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Tag: Ornette Coleman

Thursday, June 29th

passings

Geri Allen, pianist, June 12, 1957-June 27, 2017

With Kenny Davis (bass), Kassa Overall (drums), Maurice Chestnut (tap dance), live, South Korea, 2011

 

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With Charlie Haden (1937-2014, bass), Paul Motian (1931-2011, drums), “Lonely Woman” (O. Coleman), 1988

 

Thursday, March 9th

MCOTD Hall of Fame

William Parker’s In Order To Survive (WP, bass, composition; Hamid Drake, drums, MCOTD Hall of Fame;* Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Rob Brown, alto saxophone; Cooper-Moore, piano), “Criminals in the White House,” live, New York, 2013

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radio

Today—his birthday—it’s all Ornette Coleman all day on WKCR-FM (Columbia University).

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*With saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; trumpeter Lester Bowie; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; composer Morton Feldman; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt.

Saturday, August 1st

Even in death he remains a source of rare beauty.

Henry Threadgill (MCOTD Hall of Fame, bass flute) and Jason Moran (piano), “Sail” (H. Threadgill), live, New York (Ornette Coleman Memorial Service), 6/27/15


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reading table

The world she grew up in was so different it was hard to believe she was ever in it.

—Anne Enright, The Green Road (2015)

Monday, June 22nd

More of Ornette.

Ornette Coleman Trio (David Izenzon, bass; Charles Moffett, percussion), playing and talking, Paris, 1966

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art beat

Helen Levitt (1913-2009; MCOTD Hall of Fame), New York, c. 1940

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Tuesday, June 16th

More of Ornette.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone) with Don Cherry (cornet), Charlie Haden (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums), The Shape of Jazz to Come, 1959*


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radio

WKCR’s memorial broadcast continues until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

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*Track list (courtesy of YouTube):

00:00 Lonely Woman
05:01 Eventually
09:24 Peace
18:25 Focus on Sanity
25:18 Congeniality
32:07 Chronology

Saturday, June 13th

passings

Ornette Coleman, saxophonist (trumpeter and violinist, too), composer, bandleader, March 9, 1930-June 11, 2015

Today we remember him by revisiting earlier posts.

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3/9/11

His sound—his whole approach (simple melodies, vocal phrasing, off-center intonation)—is drenched in the blues.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone) with The Roots
Live, London (Meltdown Festival), 2009

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The tenor player at the end—that’s David Murray.

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3/9/12

Ornette Coleman Quartet with guests Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone), James Blood Ulmer (guitar), Charlie Haden (bass), live, Netherlands (North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam), 2010

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6/16/14

Ornette, at 84, still plays some of the most haunting blues I’ve ever heard.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), with Henry Threadgill (alto saxophone; MCOTD Hall of Famer), David Murray (tenor saxophone), Savion Glover (tap dance), et al., live, New York (Prospect Park), 6/12/14

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odds & ends (from posts featuring clips no longer available)

On the Ornette Coleman Quartet (OC, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell): The sounds you don’t hear can mean as much as the ones you do. Here, for instance, it’s hard to overstate the importance of what isn’t onstage—a harmony instrument (piano, guitar). Without it, the drums move forward in the mix. The bass has more space to fill. The sound of each instrument becomes clearer, more distinct. The group sound becomes lighter, more open.

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When we were on relief during the Depression, they’d give us dried-up old cheese and dried milk and we’d get ourselves all filled up and we’d kept this thing going, singing and dancing. I remember that when I play. You have to stick to your roots. Sometimes I play happy. Sometimes I play sad. But the condition of being alive is what I play all the time.

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You know what I realize? That all sound has a need. Otherwise it wouldn’t have a use. Sound has a use. . . . You use it to establish something—an invisible presence or some belief. . . . But isn’t it amazing that sound causes the idea to sound the way it is, more than the idea?

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Music has no face. Whatever gives oxygen its power, music is cut from the same cloth.

—Ornette Coleman

(The first and last quotes are from Ornette’s website. The second is from Ben Ratliff, The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music [2008].)

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How can I turn emotion into knowledge? That’s what I try to do with my horn.

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It’s not that I reject categories. It’s that I don’t really know what categories are.

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You take the alphabet of the English language. A to Z. A symbol attached to a sound. In music you have what are called notes and the key. In life you’ve got an idea and an emotion. We think of them as different concepts. To me, there is no difference.

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The violin, the saxophone, the trumpet: Each makes a very different sound but the very same notes. That’s pretty heavy, you know? Imagine how many different races make up the human race. I’m called colored, you’re called white, he’s called something else. We still got an asshole and a mouth. Pardon me.

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I don’t try to please when I play. I try to cure.

—Ornette Coleman

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radio

WKCR’s memorial broadcast, where I spent much of yesterday, continues through Wednesday.

Friday, June 12th

only rock ‘n’ roll

MC5, “Looking at You,” live, Detroit, 1970


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radio

As you may have heard, Ornette Coleman died yesterday; WKCR (Columbia University) will be playing his music around the clock today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, wrapping up its memorial broadcast Wednesday morning.

Saturday, July 12th

passings

Charlie Haden, bassist, composer, bandleader, August 6, 1937-July 11, 2014

Old and New Dreams (Charlie Haden, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; Dewey Redman, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet), “Happy House” (O. Coleman), live, Norway (Molde Jazz Festival), 1979

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radio

Thank God, once again, for college radio. Beginning tomorrow at 2 p.m. (EST), WKCR (Columbia University) will air a memorial broadcast. Two hours? Three? Nope. They’ll be playing Haden’s music, continuously, until 9 p.m.—Monday.

Monday, June 16th

Ornette, at 84, still plays some of the most haunting blues I’ve ever heard.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), with Henry Threadgill (alto saxophone), David Murray (tenor saxophone), Savion Glover (tap dance), et al., live, New York (Prospect Park), 6/12/14

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With Don Cherry (trumpet), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), The Shape Of Jazz To Come, 1959

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art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), East 100th St., New York, 1966

4996_1dsvidson_boy_rabbits

Sunday, March 9th

Al testifies

Al Green, “Jesus Is Waiting,” live (TV show), 1974


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radio

Today, in celebration of his 84th birthday, it’s all Ornette all day on WKCR (Columbia University).

Ornette Coleman Quartet (OC, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, trumpet; Charlie Haden, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums), “Blues Connotation” (1961)

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