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Ornette Coleman

Early on in his career, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, recorded an album entitled, The Shape of Jazz To Come. It might have seemed like an expression of youthful arrogance - Coleman was 29 at the time - but actually, the title was prophetic. Coleman is the creator of a concept of music called "harmolodic," a musical form which is equally applicable as a life philosophy. The richness of harmolodics derives from the unique interaction between the players. Breaking out of the prison bars of rigid meters and conventional harmonic or structural expectations, harmolodic musicians improvise equally together in what Coleman calls compositional improvisation, while always keeping deeply in tune with the flow, direction and needs of their fellow players. In this process, harmony becomes melody becomes harmony. Ornette describes it as "Removing the caste system from sound." On a broader level, harmolodics equates with the freedom to be as you please, as long as you listen to others and work with them to develop your own individual harmony.

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 1

Read "A Jazz Immuno-Booster: Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

We may still be months away from developing vaccines to tame the threat that COVID19 poses to our bodies. But given the centrality of the mind-body connection for our physical well being, we should not forget that we continue to have music to support our minds during these challenging times. So I have reached ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

JZ Replacement: Disrespectful

Read "Disrespectful" reviewed by Chris May

Visceralism and virtuosity, the two qualities which define this momentous debut album by JZ Replacement, make an unbeatable combination. They are also a necessary one. Without a degree of virtuosity, eloquence is constrained by lack of vocabulary. Without a degree of visceralism, technical facility is at worst mechanistic, at best purely cerebral. Bring the two qualities ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Pitsiokos: Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation

Read "Speak In Tongues And Hope For The Gift Of Interpretation" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, it might be said, was standing on the shoulders of giants when he recorded this solo alto saxophone concert in January of 2019. Indeed, these six tributes take into account the accomplishments of the esteemed masters and, from their shoulders, Pitsiokos enters some rarefied air. His Speak In Tongues And Hope For The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Clark Sommers: Peninsula

Read "Peninsula" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

You enter the music of Chicago bassist/composer Clark Sommers with wary expectations: In its open-ness anything can happen. Dark perambulations pop against lighter propulsions. Dialogues take on thesis, equation and whimsy. Discourse holds its own parlance, gives definition, then allows for civil caucus. Because Ba(sh), a trio defined only by the elementary concept that 1+1+1=3, converse ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Alexander: Leap of Faith

Read "Leap of Faith" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Eric Alexander è uno dei massimi tenoristi della sua generazione. In oltre quaranta dischi da leader e un centinaio di collaborazioni, ha evidenziato piena adesione al modern mainstream, privilegiando l'esibizione in quartetti o quintetti con la tipica sezione ritmica comprendente un pianista (spesso il suo mentore Harold Mabern) o talvolta un chitarrista (Pat Martino o Peter ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aruán Ortiz with Andrew Cyrille and Mauricio Herrera: Inside Rhythmic Falls

Read "Inside Rhythmic Falls" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Cuban-born pianist and composer Aruán Ortiz is constantly evolving, experimenting and injecting new elements into his craft. Inside Rhythmic Falls is his third trio album, each with impressive but different lineups. His previous trio release, Live In Zürich (Intakt Records, 2018), with bassist Brad Jones and Chicago Underground mainstay Chad Taylor on drums and mbira, saw ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Juan Vinuesa Jazz Quartet: Blue Shots From Chicago

Read "Blue Shots From Chicago" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Chicago, a city of big shoulders, continues to present proof of poet Carl Sandburg's words from the poem of the same name... “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning." Why is this? Because Chicago in 2020 remains the same as evoked in ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)

Read "The Jazz Avant-Garde in the 1960s (1960 - 1966)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Nurtured in the seminal recordings of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor in the mid to late 1950s, the jazz avant—garde came into its own in the 1960s with their continuing creations, those of John Coltrane already featured in this program and those of next generation players, Joe Harriott and Albert Ayler. Defining statements of the free ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Coltrane Quartet: Impressions: Graz 1962

Read "Impressions: Graz 1962" reviewed by Mark Corroto

This live concert is a welcome excuse to go to your happy place. Sixty years after John Coltrane's quartet toured Europe, this radio broadcast with its excellent audio fidelity opens like a capsule. Both a time capsule and a seed capsule, one that continues to pollinate today's music. The year was 1962 and Coltrane ...


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