Adam

Ornette wins the Pulitzer

86 posts in this topic

okay wise guy:

1) how many gigs has Ornette played in New York-- his adopted home fucking town-- in the last ten years? (twenty?)

2) how much does it cost to book Ornette?

3) how much does it COST Ornette to play?

don't bitch about "the music" lacking support, attention from ANYONE etc etc if you have to be treated like a goddamn king to share it (same goes for classical.) there's a diff between "respect" & respect for audiences, POTENTIAL audiences.

we can argue O. & many others deserve more $$$ than scumbag advertising copyrwrters, real estate agents, tv shitheels etc etc but get w/it, i.e. the culture wars in an economic/media capital & doing what you can while you can.

it ain't JUST fucking Ornette's world tho' all this belated reverence would make some think it is.

edc

Asked and answered. Thanks clem... :tup:ph34r:

Exactly what I wanted to know. :cool:

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Clem is right, if I catch his drift correctly - I know from people who do tours and booking that Ornette has basically priced himself out of a lot of the market - in the same way (though Ornette has done better ) that Jackie McLean (or rather Jackie's wife) priced him into near historical oblivion (as in, how much real recognition did McLean get when he passed?). Ornette's not alone in this; as soon as one gets to know the business in any way that is more than peripheral, one hears the real stories about self-destructive economics -

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Who says an artist has to perform in public?

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Who says an artist has to perform in public?

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it..."

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Again Clem, thanks. Calm down...

I don't have quite the same enormous grasp on things that you do...that's why I ask questions.

I now understand what you mean.

Your humble pupil... :)

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Ornette (or anyone else) can ask for whatever $$$ they want.

If they don't get hired, that's their problem.

Maybe he doesn't need the money.

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Ornette (or anyone else) can ask for whatever $$$ they want.

If they don't get hired, that's their problem.

Maybe he doesn't need the money.

Of course OC (or Sonny, or anyone) can ask for whatever they want, have no obligation to tour and/or perform, and can choose their venues as they see fit, but performing in front of eager fans is a long standing music tradition (duh!) and seems especially essential (though ask smarter people than me why) when it comes to jazz, an improvisational art form.

I can only remember one time in recent member when OC played in LA (LA!) and that was last year at Disney Hall. It was a sold out show, of course, but I imagine it was very much like a J@LC audience, with few of them otherwise slumming it at the Bakery or Catalinas or god help them the World Stage. Ironically, I'd bet that if you asked many of those who saw OC there (or any other concert hall venue) what other "jazz artists" they'd seen recently they'd probably respond with Wynton's name. It's gotten to the point that I don't even care if I ever see OC live in these kinds of venues. Give me some struggling kid (or aging vet) who's still eagerly working his ass off in a club.

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Yeah, what Clem said in our crossed post! :lol:

I will say this about Jackie McLean, though - last time he came through town he played a free outdoor gig at the museum, then capped it with a couple o' nights at Billy's World Stage.

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(& that latest Lee Perry/Public Enemy/James Brown thing is a beyond asinine attempt to bask in other's glories)

Please elaborate.

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Ornette has priced himself very high.

Same with Masada. I was talking to the head guy, David Sefton at UCLA Live about trying to get Masada to play LA (which I don't believe they ever did). He said their asking price would have required him to book them in Royce Hall, which seats about 1100. (He didn't tell me what that asking price was). But Zorn wouldn't agree to play a venue with that many seats - he wanted a smaller venue. Whcih would have made the ticket price too high, Sefton felt, to get a large enough crowd.

I guess the asking price for Masada was probably $20,000 or more, and Ornette is probably $25,000 or more.

And don't forget the blue M&Ms.

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I'm not interested in arguing with anyone.

I'd love to see Ornette play live & not pay a lot. Not gonna' happen.

With some associates we do some jazz "booking" here in the desert.

We recently were offered the "opportunity" to present 2 famous jazz musicians in a concert of duets.

