Adam

Ornette wins the Pulitzer

86 posts in this topic

I believe that was what inspired KV, whose curiosity was piqued by those names on Braxton's records.

In Ken's own words:

Generally speaking, the fact that the pieces are dedications is not so much that they’re tied compositionally to the artists, but that this is an acknowledgment that these people have made an impact on me.

***

For me, knowledge of their work really has changed my life for the better. Sometimes it’s a musician, sometimes it’s a teacher, sometimes it’s a good friend, but these people have enabled me to do what I’m trying to do as a creative person and give me the strength in any context. Sometimes – for anybody – it’s a hard living. Period. No matter what you do. And the artists that keep us going, I think, sometimes get overlooked. They’re not acknowledged, and they should be. So it’s an attempt to do that, in a small way.

Also, I’ve had some people get in touch with me and say “I didn’t know who so-and-so was”, and I want to check out his stuff after you dedicated a piece to him. And that’s amazing to me. So that’s part of it too. I’m totally fascinated by what musicians and artists do and study, and what they’re influenced by. And that’s actually how I discovered Warne Marsh, was through Braxton. I kept hearing him talk about this guy Warne Marsh, and I was like, who’s Warne Marsh? I had never heard of him. Then through Warne Marsh, I ended up getting to hear Tristano’s work.

BC: So it’s a thread…

KV: Right, it’s an extremely fluid process, and it ties together all of these artists in a cross-pollinating way. So doing the dedication thing is an attempt to say, “These are the things that are affecting me. Check them out if you want.” And that’s kind of what I’ve been doing…I listen to artists I look up to and listen to what they’re influenced by. And then they impact me. So it’s this really great, wonderful way to take this creative energy and passing it on to other people, hopefully…

Yikes - this guy sounds really disingenous and evil.

Edited by jasonguthartz

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Mr. Guthartz -- Braxton is Braxton, su generis IMO in almost every way imaginable. KV says "in his own words" that his penchant for dedications began in the way that he says it did. Well, I guess that settles it then.

Threads here go as they will, in a communal, self-regulating manner, with rare interventions by Jim Alfredson, the owner. You don't get to decide that a post is aberrant because it's talking about KV for a while rather than about Ornette; we all decide those things by our responses or lack of same -- and some of the most interesting and fruitful discussions here have stemmed from people taking hard left or right turns. Also, what's with that "s/he" stuff? And speaking of casting aspersions on people's motives -- a lot of people here post using names other than their own and don't chose to reveal what they're doing in life "other than posting messages on this forum." This you find novel and dubious? Seems to me you have the instincts of a cultural commissar.

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Threads here go as they will, in a communal, self-regulating manner, with rare interventions by Jim Alfredson, the owner. You don't get to decide that a post is aberrant because it's talking about KV for a while rather than about Ornette; we all decide those things by our responses or lack of same -- and some of the most interesting and fruitful discussions here have stemmed from people taking hard left or right turns. Also, what's with that "s/he" stuff? And speaking of casting aspersions on people's motives -- a lot of people here post using names other than their own and don't chose to reveal what they're doing in life "other than posting messages on this forum." This you find novel and dubious? Seems to me you have the instincts of a cultural commissar.

I was in no way trying to silence you, Mr. Kart. I was merely pointing out that, in the context of a (side-)discussion about KV's dedications, it was revealing that half of your response was devoted to an explanation of your dislike of KV's music.

And, in a public forum such as this one, there's something to be said for staying on the topic of the thread for those who are searching for discussions on particular issues. So if you want to start a discussion about KV's music, start a new thread or reopen an old one. I probably should have done this as well in my response to "Clementine"'s sucker punch.

As for the "s/he" stuff -- I have no idea whether "Clementine" is male or female, and do not want to presume even though I have good reason to assume (s)he's a he.

I asked what (s)he does because that seems to be a preoccupation of this "Clementine", e.g., what Ornette does or doesn't do beyond the concert stage, and what (s)he presumes is my motivation for participating in this forum ("selling stuff", or rather, "SELLING stuff").

No, anonymity online is neither novel nor (necessarily) dubious. It is, however, often cowardly, especially when the anonymous take sucker punches at non-anonymous people, especially at non-anonymous people who have chosen the difficult road of beings artists who get out there and "do something". Anonymity is often an easy way of avoiding the need to make coherent arguments, a means of expressing someone's oh-so-unique individuality and oh-so-important opinion, while denying the reader the benefit of context which identity provides.

