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RADIO

Ornette@50, Bird vs. Hays & more

Read "Ornette@50, Bird vs. Hays & more" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We have a lot of ground to cover this week. After our starting half-hour of 21st century music, we have a compare/contrast of Charlie Parker versus a Kevin Hays deconstruction of “Scrapple from the Apple." The day of broadcast on WHYR was Art Tatum's birthday; so we have a rare recording of an airshot from WTAM radio in Cleveland, when Art was 24 years old. We continue our Sonny Rollins celebration with a sideman gig for J.J. Johnson ...

RADIO

A Jazz Lover's guide to Popular Music

Read "A Jazz Lover's guide to Popular Music" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we explore the cross pollination between jazz and popular music genres, like pop, rock, soul, funk and ska. Archie Shepp playing with Whitney Houston? The jazz beginnings of Björk, Serge Gainsbourg, Sacha Distel? Ornette Coleman's and Sonny Rollins' adventures in rock-land? Lester Bowie playing ska? How Miles Davis' “So What" inspired Pee Wee Ellis' horn lines for James Brown's “Cold Sweat"? Paul Simon's latest album with Bill Frisell and Wynton Marsalis? Stevie Wonder jamming with Dizzy ...

THE VINYL POST

The Atlantic Years

Read "The Atlantic Years" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Now that the vinyl boom has officially become big business, it is not surprising that major labels are scrambling to put together reissue projects from their back catalogs that will benefit from this cash cow. Rhino has already successfully tapped their holdings for superb mono boxed sets from both John Coltrane and Ray Charles. For their latest endeavor, they have turned to an artist on the fringes of jazz popularity. Ornette Coleman is far from being a household name and ...

BOOK REVIEWS

As Serious As Your Life: Black Music And The Free Jazz Revolution 1957-1977

Read "As Serious As Your Life: Black Music And The Free Jazz Revolution 1957-1977" reviewed by Ian Patterson

As Serious As Your Life: Black Music And The Free-Jazz Revolution, 1957-1977 Val Wilmer 408 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78816 071 1 Serpent's Tail 2018 First published in 1977, journalist, author and black music historian Val Wilmer's As Serious As Your Life... makes a welcome print return at a time when jazz excites perhaps greater and more meaningful historical debate than ever before. The title--the subtitle is a new addition--is from ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Ornette Coleman

Read "Ornette Coleman" reviewed by John Eyles

June 11th 2015 was one of those momentous days in jazz history that can truly be said to signal the end of an era--it was the day Ornette Coleman died. It is a mark of his stature that, on the day in question, when jazz fans told each other, “Ornette is dead" no-one ever asked, “Ornette who?" As with Elvis or Miles, one name was sufficient. There have been other Colemans, but there was only ever one Ornette...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

The Day the Music Died

Read "The Day the Music Died" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

On one of my infrequent trips outside the 'Dome recently, I stopped at a convenience store for a cold Coke Zero when I noticed a man about my age (48. 52, in heels) driving a red 1988 Pontiac Trans Am and blasting Whitesnake's “Here I Go Again" on his car stereo. He wore Zubaz workout pants that were at least twenty years out of style, a faded Def Leppard T-shirt, and sported a greying mullet. In that moment, I could ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Ornette Coleman at the Golden Circle - 1965

Read "Ornette Coleman at the Golden Circle - 1965" reviewed by Marc Davis

Let's start with a disclaimer: I'm not a fan of free jazz. So why would I even bother with an album I was pretty sure I'd dislike? There's a practical answer: It was on sale. I was in a record store recently that was having a buy-one-get-one-for-$1 sale. So I got a CD I knew I'd like and then saw Ornette Coleman at the Golden Circle, Volume One. Did I mention I collect Blue Note CDs? It's the ...

Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2

Read "Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Part One When we sleep, we're often in commune with our soul. As you wake, you may receive some gentle messages for you to try and remember or use. A few years back as I was waking up I felt that everything in my life was about to change in a way I could never expect. A massive shift was imminent. Shortly after that photographer John Rogers introduced me to Ornette Coleman. I'll always be very grateful to ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Spirits Up Above - The Atlantic Years 1965-1976

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Spirits Up Above - The Atlantic Years 1965-1976" reviewed by Chris May

Rahsaan Roland KirkSpirits Up Above: The Atlantic Years 1965-1976Warner Jazz2012He was as funky as singer James Brown. With three horns in his mouth, he sounded like the entire JB reed section. And onstage, with a truckload of instruments around his neck, he was the hardest working man in jazz business. Saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist and multiple custom-reed instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1936-77) livened up the music scene like few other artists before or ...

THE MORT REPORT

Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry Once Blew Us Away Under LA’s Big Top

Read "Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry Once Blew Us Away Under LA’s Big Top" reviewed by Mort Weiss

Los Angeles/Hollywood, California, in the late 1940s through the early 1960s was a happening place for jazz and jazz musicians. There was always a place to play a jam session, or more correctly session(s)--mostly in beer bars. (I'm not counting the ones that went on all night in some one's pad, if they were lucky enough to live up in one of the many canyons in the Hollywood hills) I've seen many a sunrise from the Laurel and Topanga canyons, ...

REASSESSING

Ornette Coleman: The Missing Years, 1968-1972

Read "Ornette Coleman: The Missing Years, 1968-1972" reviewed by Eric Miller

Among Ornette Coleman's periods of relative quiet, the turn of the 1960s into the 1970s may well be the most frustrating. More than three years of musical life--from the final Blue Note sessions of April-May 1968 to the release of Science Fiction on Columbia in 1972--remain shrouded in mystery and obscurity. Every recording made under Coleman's name during this period was done live; worse, all are either unavailable or unauthorized (to slightly varying degrees), forcing fans to hold out for ...

REASSESSING

Free Jazz

Read "Free Jazz" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Ornette Coleman Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet Atlantic 1961 Alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's masterpiece, Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet, is one of the hinges of jazz evolution. As a musical hinge, Free Jazz, heard from this side of its development, is a bit of an anticlimax compared with the two-label, five album prelude to this point: Something Else!!!! (Contemporary, ...


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