Friday, June 12, 2015

GOODBYE Mr. COLEMAN ..... and THANK YOU .....




Label: London Records ‎– LTZ-K15199, London Atlantic – LTZ-K15199
Series: Jazz Series
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: UK / Released: 1961
Style: Free Jazz
The album was originally released as Atlantic 1327 in June, 1960.
Recording dates: Tracks A3, B2, B3, B4 - October 8, 1959, tracks A1, A2, B1 - October 9, 1959, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California.
Engineer – Bones Howe
Cover / Photo – Lee Friedlander

A1 - Ramblin' ............................................................................. 6:35
A2 - Free .................................................................................... 6:20
A3 - The Face Of The Bass ....................................................... 6:55
B1 - Forerunner ......................................................................... 5:12
B2 - Bird Food ........................................................................... 5:30
B3 - Una Muy Bonita ................................................................. 6:00
B4 - Change Of The Century ..................................................... 4:43

Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone
Don Cherry – pocket trumpet
Charlie Haden – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion

Change Of The Century was an audacious album title, to say the least. On his second Atlantic release—and second with his most like-minded ensemble (trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins)—alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman pushed the freedom principal farther. At the same time, he looked backward too for inspiration. Having eliminated the piano on his Contemporary release, Tomorrow Is The Question! (1959), Coleman opened up wide improvisational opportunities. On that recording, he and his "freedom principle" remained partially inhibited by the presence of traditionalist bassist Percy Heath and drummer Shelly Manne, who resisted coloring outside of the lines as Coleman was attempting to do. But that was not so on The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959) and Change Of The Century. While the rhythm section continued to provide enough cohesive swing to propel matters, Coleman and Cherry stretched the melodic boundaries without the previous harmonic anchors.



Change of the Century is compelling in its embrace of contrasts. "Ramblin'" is funky organic, almost early rock and roll. Haden plucks and strums his way through a fractured 12-bar format that never fully resolves itself into the comfort of the anticipated. Coleman's solo over Haden's support is bar-walking rhythm and blues, lowdown and dirty, smelling of beer and Lucky Strikes. Cherry plays his famous pocket trumpet, sounding closer to Lee Morgan than anyone else, squeezing out hard bop lines like sparks from a metal lathe. Haden solos using the figures he has supported the whole piece with. His intonation is middle-of-the-note, relaxed and slightly wooden. "Ramblin'" retains an erstwhile harmonic structure, albeit only barely.

The head of "Free" is an odd premonition for composer/saxophonist Oliver Nelson's "Hoedown" from The Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1961), passing through an ascending and descending blues figure. Haden is rock solid throughout, even when the solo-going gets ragged and frayed. Higgins' accents are as potent as pepper, shoring up the edges of chaos on the briskly-timed piece. "The Face Of Bass" gives prominence to Haden while at the same time sounding strangely traditional for an album entitled Change of the Century. But it is a facade. Coleman encourages a careful abandon in the piece's overall structure and arrangement. Cherry pops on his solo, sometimes sounding like Freddie Hubbard, sometimes, Art Farmer.

"Forerunner" pretends that it is bebop, with a serpentine head and a deft drum break by Higgins. Coleman's solo is inspired, quenched in gospel and the blues. His tonal expanse is as big as his native Texas, informed by the many great tenor saxophone players from that state. Cherry emerges assertive, playing with swagger and attitude. So well constructed and delivered is his solo that it is easy to forget that a move toward a freer musical system is in the works. Haden remains stalwart in time-keeping, shepherding everything between the rhythmic ditches. The same can be said for the Charlie Parker-inspired "Bird Food," which is surveyed at a fast clip over a complex note pattern.

"Una Muy Bonita" is only passing Latin, with pianist Thelonious Monk phrasing and side- winding playing. Haden sets up a familiar clave beat with strummed chords. Coleman stages the piece to more insinuate a Latin vibe than to actually play one. After a lengthy introduction, Cherry solos muted, allowing himself a broad swath over which to play. The disc's closer, the title tune, was the most fully-realized "free jazz" at that point from Coleman. It is a wild phantasm of notes that are to "free jazz" what trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop" was for that virtuosic genre. It is a clarion call played on impulse. Yes, finally things are really beginning to come apart at the seams, properly foreshadowing Free Jazz: A Group Improvisation (Atlantic, 1961). Coleman has fully gained his traction and is now ready.




Label: Fontana – 858 119 FPY, ESP Disk – SFJL923
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: UK / Released: 1965
Style: Free Jazz, Avantgarde
Recorded live on December 21, 1962 at Town Hall, NYC.
Design – Jay Dillon
Engineer – Jerry Newman
Photography By – Charles Shabacon

Blue and silver label with silver and blue letters.
P: 1963 on label (wrong)

A1 - Doughnut .................................................................. 9:00
A2 - Sadness .................................................................... 4:00
A3 - Dedication To Poets And Writers ............................. 8:50
B  -  The Ark .................................................................... 23:24

Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone
David Izenzon – bass
Charles Moffett – drums, percussion
Kermit Moore – cello (tracks: A3)
Julien Barber – viola (tracks: A3)
Nathan Goldstein – violin (tracks: A3)
Selwart Clarke – violin (tracks: A3)

Ornette Coleman's theory of harmolodics set a standard for improvised music that is unrivaled. Coleman closed the synaptic gap between the conception and implementation of the musical idea so that spawning the music became a conjugation of the harmonic relationships that live within it.
Town Hall, 1962 brings the music so close to the experience that the performers seem to be just yards away. The sad fact remains that this is only part of the night's worth of music; the whereabouts of the rest is regrettably unknown.




