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Ornette Coleman Trio/Ornette Coleman: At the "Golden Circle" Stockholm, Vol. 1

Album Reviews:

Q (3/02, p.132) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This influential concert alerted Europe to the expanding horizons of posy-bop jazz...showcasing Coleman's improvisation on the irrepressible 'Faces and Places'...Significant stuff and by no means dauntingly esoteric..."

Down Beat (May 2002, p.60) - 5 out of 5 stars - "...Coleman, in some of his finest moments on records, plays like a man swept up in exaltation..."

Mojo (Publisher) (April 2002, p.126) - "...Ornette's reputation had evolved from being a kooky semi-novelty...to being a respected figurehead of the avant-garde....he was set apart...by his unerring sense of melody and motif and dazzling rhythmic flair..."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone); David Izenzon (bass); Charles Moffett (drums).

Producer: Francis Wolf.

Recorded at the Golden Circle, Stockholm, Sweden on December 3 & 4, 1965. Oriignally released on Blue Note (84224).

This live performance in Sweden in the winter of 1965 has a historic feel to it. The listener senses European minds absorbing Ornette for the first time. This isn't his best trio-bassist David Izenson doesn't produce as rich a sound as does Charlie Haden (but that's unfair--nobody can compete with Haden's sound). And drummer Charles Moffett has a nice touch, but not the deepest groove. But there is a certain vibe between the players: one can sense the affection between them. Ornette's playing is, for the most part, captivating.

The most successful piece in "Vol. 1" is "European Echoes." It's a circus waltz that goes in and out of 3/4 time, slipping into a 4/4 swing. Izenson and Moffatt break up the time interestingly, and Ornette's melodic direction is always unexpected. Phrases end differently from where you think they will. Izenson's bass solo is surprisingly delicate.

"Dee Dee" wanders a bit, but enjoyably so. There's always a puzzle-like element to Ornette's music. The listener has to decipher the code, fill in the missing information. This is light, abstract, grooving music given to us by a unique mind.


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