The price was $40,000. Maybe it was negotiable, but we didn't even try.

We booked a great quartet for $4K, sold our 100 seats, & everyone had a good time.

Needless to say, I will not name names.

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Who says an artist has to perform in public?

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it..."

The Beatles stopped playing in public. Glenn Gould stopped playing in public. And for heavens sake; Ornette is 77 years old. Hasn't he earned the right to work as little as he choses and can afford? As for saying that he should play for free-He's not a volunteer musician. He's a professional and professionals get paid. How many workers do their jobs for free?

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I saw Ornette play this last year at Bass Concert Hall in Austin. Seems to me Ornette has actually taken quite a clever path. Although it's taken decades to pay off. He must be getting very high dollar. All I can say is good for him.... Most musicans just wouldn't be willing to sit idle the way Ornette has done. And in the end, he's only playing the best places for the most attentive audiences (people seem to pay a lot more attention when they pay top dollar. :D

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Who says an artist has to perform in public?

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it..."

The Beatles stopped playing in public. Glenn Gould stopped playing in public. And for heavens sake; Ornette is 77 years old. Hasn't he earned the right to work as little as he choses and can afford? As for saying that he should play for free-He's not a volunteer musician. He's a professional and professionals get paid. How many workers do their jobs for free?

Ornette certainly has "the right to work as little as he choses [sic] and can afford" -- as does everyone else on the planet, regardless of age. Putting on a free concert does not necessarily mean he would not be paid, e.g., a public arts program could pay his fee. (And, btw, lots of people do lots of work for free, which isn't to say Ornette should do anything for free; also, "he's a professional and professionals get paid" is tautological.)

"Art" is neither an object nor a material, but a process set in motion by objects and materials. And that can't happen when those objects and materials -- the works of an artist -- are stored in a closet, unavailable for engagement by a public audience of one sort or another. The artform of jazz, IMO, begs for a less 'precious' approach to public engagement, since recordings are poor substitutes for the live experience.

The interesting question is how much of the difference between 1959 Ornette and 2007 Ornette -- six weeks at the Five Spot vs. infrequent concert hall or festival gigs -- reflects a change in economic/financial factors (self-imposed demands/restrictions being one factor among others), and how much reflects a change in his attitude towards his art. Though I suspect the 77-year-old factor trumps either question.

I don't mean any of this to suggest that Ornette is anything less than a great artist -- I'm just responding to WD45's general question on the issue of public performance.

And in the end, he's only playing the best places for the most attentive audiences (people seem to pay a lot more attention when they pay top dollar. :D

Well, I've seen Ornette twice: in Battery Park in NY, and at Symphony Center here in Chicago. Yeah, I was knocked out by both shows, but I can only imagine how much better each would have been at a smaller venue with decent acoustics. (And as for paying attention & paying top-dollar: a lot of folks walked out of that Symphony Center concert.)

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re: Vandermark-- look at it this way Guthartz-- why don't Flattop just put out the goddamn record & ...

let us figure out who it mighta been influenced by?? esp. when you're calling out three fairly huge guys like that, _____ please.

Well, if he went that way, I'm sure there'd be folks saying "KV is just stealing ideas from X, Y & Z, and presenting them as his own without giving anyone any credit."

The record is out. I have confidence in your ability to listen to the music and figure out the influences for yourself, or not. Who is demanding you care about anything other than the music?

If you don't like the music, fine -- stop at "beyond asinine". But to assault his integrity by saying he's "attempting to bask in other's glories" is totally unfair and uncalled for.

We all know how omniscient you are, Don C., but I guarantee there are lots of folks who will come across Powerhouse Sound who never heard of Perry, Dodd, et al, do a little digging, and be hipped on to some hip shit as a result. So while it obviously annoys you for some reason, in reality it's all good.

ps - please tell us (1) the names of the musicians from whom Ken may borrow, (2) the concepts and traditions you would permit Ken to draw upon, and (3) how much Ken is allowed to talk about (1) and (2).

anyway, this is Ornette's thread...

