Downtown Music IV: Bibliography and Resources


Air (Henry Threadgill, Fred Hopkins, Steve McCall)
Rashied Ali
Ahmed Abdullah
Hamiet Bluiett
Arthur Blythe
Anthony Braxton
Ted Daniel
John Fischer
Julius Hemphill
Oliver Lake
Frank Lowe
David Murray
Revolutionary Ensemble (Leroy Jenkins, Sirone, Jerome Cooper)
Sam Rivers
Perry Robinson
Warren Smith
Charles Tyler


Studio Rivbea (24 Bond Street)
Ladies' Fort (2 Bond Street)
Ali's Alley (77 Greene Street)
Environ (476 Broadway)
Studio We (193 Eldridge Street)
The Brook (W. 17th Street)
Studio WIS (Chelsea)
Jazzmania Society (E. 23rd Street)

Selected Bibliography

The loft jazz scene has not yet received the treatment it deserves; there is not yet a full-length book on the subject, and the period receives short shrift in more general jazz histories. John Gray's admirable bibliography, Fire Music, is the best overall resource for print materials on the period.

Gray, John. Fire Music: a Bibliography of the New Jazz, 1959-1990. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
Gray has compiled an invaluable and exhaustive bibliography (7083 citations) of materials on free jazz and related styles, covering books, dissertations, periodical and newspaper articles, films, videos and audiotapes. The book includes a section dealing specifically with the loft scene.

Wilmer, Valerie. As Serious as Your Life: John Coltrane and Beyond. London: Serpent's Tail, 1977.
Though largely a study of free jazz in the 'sixties, Wilmer's book is a good source of information on the roots of the loft scene.

Selected Discography

Daniel, Ted. In the Beginning. Altura Music, 1997.
This 1975 large-ensemble recording by trumpeter Daniel is notable for having been recorded at Studio We as well as for featuring the playing and compositions of a number of the major artists of the loft scene, including Charles Tyler, Arthur Blythe, Oliver Lake, David Murray, and Ahmed Abdullah.

Various Artists. Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions. Douglas / Knit Classics, 1976 / 1999.
The most comprehensive recorded document of the loft scene, this three-disc set (originally five LPs), recorded during Studio Rivbea's May 1976 music festival, features performances by 22 different groups. The set includes notes by jazz journalist Howard Mandel.


Jahn, Ebba, director, Rising Tones Cross. Dir. Ebba Jahn. DFFB,1985. DVD. Film Pals, 2005.
This documentary chronicles 1984's Sound Unity Festival, a bridge between the 'seventies lofts and the later Vision Festival. The film features a number of key musicians from the loft period as well as younger musicians who would go on to leave their mark on downtown music. Included are performances by William Parker (the festival organizer), Charles Tyler, Jemeel Moondoc, David S. Ware, Billy Bang, Charles Gayle, John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz and Bobby Previte.

Web Resources

Eugene Chadbourne (musician and writer) on the Loft Scene

Sam Rivers Page: Rivers' Stepping Stones
This site includes a Rivers discography and reprints of reviews, articles and interviews.

Sam Rivers Interview

Rashied Ali Interview

Warren Smith Interview

<< Downtown Music IV: Loft Jazz, 1972-79 | Table of Contents | Downtown Music V: Downtown Improv and Jazz, 1979-87 >>

Home | Fales Services | Collection Descriptions & Finding Aids | Exhibitions & Publications | Programs & Events | Contact Fales

Bobst Library | NYU Libraries | NYU Home Page