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The Sun and Moon Have Come Together: The Fourth Way, the Counterculture, and Capitol Records

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Abstract

Formed in 1968, musical group The Fourth Way was among the first bands to merge rock, jazz, and non-Western musical approaches in a way that mirrored the mixed-race membership of the band—white New Zealander pianist Mike Nock, black American violinist Michael White, white American bassist Ron McClure, and black American drummer Eddie Marshall—a notable feature at the time. The band’s eponymous debut and their second release, a live recording titled The Sun and Moon Have Come Together, were recorded in the fall of 1969. Their final recording, Werwolf, was a live recording of their appearance in the 1970 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. However, with the exception of a small number of dates clustered around the band’s appearance in Montreux, The Fourth Way rarely performed outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, limiting their exposure.

Keywords

Spiritual Practice Popular Music Rock Musician Band Member Record Label 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Theodore Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995 [1968]), xxxiv.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Maureen Mahon, Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    An important work that held that jazz had developed a growing sophistication through an engagement with European art music was written by composer and writer Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its Roots and Development (NY and London: Oxford University Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. For a defense of jazz as a black art form, see LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Blues People: Negro Music in White America (NY: William Morrow and Company, 1963).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    For a considered view of the position of white criticism, see Marshall Stearns, The Story of Jazz (NY: Oxford University Press, 1956).Google Scholar
  6. For a polemical view of the situation in the late 1960s from a black perspective, see Amiri Baraka (writing as LeRoi Jones), Blues People (NY: William Morrow and Company, 1963).Google Scholar
  7. For a study of free jazz musicians, see David Such, Avant-garde Jazz Musicians: Performing “Out There” (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993)Google Scholar
  8. and Valerie Wilmer, As Serious as Your Life: John Coltrane and Beyond (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1992 [1977]).Google Scholar
  9. For a cogent study of the history of jazz discourse with regard to its status as art, see Paul Lopes, The Rise of a Jazz Art World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 6.
    Even when fusion became highly visible and commercially viable, the rock press had little interest in the music beyond Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew (Columbia Records, 1970) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Besides Ellwood, see Ronald B. Flowers’s Religion in Strange Times: the 1960s and 1970s (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    For a perspective from an ex-hippie “insider,” see Charles Perry’s The Haight-Ashbury: A History (New York: Wenner Books, 2005). While somewhat nostalgic in tone and skewed to Perry’s subjective experience of the years he covers, 1965–1968, the text is hampered somewhat by its dry litany of names and dates at the beginning. The text reveals a bit more about the sense of the times when Perry inserts his journal entries from 1967 in the middle of the text but, again, it is a highly subjective view.Google Scholar
  13. There is also Barry Miles’s Hippie (London: Sterling Press, 2005), an oversized “coffee table” book that is primarily a photo-documentary of the period. However, Miles does provide text that contextualizes the images and reports on the global nature of the movement rather than solely focusing on San Francisco.Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    For more on the impact of FM radio in the 1970s, see Richard Neer, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (New York: Random House-Villard Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  15. For a broader survey of rock radio, see Marc Fisher, Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation (New York: Random House, 2007).Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Meehan, 113–114. For more on Bill Graham, see Bill Graham Presents: My Life inside Rock and Out (New York: Da Capo Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  17. 20.
    For a perhaps jaundiced view of the contradiction between revolutionary rhetoric and commercial interests that was inherent in the aspirations of rock musicians in this time period, see Peter Doggett, There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of 1960s Counter-Culture (London and New York: Canongate Books US, 2009).Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    Angela Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Getrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (New York: Random House-Vintage, 1998), xv.Google Scholar

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© Timothy Scott Brown and Andrew Lison 2014

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