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MG sidenote: you know the Dodds lived in Brooklyn for many years, yes? there's still one storefront also but it's not nearly what most people would think it'd be like. i've NOT-- shockingly-- heard the 'original' "Give me the Flowers" but i'll be on the l@@kout.

Didn't know that, Clem. Was that after he made all those Ska & Rock Steady records?

Checked on "Give me my flowers". The Consoler's version was 1955. Apparently Peetie Wheatstraw did it in the thirties, however (it sez 'ere). The sleeve note writer (Chris Smith) thinks that it's probably proverbial in black culture.

MG

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Ornette's concert schedule from his website:

June 17, 2007

Bonnaroo, Tennessee, USA

July 6, 2007

Kongsberg, Norway

July 9, 2007

Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

July 11, 2007

Perugia, Italy

July 13, 2007

Pescara, Italy

July 15, 2007

North Sea (Rotterdam), The Netherlands

July 18, 2007

Warsaw, Poland

July 20, 2007 Vitoria, Spain

September 23, 2007

Monterey, California, USA

September 26, 2007

Los Angeles, California, USA

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September 26 2007 Los Angeles? News to me...

Must be in an as-yet-unannounced Disney Hall or UCLA show or something...

It's a Wednesday night - probably the Hollywood Bowl or Disney Hall- they usually have jazz on Wednesdays.

Edited by Adam

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oh yeah, MG-- & like NOBODY got you on the Africa joke in the late people's thread, hah--

i'm not total expert but re: African time, there's similar range of jokes, truths about peoples of the Caribbean diaspora (as you'd expect). when i have a chance I'll link up a very funny Trini slang dictionary i found online once.

Scott Dolan did :)

Though it was only half a joke. West Africa is about the most civilised place I've ever been and a lot of this is because of the relaxed attitude people have there - which makes them rub up against other people rather a lot less.

Coxsone moved to Brooklyn in the early '80s. they had at least a couple stores at one point but now there's just the one way out on Fulton in the Cypress Hill neighborhood. pretty he sure he'd go back & forth, maybe started spending a bit more time in Jamaica but... the Dodds are definitely still there.

Learn something every day - thanks Clem.

also, do you make it to the roots period of Jamaican music at all? it takes some of us (like me) a while to realize it as truth but the Island records reggae hegemony is prob. one of the worst things that ever happened, tho' discovering the real stories now is more exciting as a result.

No - started off with Ska in the early '60s; never delved back from there. Can't do everything - not even me :)

MG

Edited by The Magnificent Goldberg

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Geez, how did I leave off Song X in the list of collaborations?

In any case this isn't as much about Ornette not being recognized by the larger public as it is about his musical inroads reclaiming some central attention after 20 years away from the musical doors he's kicked open. Once you start talking about Ornette there comes the recognition of everything that's come after him because of him. As that one band says, "To Be Ornette To Be."

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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.

Sorry to dig up an old diversion to this thread, but it just occurred to me that those numbers have to be way, way high for Zorn. I've seen Masada, both the brass and string groups, several times in the past 10 years, both in and out of NYC, and only paid more than $25 or (at most) $30 once (wouldn't be willing to pay more since I'm not the biggest fan) - and that one exception was when they were opening for Cecil at J@LC, which is always expensive. Zorn (in one context or another) plays on average about twice a month in NYC, I'd say, and $20 is the usual ticket price (it is always the price for his monthly jam session at The Stone, which only seats 90). The Masada string group is playing three shows in the city over the next couple weeks and I'm pretty sure they are all $20/set.

All that being said, I don't really care what musicians charge - that is their business, and it's up to me whether to go see them play or not. In the interests of being completely redundant with what has been said above, however, one can't charge $75 to $100 a ticket, which of course limits the number of people who can go see them play and hence their opportunities to play, and then reasonably complain about the resulting obscurity.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198509/ornette-coleman

The Atlantic Monthly | September 1985

Ornette's Permanent Revolution

A jazzman breaks all the boundaries.

by Francis Davis

.....

All hell broke loose when the alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman made his East

Coast nightclub debut, at the Five Spot Cafe, in Greenwich Village on

November 17, 1959‹twenty-five years ago last fall.

