M-BaseMain article: M-Base
The M-Base movement was started in the 1980s by a loose collective of young African-American musicians (Steve Coleman, Graham Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen, Greg Osby etc.) who emerged in New York with a new sound and specific ideas about creative expression. With a strong foothold as well as in the tradition represented by Charlie Parker and John Coltrane as in contemporary African-American groove music and with a high degree of musical skills, the saxophonists Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Gary Thomas developed unique and complex, nevertheless grooving musical languages. In the 1990s most participants of the M-Base movement turned to more conventional music but Steve Coleman, the most active participant, continued developing his music in accordance with the M-Base concept.
In a long research process he developed a philosophical and spiritual concept connecting with certain cultural efforts that express fundamental aspects of nature and human existence in a holistic way. Steve Coleman found these efforts all over the world and they reach far back into ancient times. Thus, he gave his music a specific meaning which is similar to the intentions of religious music, of European composers like J.S. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as of musicians in the tradition represented by John Coltrane. In accordance to this spiritual perspective, Coleman’s music became rather advanced in several aspects. His audience decreased a bit but his music and concepts have been a heavy influence on many musicians — both in terms of music-technique and of the music's meaning. Hence, "M-Base" changed from a movement of a loose collective of young musicians to a kind of informal Steve Coleman “school” with a much advanced but already originally implied concept.
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... broadening use of non-western concepts The M-Base concept reminds of the creative energy of the bebop originators, their loose collective, and also of their musical goals ...