saffer of the Creative Music Foundation and supported by a community of devotees, presents three different but linked approaches to music: Small Ensembles, Orchestral Music and World Music. Drawn from the over four hundred hours of recorded archives from CMS, these performances represent just the tip of a very tantalizing iceberg.

Small Ensembles features duet “conversations” by Ed Blackwell and Charles Brackeen, a trio with David Izenson, Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, a piano duet that merges improvisation with classical structures by Ursula Oppens and Frederic Rzewski, and a duet between guitarist James Emery and violinist Leroy Jenkins.

Orchestral Music presents larger ensembles performing work by Oliver Lake, Olu Dara and Roscoe Mitchell. World Music features Turkish jazz musician Ismet Siral, Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and Ghanaian kora player Foday Musa Suso. 

The stories of all these musicians and how they intertwine are fascinating and well-documented in the accompanying pdf booklet, but truly, it is the music which speaks for itself. Crackling with the raw energy of creativity, the CMS Archive Selections represents an important document of 13 of the Foundation’s 40 years and counting, as a center for boundary-breaking music. This 3-CD set will establish its preeminence among the 70s and 80s inclusive musical scene and is just a first taste of what is to come.


“‘Our thinking mind is much too slow for music,’ pianist and vibraphone player Karl Berger observed … Four marvelous improvisations by drummer Ed Blackwell and saxophonist Charles Brackeen open the collection. In their fluency, clarity, nuance and supple dynamism they are the perfect illustrations of Berger’s point. … CMS was a relaxed meeting place for kindred spirits, but this is rigorously focused, at times fiercely concentrated music. … If necessary, put your thinking mind on hold, but be sure to catch this glimpse into a genuinely exploratory and still exhilarating musical gathering.”
Julian Cowley

“[S]o much noteworthy music here … [E]verything is of extraordinary interest for those who dig the advanced new music/avant jazz scene. If you are you will no doubt be as glad as I am to have this set to listen to repeatedly. It is a treasure! I look forward to subsequent volumes.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

“Volume 1 covers a lot of ground. … [T]his stuff truly deserved to be let out of the vault. Curious to see what the next volumes have in store.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Francois Couture

Best of 2014, Historical Jazz AlbumMichael G. Nastos
Best of 2014, Historical/Reissue —Shaun BRady

"What an absolute treat this one is. … [A] treasure trove. … Izenzon’s solos are very robust and occasionally quizzical, as when he mimics knocks on a door and answers gruffly 'go away, I’m practicing.' It’s a great opportunity to hear this distinctive bassist unfettered. … The bracing, complex piano duo is a real archival find, and the two 'classical' musicians (each of whom has well-known and lengthy associations with improvisers’ collectives) create some seriously dynamic music. And the duos for Jenkins and Emery are exquisite, filled with real lyricism, lush lines and chords, and palpable empathy. … One of the greatest pleasures is the opportunity to hear archival stuff from Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society, with funky interaction between Drake and Marsh’s electric bass, and loads of zesty kora and percussion. Best is the brisk, danceable 'Demba,' but the mid-tempo 'Disco Gate' features the most expressive work from Suso, and a winning explanation of his instrument’s lineage to the audience. It’s a fine conclusion to this release, one I imagine most readers will enjoy considerably."
Jason Bivins

“Most valuable are tracks where jazzers try out concepts in large or small groups but there are also works-music surprises. Of the tracks featuring the mostly unidentified CMS orchestra, Roscoe Mitchell’s 14-minute untitled track is the most compositionally sophisticated. Iridescent ensemble harmonies accompany the sharp bites and barks from the composer’s alto saxophone plus skimming tongue flutters from Garrett List’s trombone in the frontline. Olu Dara’s three contributions come from a contradictory space. He segments Sun Ra-like grooves pushed by florid horn section riffs with fitful asides from a percussive flute, clanking guitar, staccato piano chording and his own lead trumpet on one track. … [T]he good stuff captured here is very good indeed. The variety also suggests that many other unexposed musical gems are likely to show up on subsequent volumes.”
Ken Waxman