The twenty-nine-year-old Coleman arrived in New York having already won the

approval of some of the most influential jazz opinion makers of the period.

"Ornette Coleman is doing the only really new thing in jazz since the

innovations in the mid-forties of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and those

of Thelonious Monk," John Lewis, the pianist and musical director of the

Modern Jazz Quartet, is reported to have said after hearing Coleman in Los

Angeles. (Lewis later helped Coleman secure a contract with Atlantic

Records.) Coleman's other champions included the critics Nat Hentoff and

Martin Williams and the composer Gunther Schuller, all of whom wrote for the

magazine Jazz Review. "I honestly believe . . . that what Ornette Coleman is

doing on alto will affect the whole character of jazz music profoundly and

pervasively," Williams wrote, a month before Coleman opened at the Five

Spot.

Not all of Williams's colleagues shared his enthusiasm, once they were given

the opportunity to hear Coleman for themselves. In Down Beat, George Hoefer

described the reactions of the audience at a special press preview at the

Five Spot: "Some walked in and out before they could finish a drink, some

sat mesmerized by the sound, others talked constantly to their neighbors at

the table or argued with drink in hand at the bar." Many critics, finding

Coleman's music strident and incoherent, feared that his influence on jazz

would be deleterious. Others doubted that he would exert any influence on

jazz at all. Still others, bewildered by Coleman's music and preferring to

take a wait-and-see position on its merits, accused Coleman's supporters at

Jazz Review of touting Coleman for their own aggrandizement.

Musicians‹always skeptical of newcomers, and envious of the publicity

Coleman was receiving‹denounced him even more harshly than critics did. Some

questioned his instrumental competence; the outspoken Miles Davis questioned

Coleman's sanity.

Internecine squabbling over the merits of historical movements and

geographical schools was nothing new in the jazz world. But not since a

short-lived vogue for the rather decrepit New Orleans trumpeter Bunk Johnson

two decades earlier (and perhaps not even then) had one musician split

opinion so cleanly down the middle. Coleman was either a visionary or a

charlatan, and there was no middle ground between advocacy and disapproval.

The controversy raged, spreading from the music journals to the daily

newspapers and general-interest magazines, where it gradually turned comic.

Every VIP in Manhattan, from Leonard Bernstein to Dorothy Kilgallen, seemed

to have wisdom to offer on the subject of Ornette Coleman. In Thomas

Pynchon's novel V. there is a character named McClintic Sphere, who plays an

alto saxophone of hand-carved ivory (Coleman's was made of white plastic) at

a club called the V Note

'He plays all the notes Bird missed,' somebody whispered in front of Fu. Fu

went silently through the motions of breaking a beer bottle on the edge of

the table, jamming it into the speaker's back and twisting.

or those of us who began listening to jazz after 1959, it is difficult to

believe that Coleman's music was once the source of such animus and

widespread debate. Given the low visibility of jazz today, a figure

comparable to Coleman arriving on the scene might find himself in the

position of shouting "Fire" in an empty theater.

Looking back, it also strains belief that so many of Coleman's fellow

musicians initially failed to recognize the suppleness of his phrasing and

the keening vox-humana quality of his intonation. Jazz musicians have always

respected instrumentalists whose inflections echo the natural cadences of

speech, and they have always sworn by the blues (although as jazz has

increased in sophistication, "the blues" has come to signify a feeling or a

tonal coloring, in addition to a specific form). Coleman's blues

authenticity‹the legacy of the juke joints in his native Fort Worth, Texas,

where he had played as a teenager‹should have scored him points instantly.

Instead, his ragged, down-home sound seems to have cast him in the role of

country cousin to slicker, more urbanized musicians‹as embarrassing a

reminder of the past to them as a Yiddish speaking relative might have been

to a newly assimilated Jew. In 1959 the "old country" for most black

musicians was the American South, and few of them wanted any part of it.

What must have bothered musicians still more than the unmistakable southern

dialect of Coleman's music was its apparent formlessness, its flouting of

rules that most jazz modernists had invested a great deal of time and effort

in mastering. In the wake of bebop, jazz had become a music of enormous

harmonic complexity. By the late 1950s it seemed to be in danger of becoming

a playground for virtuosos, as the once liberating practice of running the

chords became routine. If some great players sounded at times as though they

lacked commitment and were simply going through the motions, it was because

the motions were what they had become most committed to.