Edited by jasonguthartz

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few things-- yeah, O. is 77; where & when did he play for the people when he was 57? again, he can do just exactly what he wants, & likewise i'd have a hell of hard time telling ANYONE they should give a shit... YEAH, harmolodics is healing force of the universe. fuck that-- give me the flowers while i'm living to qoute Mr & Mrs Lester Flatt (tho' i suspect they didn't really write the words).

frankly, Ornette got his & it's time to spread the LIMITED-- repeat, VERY limited $$$-- around. O. may be playing anti-star in the big world but his star trip in this one has been good for...

whom?

& if ya'll don't think there's SOME social responsibility implicit in the avant-gourd (pumpkins & squash included) then i'm not able to help this time.

re: Vandermark-- look at it this way Guthartz-- why don't Flattop just put out the goddamn record & ...

let us figure out who it mighta been influenced by?? esp. when you're calling out three fairly huge guys like that, _____ please.

this post was influenced by the vocal style of Horace Andy, the production techniques of King Tubby and the fashion sense Sir Coxsone's oldest daughter whom i saw swingin' it down Fulton St a few summers ago YOW!

edc

p/s Q: when is Ornette playing Vision Festival, or perhaps doing a benefit for same elsewhere?

Sorry to say my friend Clem is beginning to sound like the "I deserve it" crowd that has disturbed me for the last decade.

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re: Vandermark-- look at it this way Guthartz-- why don't Flattop just put out the goddamn record & ...

let us figure out who it mighta been influenced by?? esp. when you're calling out three fairly huge guys like that, _____ please.

Well, if he went that way, I'm sure there'd be folks saying "KV is just stealing ideas from X, Y & Z, and presenting them as his own without giving anyone any credit."

The record is out. I have confidence in your ability to listen to the music and figure out the influences for yourself, or not. Who is demanding you care about anything other than the music?

If you don't like the music, fine -- stop at "beyond asinine". But to assault his integrity by saying he's "attempting to bask in other's glories" is totally unfair and uncalled for.

We all know how omniscient you are, Don C., but I guarantee there are lots of folks who will come across Powerhouse Sound who never heard of Perry, Dodd, et al, do a little digging, and be hipped on to some hip shit as a result. So while it obviously annoys you for some reason, in reality it's all good.

ps - please tell us (1) the names of the musicians from whom Ken may borrow, (2) the concepts and traditions you would permit Ken to draw upon, and (3) how much Ken is allowed to talk about (1) and (2).

anyway, this is Ornette's thread...

