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Ornette Coleman: The Shape of Jazz to Come

Album Reviews:

Vibe (12/99, p.164) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century - "...ground zero of the [free jazz] movement, boasting not only the leader's liberated sax work, but his most famous melody, the immortal 'Lonely Woman'..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.128) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[The music] swings hard, adheres to the theme-solos-theme format and exhibits great wit, beauty and melancholy by turns."

Album Notes

Personnel: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone); Don Cherry (cornet); Charlie Haden (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).

Recorded at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, California on May 22, 1959. Originally released on Atlantic (1317). Includes original release liner notes by Martin Williams.

As the 50s ended, Ornette Coleman became the new herald of the future of jazz, surpassing for a time, even John Coltrane. Intent on feeling and with often scant regard for technique, he plunged headlong into a musical form that defied categorization and dismayed orthodox musicologists. Especially aware of the blues, Coleman eschewed a rigid structure in the music and favoured instead explorations of its poetic content. Free jazz to Coleman and his followers was jazz freed not only from musical restraints but also from sociological and cultural parameters. This album demonstrates his radicalism and his awareness of both past and future jazz.



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