In one sense, the alternative that Coleman proposed amounted to nothing more

drastic than a necessary (and, in retrospect, inevitable) suppression of

harmony in favor of melody and rhythm‹but that was regarded as heresy in

1959. It has often been said that Coleman dispensed with recurring chord

patterns altogether, in both his playing and his writing. The comment is not

entirely accurate, however. Rather, he regarded a chord sequence as just one

of many options for advancing a solo. Coleman might improvise from chords

or, as inspiration moved him, he might instead use as his point of departure

"a mood, fragments of melody, an area of pitch, or rhythmic patterns," to

quote the critic Martin Williams. Moreover, Coleman's decision to dispense

with a chordal road map also permitted him rhythmic trespass across bar

lines. The stealthy rubato of Coleman's phrases and his sudden accelerations

of tempo implied liberation from strict meter, much as his penchant for

hitting notes a quarter-tone sharp or flat and his refusal to harmonize his

saxophone with Don Cherry's trumpet during group passages implied escape

from the well-tempered scale.

Ultimately, rhythm may be the area in which Coleman has made his most

significant contributions to jazz. Perhaps the trick of listening to his

performances lies in an ability to hear rhythm as melody, the way he seems

to do, and the way early jazz musicians did. Some of Coleman's comeliest

phrases, like some of King Oliver's or Sidney Bechet's, sound as though they

were scooped off a drumhead.

Coleman was hardly the only jazz musician to challenge chordal hegemony in

1959. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and Thelonious Monk, among

others, were looking beyond Charlie Parker's harmonic discoveries to some of

the rhythmic and structural implications of bop. Cecil Taylor and George

Russell were experimenting with chromaticism and pantonality, and a Miles

Davis Sextet featuring Coltrane and Bill Evans had just recorded Kind of

Blue, an album that introduced a new spaciousness to jazz by replacing

chords with modes and scales. But it was Coleman who was making the cleanest

break with convention, and Coleman whose intuitive vision of the future bore

the most natural relationship to the music's country origins. He was a

godsend, as it turned out.

n 1959 Coleman's music truly represented Something Else (to quote the title

of his first album). Whether it also forecast The Shape of Jazz to Come (the

title of another early album of Coleman's) is still problematical. Certainly

Coleman's impact on jazz was immediate and it has proved long-lasting.

Within a few years of Coleman's first New York engagement established

saxophonists like Coltrane, Rollins, and Jackie McLean were playing a

modified Colemanesque free form, often in the company of former Coleman

sidemen. The iconoclastic bassist Charles Mingus (initially one of Coleman's

antagonists) was leading a pianoless quartet featuring the alto saxophonist

Eric Dolphy and the trumpeter Ted Curson, whose open-ended dialogues rivaled

in abandon those of Coleman and Cherry.

Over the years Coleman has continued to cast a long shadow, as he has

extended his reach to symphonies, string quartets, and experiments in funk.

By now he has attracted two generations of disciples.

There are the original sidemen in his quartet and their eventual

replacements: the trumpeters Cherry and Bobby Bradford; the tenor

saxophonist Dewey Redman; the bassists Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, Jimmy

Garrison, and David Izenzon; and the drummers Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell,

and Charles Moffett. These musicians were followed in the late 1970s by

younger ones who brought to Coleman's bands the high voltage of rock and

funk: for example, the guitarist James Blood Ulmer, the electric bassist

Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and the drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson. Some of

Coleman's early associates in Texas and California, such as the clarinetist

John Carter and the flutist Prince Lawsha, have gone on to produce work that

shows Coleman's influence unmistakably.

Coleman planted the seed for the free jazz movement of the 1960s, which in

turn gave rise to a school of European themeless improvisors, led by the

guitarist Derek Bailey and the saxophonist Evan Parker. Since 1965 Coleman

has performed on trumpet and violin in addition to alto and tenor

saxophones, and several young violinists have taken him as their model: for

example, Billy Bang, whose jaunty, anthemlike writing bespeaks his affection

for Coleman. And for all practical purposes, the idea of collective group

improvisation, which has reached an apex in the work of a number of groups

affiliated with the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of

Creative Musicians, began with the partial liberation of bass and drums from

chordal and timekeeping duties in the first Ornette Coleman Quartet.

f one listens closely for them, one can hear Colemanesque accents in the

most unlikely places: the maundering piano soliloquies of Keith Jarrett and

the bickering, simultaneous improvisations of young hard-boppers like Wynton

and Branford Marsalis. Yet for all that, Coleman's way has never really

supplanted Charlie Parker's as the lingua franca to jazz, as many hoped and

others feared it would.

