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Ornette Coleman

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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.

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Article: Album Review

Joe Harriott: Chronology: Live 1968 - 69

Read "Chronology:  Live 1968 - 69" reviewed by Chris May


One of not-for-profit archive label Jazz In Britain's first releases in early 2020--then only on vinyl, but in summer 2021 reissued on CD—the Jamaican-born alto saxophonist and composer Joe Harriott's Chronology Live 1968—69 is also of interest for the spotlight it throws on another player who moved from his homeland to London in the 1950s, the ...

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Article: Interview

Dave McMurray: Blowing on the Edge of Grate-ness

Read "Dave McMurray: Blowing on the Edge of Grate-ness" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer


Saxophonist Dave McMurray's discography is reflective of the musical melting pot of his hometown jny: Detroit. Dave came up playing with everyone from bluesman Albert King, pianist Geri Allen, even Kid Rock. He is most known for his decades-long association with eclectic producer, and Blue Note label President, Don Was. Through Was, ...

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Article: Radio

Miguel Zenón: Sounds of Home and Heroes

Read "Miguel Zenón: Sounds of Home and Heroes" reviewed by Russell Perry


In the last hour, we heard from Rudresh Mahanthappa who, together with Miguel Zenón, has dominated the critics polls for alto players over the past decade Like Mahanthappa, Zenon brings his heritage into the mix featuring the music of Puerto Rico as not just an influence, but an inspiration. Also like Mahanthappa, he pays tribute to ...

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Article: Album Review

Dmitry Baevsky: Soundtrack

Read "Soundtrack" reviewed by David A. Orthmann


A collection of songs, some of which are likely to be included in aficionados' play lists; interpretations that don't stray very far off the beaten path; and a band of players who share a vision of how the material should be handled. It's the recipe for many recordings—past, present and future— within the mainstream of jazz. ...

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Article: Interview

A Conversation with Amiri Baraka

Read "A Conversation with Amiri Baraka" reviewed by Lazaro Vega


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in November 1999. All About Jazz: I'm just really happy to see that in the last year or so you've become a much more public figure outside of academia through the recording with Hugh Ragin, Afternoon in Harlem on Justin-time, that When ...

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Article: Radio

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Sounds of Home and Heroes

Read "Rudresh Mahanthappa: Sounds of Home and Heroes" reviewed by Russell Perry


In the 13 years since 2008, the alto saxophone award in the annual Jazz Journalists Association awards program has gone to either Rudresh Mahanthappa or Miguel Zenón ten times. Despite having very different sounds and approaches to the saxophone, their creative paths have much in common. Both began recording around the turn of the century. Both ...

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Article: Album Review

Cortex: Legal Tender

Read "Legal Tender" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The Norwegian quartet Cortex answers the question, what would have happened if the Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis, had advanced the jazz canon instead of looking backwards for inspiration. Remember when the two young lions burst onto the scene in the 1980s with their self-righteous mission to save jazz? They did so by stuffing it, much ...

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News: Recording

Ireland's Adam Nolan Trio To Release 'Prim And Primal' On August 19, 2021

Ireland's Adam Nolan Trio To Release 'Prim And Primal' On August 19, 2021

Prolific saxophonist Adam Nolan will soon release his latest trio album featuring Irish jazz musicians Derek Whyte (double bass) and Dominic Mullan (drums). The concept is of two jazz personalities, the polite humble sweet sounding, and the aggressive wild punk rebel. Each track is a visceral experience combining fantastical imagery and unique scenarios. Before each piece ...

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Article: Album Review

Will St Peter - Steven Heffner - Steve Barnes: Honestly

Read "Honestly" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Smooth can be charming. Mellow likewise. And the same can be said for easygoing. On Honestly, guitarist Will St Peter's trio presents an hour of smooth, mellow, easygoing jazz that is both charming and tasteful. There are few fireworks here, simply three accomplished musicians calmly yet firmly expressing their collaborative point of view. ...


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