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Ornette Coleman reissues?

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i'm reading "the freedom principle" by John Litweiler at the moment. about half way through and so far i'm really enjoying it. my favourite line in the book is where he talks about "minor intrusion" by mingus - the performance on the whole suggests elephants slowly bleeding to death. i still can't figure out if this is a good or bad thing :D

anyway reading this book makes me think i need some Ornette Coleman CDs as i have the sum total of none at the moment.

a quick look on amazon shows a few different reissues.

can anyone tell me what's the newest reissues (best sound quality?) for any of the following. thanks

The Shape of Jazz to Come

Free Jazz

This Is Our Music

Change of the Century

Something Else

Tomorrow Is the Question

some of these seem to be available by Warner Jazz , Atlantic and Rhino, all a bit confusing.

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I just opened a link to Giddins VV column on the JVC jazz fest and across that was a banner for this beautyisararethingbox!

Essential and sounds pretty darn good to me.

and I guess I'd better include the blib on Ornette's new quartet:

"...Art Blakey famously said that music washes away the dust of everyday life, and so it was when Ornette Coleman took the stage with his new quartet.

He went at it for close to 90 minutes, stopping, after a one-minute encore in response to a five-minute ovation, at the stroke of 11. That kind of precision characterized the entire set, not just the variational logic and magically timed endings, but the hairpin turns as the quartet sustained the leader's expansive, combustible playfulness. With Denardo Coleman's drums behind Plexiglas, the sound balance (better overall this summer than at any JVC festival in memory) gave each man his due, preventing the basses from getting muddied. Sometimes Greg Cohen asserted a thumping pizzicato bedrock as Tony Falanga employed his bow for melodic incursions; sometimes they plucked together, usually with Falanga suggesting the lead; and at one point Cohen laid out while Coleman and Falanga exchanged phrases. At all times the group seemed to breathe together, rising and falling like a pair of lungs, locked together with an emphatic rhythmic integrity that, in the Coleman manner, is less propulsive than fixed in the present—a perpetual-motion machine that swings in place, spotlighting the momentum of Coleman's improvised melodies.

Nothing in jazz is more moving than the purity of Coleman's sound and conception. Essentially, it has remained the same since 1959, when Shelly Manne marveled at how he could make the alto saxophone laugh and cry—never in a mimetic way, but through the natural effusiveness of his inventions. His tunes reach into an unguarded place where we store the most elemental tunes of childhood, and embody their universality, encompassing every kind of emotion. His solos chortle, sigh, exult, and dream, and when he's finished you get sent back to the dust of everyday life. Small wonder the audience wouldn't let him leave. Every Coleman concert is an event, but on this night he was preaching from the mountain and the clean air was exhilarating." Giddins village voice

Edited by Man with the Golden Arm

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Colemans Atlantics seem to have been reissued in a number edition (at least in the UK). I am sorry but I cant really pass much comment on their comparative sonic weaknesses as all I own are late 80s or early 90 s masterings .

All are fine and recommended without hesitation , packaged in jewel cases. I think they look better than those "recycled toilet roll" card covers the last reissues came in.

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I just opened a link to Giddins VV column on the JVC jazz fest and across that was a banner for this beautyisararethingbox!

Essential and sounds pretty darn good to me.

It's my favorite early Ornette! B)

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I just opened a link to Giddins VV column on the JVC jazz fest and across that was a banner for this beautyisararethingbox!

Essential and sounds pretty darn good to me.

It's my favorite early Ornette! B)

$60 for that set is an excellent price. :wub:

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Thanks for posting that review of Ornette at the JVC Festival, Vint. I thought they were playing in Newport this summer, but I was mistaken. Dewey Redman is bringing a quartet to the festival though. I wonder who will be with him?

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can anyone tell me what's the newest reissues (best sound quality?) for any of the following. thanks

The Shape of Jazz to Come

Free Jazz

This Is Our Music

Change of the Century

Something Else

Tomorrow Is the Question

"Something Else" and "Tomorrow"... were originally on Contemporary, now owned by Fantasy and issued as part of their OJC series. I don't have CDs of these, but most of the OJCs have passable if not outstanding sound. I don't think these have been remastered lately.