One reason could be that Coleman's low visibility has denied the jazz

avant-garde a figurehead. Since his debut at the Five Spot, Coleman has set

a price for concerts and recordings that reflects what he perceives to be

his artistic merit rather than his limited commercial appeal. Needless to

say, he has had very few takers. As a result, he performs only occasionally,

and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he bears some

responsibility for his own neglect.

Just a few years ago it appeared that Coleman's star was on the rise again.

In 1977 his former sidemen Cherry, Redman, Haden, and Blackwell formed a

quartet called Old and New Dreams. Coleman compositions, old and new,

accounted for roughly half of the group's repertoire. If the myth that

Coleman had to be physically present in order for his music to be played

properly persisted in some quarters, Old and New Dreams dispelled it once

and for all. The band played Coleman's music with a joy and a sense of

purpose that bore witness to Coleman's acuity as a composer. The success of

Old and New Dreams showed that the music that had once been both hailed and

reviled as the wave of the future had taken a firm enough hold in the past

to inspire nostalgia.

The rapture with which jazz audiences greeted the band's reinterpretation of

vintage Coleman owed something to the fact that Coleman himself had moved on

to other frontiers‹appearing with two electric guitarists, two bass

guitarists, and two drummers in a band he called Prime Time. The group

provided the working model for a cryptic (and, one suspects, largely

after-the-fact) theory of tonality that Coleman called harmolodics. The

theory held that instruments can play together in different keys without

becoming tuneless or exchanging the heat of the blues for a frigid

atonality. (As the critic Robert Palmer pointed out in the magazine The New

York Rocker, Coleman's music had always been "harmolodic.") In practice the

harmolodic theory functioned like a MacGuffin in a Hitchcock film: if you

could follow what it was all about, good for you; if you couldn't, that

wasn't going to hamper your enjoyment one iota. What mattered more than any

amount of theorizing was that Coleman was leading jazz out of a stalemate,

much as he had in 1959. He had succeeded in locating indigenous jazz rhythms

that play upon the reflexes of the body the way the simultaneously bracing

and relaxing polyrhythms of funk and New Wave rock-and-roll do.

Unlike most of the jazz musicians who embraced dance rhythms in the 1970s,

Coleman wasn't slumming or taking the path of least resistance in search of

a mass following. Nonetheless, a modest commercial breakthrough seemed

imminent in 1981, when he signed with Island Records and named Sid and

Stanley Bernstein (the former is the promoter who brought the Beatles to

Shea Stadium) as his managers. There is some disagreement among the

principal parties about what happened next, but Coleman released only one

album on the Island label. In 1983 he severed his ties with the Bernstein

agency and once more went into a partial eclipse

Lately the task of shedding Coleman's light has fallen to Ulmer, Tacuma, and

Jackson. They have been no more successful than Coleman in attracting a mass

audience, despite a greater willingness to accommodate public tastes‹and

despite reams of hype from the intellectual wing of the pop-music press.

When Coleman next emerges from the shadows, he may have discarded

harmolodics in favor of some other invention.

N the final analysis, Coleman's failure to redefine jazz as decisively as

many predicted he would is more the result of the accelerated pace at which

jazz was evolving before he arrived in New York than of his lack of activity

afterward. During the fifty years prior to Coleman's debut a series of

upheavals had taken jazz far from its humble folk beginnings and made of it

a codified art music. It was as though jazz had imitated the evolution of

European concert music in a fraction of the time. Just as the term

"classical music" has come to signify European concert music of the late

eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the words "modern jazz" have

become synonymous with the style of jazz originally called bebop.