The bright spirit stemming from Coleman's youth permeates the sound of the four-track recording with innovation. Coleman's searing stepped scale ascension on his alto bursts open the music to carve out his sonic territory; he is accompanied by light touches and constant motion on the snare and cymbal and a relaxed rich pizzicato on the bass. Coleman carries the weight of the music through an endlessly changing tuneful line until he rests and lets bassist David Izenzon's arco fly and Charles Moffett's stick work map the way into a snare/cymbal rendering of the tempo. Coleman holds a high pitch on his horn to wrap up the first song, "Doughnut." The memory of that pitch transfers to the jaw-dropping purity of tone that Coleman illustrates on "Sadness."

"Sadness" has to be one of the best models for evoking the meaning of its title, besides Coleman's classic composition "Lonely Woman." At age 32, having mastered his instrument, Coleman plays unwavering, potent single notes and melodic phrases of compelling poignancy. Contrast the gripping soundscape emanating from the alto with tonal arco vagaries on the bass, precise brushwork on the drums and expansive sibilance on the cymbals and the result is unforgettable.

The presence of a piece for string quartet is no less a distraction than a Rembrandt portrait would be hanging next to a Picasso collage abstraction. The instrumentation may seem antithetical to expectations brought to Coleman's music. But, following the path of every string instrument in relation to one another on "Dedication to Poets and Writers" substantiates the integration in which Coleman staunchly believes.

The final 23-minute "The Ark" widens the distance among the instruments in a true test of improvisational limits. Coleman presses through a loosely defined middle range in the form of ostinatos and relentless melodic bounce. Moffett can only respond with bold polyrhythmic moves and Izenzon with deep pizzicato splurges and assiduous bowing. Nineteen minutes in, Coleman slowly squeezes out a seemingly strained high pitch, a signal for the tonal climb that ensues until closing with the bass's fast paced bowing in its upper register.

In the stream of its apparent freedom, this trio acts with constraints, imposed not by restriction, but by genius. To know what later transpired could only underscore the appreciation of what already exists.



If you find it, buy this albums!

15 comments:

  1. ORNETTE COLEMAN – Change Of The Century (LP-1961)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?fjmqmqiji3



    ORNETTE COLEMAN – Town Hall, 1962 (LP-1965)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?a4cb143dkt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Much appreciated, thank you!

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  3. Vitko:
    Many thanks for this celebration of Ornette Coleman, I'm glad he came our way.

    Best

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  4. Thanks Vitko, It was our good fortune that Mr. Coleman persevered. We are much richer for it,

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  5. In an interview Ornette Coleman said:

    "When I arrived in New York, I was more or less treated like someone from the South who didn't know music, who couldn't read or write, but I never tried to protest that. Then I decided that I was going to try to develop my own conception, without anybody's help. I rented the Town Hall on 21 December 1962, that cost me $600,1 hired a rhythm and blues group, a classical group and a trio. The evening of the concert there was a snowstorm, a newspaper strike, a doctors' strike and a subway strike, and the only people who came were those who had to leave their hotel and come to the city hall. I had asked someone to record my concert and he committed suicide, but someone else recorded it, founded his record company with it, and I never saw him again. All that made me understand once again that I had done that for the same reason that I had told my mother that I didn't want to play down there anymore. Obviously, the state of things from the technological, financial, social and criminal point of view was much worse than when I was in the South. I was knocking on doors that stayed closed."

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  6. R.I.P. Mr Coleman, thanks so much for your music.

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  7. Thanks Vitko. A great celebration!

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  8. ESP, the label that originally put out Town Hall (as far as I know), wasn't the first album that came out on ESP; it was (as far as I know) the sixth, ESP 1006. The first was a Esperanto album! which is which is weird.

    ESP 1001 v.a., Ni Kantu En Esperanto
    ESP 1002 Albert Ayler Trio, Spiritual Unity
    ESP 1003 Pharaoh Sanders Quintet, s/t
    ESP 1004 New York Art Quartet, s/t
    ESP 1005 The Byron Allen Trio, s/t
    ESP 1006 Ornette Coleman, Town Hall, 1962

    The label was founded by (as far as I know) Bernard Stollman. I can't say if Ornette saw him him or not afterwards. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Scraps, you did well noticed on which address is went that part of the interview... and whether they looked at each other (after) ... who knows :), nevertheless, I believe in the words of Mr. Coleman.
      Cheers.

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  9. Thanks for these two & the great write-up about OC. He has always been at the top for me. Shortly after his passing I posted up The Empty Foxhole & Of Human Feelings over on my blog - http://nathannothinsez.blogspot.com/2015/06/if-you-dont-know-why-then-bye-bye.html. I only mentioned this so that others might enjoy some of his treasures. The real reason I mention it is because I also posted a link to "Ornette Coleman: Last Word" over at Jazz World - http://www.jazzwax.com/2015/06/ornette-coleman-last-word.html - that I think is fantastic & well worth anyone's time to read. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete