Charles Tolliver (1942),
who had played with a number of luminaries, from Jackie Mclean (1964) to Max Roach (1967-69), gathered pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Joe Chambers and alto saxophonist Gary Bartz to cut Paper Man (july 1968), containing the nine-minute Peace With Myself, a demonstration of his aesthetic at the border between hard bop and free jazz.
Tolliver honed his compositional skills on
The Ringer (june 1969), in a quartet with pianist Stanley Cowell,
particularly in the twelve-minute On The Nile.
A 17-piece orchestra centered on Tolliver and Cowell debuted on Music Inc Big Band (november 1971) and matured on Impact (january 1975), with
Plight and Mourning Variations.
Tolliver basically conceived of free jazz as a way to enhance the expressive
power of the bebop soloist and found a way to make this sensible within the
traditional structure of the big band of swing music.
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