It just occurred to me who KV reminds me of, up to a point -- Charlie Barnet. That is, they are/were reportedly very nice to better than very nice guys who put the extra-musical monetary assets that were available or were made available to them (lots of family dough in Barnet's case, lots of foundation dough in KV's) to arguably very good use, but in purely musical terms, neither was IMO a very talented soloist, and/or both were pretty much in the position of having to gorilla stuff out of their horns in the face of less than sufficient musical knowledge -- i.e. less than sufficient in terms of what they were actually trying to do on their horns, not in terms of music as a whole. Barnet worshipped Coleman Hawkins, but while Barnet certainly swung and had a biggish hot tone, Hawkins' harmonic sophistication was beyond him; in fact, Barnet's relative crudity in that realm, combined with his broad-brush rhythmic zest, arguably led him to become a founding father of what became known as "chicken tenor." (Would it be too much to say that avant-garde "chicken tenor" is one of KV's chief modes?) Now Barnet was an excellent bandleader -- in part because he was such a generous, warm-hearted, fun-loving guy; in part because he had fine taste in sidemen and arrangers -- and I believe that KV shares some of those traits, though I myself have seldom found any KV recording or live performance I've heard to be as satisfying as any number of performances and recordings I've heard by some or all of KV's associates, minus KV. Another point of comparison: Barnet was a wholly lovestruck admirer of Ellington's music -- a fair number of his band's recordings were in the Ellington style and of Ellington material, to the point where some observers felt that one might just as well listen to Ellington instead, though I don't think anyone could or should have questioned the sincerity of Barnet's Ellington worship, just the aesthetic wisdom of displaying it too literally (and in fact the Barnet band's most notable recordings have a definite flavor of their own). As for KV's admiration of other musicians and the sincerity thereof, I can't speak directly to the latter point, but I can think of no other musician who has dedicated so many albums and compositions to other figures -- and not only that, to figures who all (or virtually all) seem to have a cachet of a certain sort, i.e. they're arguably not only very good to great (by avant-gardish standards or tastes) but also are more or less ignored or neglected, such that one suspects (or, I should say, that I suspect) that part of what's going on with all these dedications is a desire (conscious or not) to transmit value by association from the one being dedicated to the one who is bestowing the dedication. (This FWIW is a very familiar pattern in the world of contemporary poetry -- the striver poet, if you will, is far more likely to tack on dedications to his or her poems, and these poems are almost always dedicated to figures who are more well-known or well-regarded in the world of modern verse that the dedicating poet; further, aside from the fact of the dedication to, say, Robert Creeley, one either detects little in the poem itself that is related to the work of the poet to whom the poem has been dedicated or little in the poem that is not related to the other poet's work in a fairly obvious manner.) Now perhaps I'm wrong here; perhaps I'm not but it's all rather harmless or beside the point. But that's how it seems to me. In any case, while I have a fairly long record of enthusiasm for the kind of music that KV supposedly produces, I long ago reached the point where his presence on a recording or on a bandstand was, from a purely aesthetic angle, a reason to say "see you later."

Edited by Larry Kart

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my statement above stands-- put out the goddamn record & let us figure it out.

Why do we have to figure it out, when you're sure to tell us whether it's any good or not?

You're so certain about everything, why would any of the rest of us need an opinion?

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Hey, I love this thread!

As a one time OC-reverer I have often questioned his performance and recording strategy, and I also wonder about what happens when he DOES turn up (sometimes unlistenable balance) and also the desire to EVOLVE his art and work with others.

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Clem,

There's a history here that you alluded to earlier. Ornette tried to promote/record his own music, often on his own dime -- the Town Hall concert, the Great London Concert, I believe a Carnegie Hall concert in the 1990's (not recorded but presenting "The Secret Life of Johnny Dolphin" and other new compositions) and how much of his time, sweat and money went into the Caravan of Dreams?

While he's maybe not developed a scene the way William Parker has in the present, William's scene today would not be possible without the musical in roads Coleman made so many years ago. That, as they say, is priceless.

It is so important to jazz that Coleman is up and touring again and that the touring has been extensive. Ornette at Newport, even. He has a publicity wagon behind him this time -- even appearing, for better or worse, on the Grammy Award telecast. This is all good. Ornette, God love him, hasn't shown much of a collaborative/freelance streak in his career, has he? There's that photo from the Newport Rebels Festival where he's playing with Kenny Dorham, Mingus and others; he appeared as a singer behind Louis Armstrong; and in the one shot we had to hear him alongside Jackie Mac he only played trumpet. There's never been a track record of the kind of thing you say he's not doing now.

During the Jazz at Lincoln Center presentation a few years ago he was there, went to the rehearsals, but didn't play. You'd think, before collaborations with Anthony Braxon, who's in a different musical place these days, anyhoo, or Roscoe, that he'd appear with a big band playing his compositions as, at least, a special guest. If the forces that be, with all their backing and influence, can't persuade him to do that...

It would be great for Ornette to develop a concert series, again, at his loft, but, wow, have you ever done anything like that? It is a huge load fraught with last minute changes and head aches to keep big pharma in business forever.

It has been a while since "Friends and Neighbors on Prince Street," granted, but it's also been awhile since Dave Brubeck nurtured the scene in San Fransisco. You know what I mean?

The prices quoted in this thread Herbie Hancock was getting 10 years ago.

