199

The Ornette Coleman Quartet: Ornette!

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
The Ornette Coleman Quartet: Ornette! Saxophonist Coleman recorded Ornette! about a month after his milestone Free Jazz sessions, retaining bassist Scott LaFaro, drummer Ed Blackwell, and the amazing Don Cherry on pocket trumpet. Four tracks, each titled with an acronym, from the original 1962 release are supplemented by a fifth, “Proof Readers,” for this reissue.

Ornette! uniquely blends musical tradition and revolution. Most arrangements sound almost conventional now, with melody statements leading into and out of each piece. Coleman honks out a surprising number of familiar-sounding R&B expressions, and Cherry burns through some Dizzy bop chops, on “W.R.U.”

How they employ them is, of course, an entirely different matter. “W.R.U.” also sounds extremely difficult for the rhythm section, particularly the bassist, to navigate, and “R.P.D.D.” sounds like it’s missing its pianist, though not from lack of LaFaro’s rhythmic and harmonic effort.

“C. & D.” scales the session’s peak: LaFaro tumbles through his walking basslines like a gymnast underneath Cherry as Blackwell impeccably rings out time on his cymbals, playing free but never feeling out of control—the freedom of discipline. Although sometimes viewed as musically dour, Coleman sounds positively joyous in its middle section, while Cherry also suggests Kenny Dorham and even the inscrutable Miles.

It is tribute to Coleman’s vision that, four decades after its release, Ornette! does not sound as menacing or subversive as once it might.


Track Listing: W.R.U., T. & T., C. & D., R.P.D.D., Proof Readers

Personnel: Ornette Coleman, alto sax; Donald Cherry, pocket trumpet; Scott LaFaro, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums.

Title: Ornette! | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Floa" CD/LP/Track Review Floa
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show" CD/LP/Track Review Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Hourglass" CD/LP/Track Review Hourglass
by Paul Rauch
Published: May 18, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!