- Gary W. Kennedy
Record label formed in Japan in 1992 as a subsidiary of Disk Union, with John Zorn as its sole executive producer. Its initial issues were recordings of Zorn’s group Naked City, whose repertory went beyond the stylistic bounds of Nonesuch (the company to which he was otherwise contracted at that time). Avant has issued more than 70 recordings in various genres, especially free improvisation, avant-garde rock, and ethnic music. Representative jazz artists, or artists associated with jazz, include Derek Bailey, notably in a duo with the pipa (Chinese lute) player Min Xiao-Fen and in a trio with Zorn and William Parker; Wayne Horvitz’s group Pigpen, Joey Baron’s Barondown, and Bobby Previte’s Slay the Suitors; the duo of Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier; and Anthony Coleman, George Lewis (ii), Erik Friedlander, Dave Douglas, Joe Maneri, Misha Mengelberg, Duck Baker, Steve Beresford, and the percussionist Cyro Baptista. Avant has continued to make and issue recordings into the new century. (<...