The others are originally Atlantics. I would not be too concerned about which mastering I buy- it's really a matter of taste. There are many people who think the newer remasters are tweaked too much, (the usual complaints being added compression and high end boost), and prefer the sound of the earlier masterings. I have the "Beauty Is A Rare Thing" box set which dates from 1993. It sounds fine.

Edited by mary mcgoon

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thanks for the replies folks

i see that on amazon.co.uk Tomorrow Is the Question! is stated for release on monday (link)

i wonder if this is just the same as the 1995 ojc?

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This is a german ZYX release. They usually remaster the tapes themselves, with extremely variable results. Some sound good, others are unlistenable.

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I just opened a link to Giddins VV column on the JVC jazz fest and across that was a banner for this beautyisararethingbox!

Essential and sounds pretty darn good to me.

Has anyone dealt with this seller before? Do you think these are remainders?

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That seller looks to be DVDs and Baseball Cards. I'd definitely e-mail them first. But they are probably selling the earlier Contemporary(s) at a higher price since Ornette was a rookie then. ;)

And yes that JVC quartet read fantastic. It would be choice to hear Cohen, whose hugeness fits nicely into the Haden-esque role in Masada, playing with the RealDeal!

Edited by Man with the Golden Arm

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Is it still the case that the Beauty is a Rare Thing is the best sound reissue of this material?

I have this box and the sound is good... but as someone recently said on this board (but now I can't find it).. sometimes I wish they had sequenced this box in the order of the original LPs rather than chronologically... so I wonder if good sounding versions of the original lps exist on cd.

For some reason..(probably makes no sense) I played the lps when I had them more than I do this box.

Edited by skeith

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Water Records reissued "To Whom. . ." and it sounds really good. And Org Music reissued "The Shape of Jazz to Come" on hybrid SACD and it sounds wonderful.

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... as someone recently said on this board (but now I can't find it) ... sometimes I wish they had sequenced this box in the order of the original LPs rather than chronologically ... so I wonder if good sounding versions of the original LPs exist on CD.

Yes — I said that. Just like yourself, I played my vinyl of these albums more than the box set. I don't own the vinyl any more, and actually just sold my copy of the box set last week.

I've been enjoying the recent Japanese reissues (prefix WPCR) of Ornette's Atlantic work quite a bit. There's a thread on this board where the general consensus on this reissue series (as a whole, not just the Ornette reissues) is that it's too loud — i.e. compressed and ear-fatiguing, but I'm not hearing that as much on the particular reissues I have (Ornette!, Ornette On Tenor, and For Whom Who Keeps A Record), maybe, in part, because some Atlantic sessions were recorded at low levels and (to me) can benefit from some (judicious) compression. I have The Shape of Jazz to Come and Change of The Century on earlier Japanese editions, and, to me, they sound amazing. I grew up with this music as a teenager, it's imprinted on my brain, and I don't mind the hunt for (so-called) "better" sounding editions.

But, short answer — if you know this music in its original vinyl order, the Japanese editions retain this order (which I think is hugely important for The Shape of Jazz to Come in particular), and I think they sound pretty good.

If you do a search for WPCR and Ornette Coleman on CD Japan, it should pull up all the current reissues. The previous series had AMCY as its prefix.

My favorite Ornette Atlantic album, This Is Our Music, is being reissued in Japan on March 26th. I never liked the sound of the Sepia Tone reissue, and hope this new reissue at least sounds different. The music of course is staggering. Some of my very favorite Don Cherry solos contained therein.

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I'm with Lon on the ORG Music The Shape Of Jazz To Come hybrid SACD. Get it while its around. They aborted their SACD program after only three jazz titles (The Bridge, My Favorite Things) and all are excellent.

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I'm with Lon on the ORG Music The Shape Of Jazz To Come hybrid SACD. Get it while its around. They aborted their SACD program after only three jazz titles (The Bridge, My Favorite Things) and all are excellent.

Fully agreed.

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I've been enjoying the recent Japanese reissues (prefix WPCR) of Ornette's Atlantic work quite a bit. There's a thread on this board where the general consensus on this reissue series (as a whole, not just the Ornette reissues) is that it's too loud — i.e. compressed and ear-fatiguing, but I'm not hearing that as much on the particular reissues I have

I'm not sure which Atlantic reissue program you refer to. I have around 10 Japanese Atlantics 60th Anniversary issues - WPCR 2xxxxx, they all sound excellent. I wasn't aware that these issues were thought to suffer from loudness/compression etc.

