Page Four Jazz is the category in which I put avant garde and free jazz, and generally any jazz that challenges our conception of what music ought to sound like. And you say: what d'ya mean we? Well, yeah, there's the rub. A lot of jazz that sounded like noise to me at one time is now starting to sound like great art. I don't know if I have developed as a listener, or if my brain has been damaged.
But anyway here are some adventurous pieces of jazz that hover around the work of John Coltrane the way that much of avant garde hovers around Thelonious Monk. First, Archie Shepp from his album Four For Trane. The number is the Trane composition: Syeeda's Song Flute. It's pretty ragged, and I am guessing that some Trane worshipers won't like what he does with the master's work. But I find it pretty persuasive. Shepp on tenor, John Tichicai alto, Alan Shorter (Wayne's brother?) on trumpet, Roswell Rudd trombone, Reggie Workman bass, and Charles Moffett drums.
Another piece of Trane tracking is Charles Gayle, William Parker, and Rashied Ali, Touchin' On Trane. The piece is called Part B, which is very avant garde. It exemplifies the abstraction that is a common characteristic of this music. It's more out there than Shepp's tribute, but it's worth checkin' out. Parker's bass work on this piece is really astounding.
You might also check out David Murray's tribute Take the Coltrane, from The Hill. I posted this song earlier.