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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: INTERVIEW

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Throttle Elevator Music: Emergency Exit

Read "Emergency Exit" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The sub-genre of “punk jazz" has existed—on paper— since the 1970s when Patti Smith proposed a collaboration with Ornette Coleman. That partnership did not materialize. When all the moving pieces are pulled together there is little substance to suggest that the category ever shared specific practices or conventions. Then, in 2012, Throttle Elevator Music emerged with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

New York Contemporary Five: Consequences Revisited

Read "Consequences Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

This 2020 reissue of the New York Contemporary Five recordings from 1963-64 can't help but draw one's attention to the social unrest occurring in America in 2020. In 1964 the riots in Harlem and Philadelphia over police brutality were followed by similar riots a few years later in Watts, Newark, Detroit, etc. In the growing civil ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Paul Flaherty / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt / Mike Roberson: Borrowed From Children

Read "Borrowed From Children" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's misquote a Rolling Stones' lyric here, with the music of Paul Flaherty “you can always get what you want," and maybe to a greater extent, “you get what you need." For more decades than he might want to count, the saxophonist has been making his self-described 'hated music.' We're talking hate as in a bugaboo, ...

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3

Read "Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As Martin Luther King put it in the opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, “Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Hansen - Peeter Uuskyla: JULY 1, 1979

Read "JULY 1, 1979" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The year was 1979. Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died, so did jazz legend Charles Mingus. While punk rock was in a duel with disco, jazz as commercial music was dying the death of a thousand cuts. Miles Davis was in hiding, as jazz fusion (the disco equivalent in jazz) was forcing the retirement of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Threadbare: Silver Dollar

Read "Silver Dollar" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Wobbling like a drunk private eye in a thirties who dunnit, “And When the Situation Arises," the opening salutation of the unflinching Threadbare, rapidly transforms into a free jazz car chase where sodden hero and combatant bounce off light pole and guard rail, skidding towards cliffs with no regard for life, limb or the listener's expectations. ...

Stefanie Kunckler e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Stefanie Kunckler e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

Il tratto principale della mia musica Vedo la musica come un linguaggio con cui posso porre della domande, raccontare delle storie, o anche dimostrare il vuoto. La situazione “mi mancano le parole" non esiste. La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano con me Il sentimento che ciascuno possa ispirare l'altro.


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