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I've been enjoying the recent Japanese reissues (prefix WPCR) of Ornette's Atlantic work quite a bit. There's a thread on this board where the general consensus on this reissue series (as a whole, not just the Ornette reissues) is that it's too loud — i.e. compressed and ear-fatiguing, but I'm not hearing that as much on the particular reissues I have

I'm not sure which Atlantic reissue program you refer to. I have around 10 Japanese Atlantics 60th Anniversary issues - WPCR 2xxxxx, they all sound excellent. I wasn't aware that these issues were thought to suffer from loudness/compression etc.

I try not to read these threads....I only get anxious :unsure:

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I've been enjoying the recent Japanese reissues (prefix WPCR) of Ornette's Atlantic work quite a bit. There's a thread on this board where the general consensus on this reissue series (as a whole, not just the Ornette reissues) is that it's too loud — i.e. compressed and ear-fatiguing, but I'm not hearing that as much on the particular reissues I have

I'm not sure which Atlantic reissue program you refer to. I have around 10 Japanese Atlantics 60th Anniversary issues - WPCR 2xxxxx, they all sound excellent. I wasn't aware that these issues were thought to suffer from loudness/compression etc.

I try not to read these threads....I only get anxious :unsure:

Good move. These threads can make you crazy.

Edited by paul secor

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I've been enjoying the recent Japanese reissues (prefix WPCR) of Ornette's Atlantic work quite a bit. There's a thread on this board where the general consensus on this reissue series (as a whole, not just the Ornette reissues) is that it's too loud — i.e. compressed and ear-fatiguing, but I'm not hearing that as much on the particular reissues I have

I'm not sure which Atlantic reissue program you refer to. I have around 10 Japanese Atlantics 60th Anniversary issues - WPCR 2xxxxx, they all sound excellent. I wasn't aware that these issues were thought to suffer from loudness/compression etc.

I'm with you and Laton. I love this series, have grabbed all the Mingus and John Lewis and some others (I'm especially grateful that they reissued the two first jazz lps I ever bought, Leo Wright's "Blues Shout" and Thomas Bell and the Contemporary Jazz Quartet's "Another Dimension"--and both sound great).

I don't find them too loud or compressed, but I guess I'm blessed with a system that makes the most of recent reissues and I can pretty much buy with confidence that I'm not going to be too disappointed. One reviewer of my Transport/DAC has said that it plays back modern remasterings well and I have to agree, it's very flexible in having six filters and numerous up-sampling or Non-oversampling modes, plus my amp and preamp are very flexible with tube bias and input and output gain adjustment. I've played a few of these Atlantics on an older Harmon Kardon cd player (the first One-bit player produced commercially, quite a nice player) and a Sony ES SACD player modded with a tube output stage, and they don't sound as good as they do on the new front end. So I do realize that for some systems, and perhaps for headphone users, these can be problematic, but I've enjoyed every one that I have popped into a tray, my favorite Redbook versions of Atlantic titles.

Earlier this morning I was playing the new cd of the mono version of "Giant Steps" and really enjoyed it.

I haven't bought any of the Coleman reissues in this series. . . but knowing me it's just a matter of time. :)

Edited by jazzbo

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The WPCR CDs from late 2012 and early 2013 I bought (Mingus, Blakey) were very bright. They were cheap, but some (Mingus) are now being reissued again in cardboard mini LPs for 2.5 times the price. Great value. :unsure:

Listen to the ORG Music The Shape Of Jazz To Come to experience a real upgrade to the nineties CDs.

Of course, to each his own. :shrug[1]:

Edited by erwbol

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Interesting because those I have don't seem overly bright at all.

Systems and ears are diffferent. It's a great thing when there are many differrent editions out there.

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thanks to everyone for the helpful information!!!

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I am not familiar with recent reissues, but, to some extent, all the Atlantic recordings of that time are "bright" compared to Prestige, Blue Note and others, and the extreme stereo separation is quite disturbing, often I play stereo as mono.

Edited by porcy62

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