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give me the flowers while i'm living to qoute Mr & Mrs Lester Flatt (tho' i suspect they didn't really write the words).

I think it was Mr & Mrs Sullivan Pugh (aka The Consolers), though Lonesome Sundown also made an early version, I seem to remember (can't be asked to riffle through me records).

the fashion sense Sir Coxsone's oldest daughter whom i saw swingin' it down Fulton St a few summers ago YOW!

How did you know it was his oldest daughter? Was she wearing a t-shirt

coxsonerecords-700.gif

with a note tied to her bum saying, "I'm the oldest daughter, so..."

MG

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I think we're asking an awful lot of our 77-year-old genius here. Ornette paid big dues long ago... anyway, OC's going to do what he wants to do, which I thought was the point all along.

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Clem,

There's a history here that you alluded to earlier. Ornette tried to promote/record his own music, often on his own dime -- the Town Hall concert, the Great London Concert, I believe a Carnegie Hall concert in the 1990's (not recorded but presenting "The Secret Life of Johnny Dolphin" and other new compositions) and how much of his time, sweat and money went into the Caravan of Dreams?

The Caravan of Dreams was funded by one of the members of the very wealthy Fort Worth Bass family. I seriously doubt that Ornette was out-of-pocket for his appearances there or recording for their label. Likely to the contrary, I hope he walked away with pockets full of Bass money.

I did see him play there unannounced for free (I think) once. He sat in for a set with the Moffett Family Jazz Band.

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BTW, I forget to say that my post last night was dedicated to Walter Benjamin and Sor Juana de la Cruz.

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I myself have seldom found any KV recording or live performance I've heard to be as satisfying as any number of performances and recordings I've heard by some or all of KV's associates, minus KV.

***

...I long ago reached the point where his presence on a recording or on a bandstand was, from a purely aesthetic angle, a reason to say "see you later."

OK, fine - you don't like the guy's music. But that's not the issue. (KV wasn't even the topic, but this "Clementine" person threw a sucker punch.)

As for KV's admiration of other musicians and the sincerity thereof, I can't speak directly to the latter point, but I can think of no other musician who has dedicated so many albums and compositions to other figures....

***

Now perhaps I'm wrong here; perhaps I'm not but it's all rather harmless or beside the point. But that's how it seems to me.

Surely you're aware of Anthony Braxton's practice of dedicating his compositions. I believe that was what inspired KV, whose curiosity was piqued by those names on Braxton's records. Do you have a problem with Braxton on this issue as well? Or is it just that you like AB's music better? (Or is it an aesthetic thing -- you'd prefer less text on the CD tray card or booklet.)

I suspect your extreme dislike of KV's music is leading you to over-analyze this whole dedication thing. OK, if that's what you want to spend time thinking and writing about. But it is not "rather harmless" to engage in unfounded speculation about KV's sincerity or integrity -- it smacks of "I don't know that he beats his wife..." And given your background in journalism, Larry, I would expect you to be aware of that.

(As for "Clementine": well, I don't even know who (s)he is, or what (s)he's "doing" other than posting anonymous messages to this forum. (S)he expects me to examine the archives on the topic of KV's dedications, yet (s)he can't be bothered to check some basic facts with regard to my own history in this forum. In any case, maybe (s)he'll post a copy of the Vandermark Directive, which seems to cast a hypnotic spell on those exposed to it.)

Back to Ornette...

Ornette, God love him, hasn't shown much of a collaborative/freelance streak in his career, has he? ... There's never been a track record of the kind of thing you say he's not doing now.

True -- he ain't Peter Kowald.

But consider this comment by Ornette in the Apr/May '07 issue of Wax Poetics: "I never hire any specific combination of instruments to play with me. When someone wants to study with me and asks to play with me, I always let them." So I guess either few people are asking to play with Ornette, or they're just not playing together in public.

btw, I love this: "The only reason you need a key is to lock your house when you go out." :)

Edited by jasonguthartz

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