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Reassessing

Ornette Coleman: Free Jazz

By Published: September 30, 2011
The musical environment improves as the 37-minute plus piece evolves. The end section contains provocative bass and drum interplay, occurring after the horns make their combined and separate statements. On that note, let there be no doubt that Eric Dolphy possessed the freedom vision, seemingly from the very beginning, and Freddie Hubbard's post bop experience prepared him well also. From a full-ensemble direction, it is instructive to listen to the 17-minute plus "First Take" to hear the dry run of what would become Free Jazz. It is readily evident that the longer version benefited from a run through showing that some ideas solidified between the two versions.

Free Jazz may exist as a piece of music to possess for historic reasons rather than aesthetic musical ones. If a lesson exists in this music it is that context is always important and a little knowledge about that music is not a dangerous thing, but a catalyst to further investigation and listening. In that, lies the values of Free Jazz.

Tracks: Free Jazz; First Take.

Personnel: Ornette Coleman: alto saxophone; Don Cherry: pocket trumpet; Eric Dolphy: bass clarinet; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet; Scott LaFaro: bass; Charlie Haden: bass; Billy Higgins: drums; Ed Blackwell: drums.


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