With Ornette Coleman, jazz established its permanent avant-garde‹a "new"

that would always remain new. If one measures a player's influence solely by

the number of imitators he spawns and veteran players who adopt aspects of

his style (the usual yardstick in jazz), Coleman finishes among his

contemporaries a distant third behind Davis and Coltrane. Yet his

accomplishment seems somehow greater than theirs. Davis and Coltrane showed

which elements of free form the jazz mainstream could absorb (modality,

approximate harmonies, saxophone glossolalia, the sixteenth note as a basic

unit of measurement, the use of auxiliary percussion and of horns once

considered "exotic") and which elements it finally could not (variable

pitch, free meter, collective improvisation). Coleman's early biography is

replete with stories of musicians packing up their instruments and leaving

the bandstand when he tried to sit in. If Coleman now showed up incognito at

a jam session presided over by younger followers of Parker, Davis, and

Coltrane, chances are he would be given the cold shoulder. Bebop seems to be

invincible, though Coleman and other prophets without honor continue to

challenge its hegemony.

The bop revolution of the 1940s was a successful coup d'etat. The revolution

that Ornette Coleman started is never wholly going to succeed or fail.

Coleman's revolution has proved to be permanent. Its skirmishes have marked

the emergence of jazz as a full-fledged modern art, with all of modernism's

dualities and contradictions.

o modern jazz record library is complete without the albums that Ornette

Coleman recorded for Atlantic Records from 1959 to 1961, including The Shape

of Jazz to Come (SD1317), Change of the Century (SD1327), This Is Our Music

(SD1353),Free Jazz (SD1364), Ornette! (SD1378), and Ornette on Tenor

(SD1394). Although most of them remain in print, the question arises why

Atlantic has never re-issued its Coleman material in chronological order,

complete with unissued titles and alternate takes. This seminal music merits

such historical presentation.

Coleman's recordings with Prime Time and its immediate precursors are

Dancing in Your Head (A&M Horizon SP722), Body Mehta (Artists House AH-1),

and Of Human Feelings (Island/ Antilles AN-2001). The group Old and New

Dreams, which still exists as a part-time endeavor, has released three

albums, including Playing (ECM-11205) and two titled Old and New Dreams on

different labels (ECM-1-1154 and Black Saint BSR-0013).

Other essential Coleman includes his album-length concerto for alto

saxophone and orchestra, The Skies of America (Columbia KC-31562); his duets

with the bassist Charlie Haden, Soap Suds (Artist House AH-6); and his best

concert recordings, The Ornette Coleman Trio Live at the Golden Circle,

Volumes 1 & 2 (Blue Note BST-84224 and BST-84225, available separately).

The URL for this page is

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198509/ornette-coleman.

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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.

Sorry to dig up an old diversion to this thread, but it just occurred to me that those numbers have to be way, way high for Zorn. I've seen Masada, both the brass and string groups, several times in the past 10 years, both in and out of NYC, and only paid more than $25 or (at most) $30 once (wouldn't be willing to pay more since I'm not the biggest fan)

Ticket prices were low for his visit to Eugene a few years ago. However the prices were kept low thanks to a grant that the arts group was able to snag. Heck of a deal to have your concert tickets discounted due to a grant!

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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.

Sorry to dig up an old diversion to this thread, but it just occurred to me that those numbers have to be way, way high for Zorn. I've seen Masada, both the brass and string groups, several times in the past 10 years, both in and out of NYC, and only paid more than $25 or (at most) $30 once (wouldn't be willing to pay more since I'm not the biggest fan) - and that one exception was when they were opening for Cecil at J@LC, which is always expensive. Zorn (in one context or another) plays on average about twice a month in NYC, I'd say, and $20 is the usual ticket price (it is always the price for his monthly jam session at The Stone, which only seats 90). The Masada string group is playing three shows in the city over the next couple weeks and I'm pretty sure they are all $20/set.

All that being said, I don't really care what musicians charge - that is their business, and it's up to me whether to go see them play or not. In the interests of being completely redundant with what has been said above, however, one can't charge $75 to $100 a ticket, which of course limits the number of people who can go see them play and hence their opportunities to play, and then reasonably complain about the resulting obscurity.

Maybe it was his way of saying he didn't want to go. Or maybe the fee included travel and hotel for the group. Obviously they can charge less for a show in NYC when the members just hop on the subway for the gig.

I hired a string quartet of UC students once, and they cut their normal fee in half because the gig was in Hyde Park.

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But I've seem them on the west coast for around $20 as well (although they may have been on tour - I don't recall) - I still think 20 grand is way high of a guess, but who knows... I think in general Zorn doesn't make a lot of money off of his public performances. But this is a wild, irrelevant and not terribly interesting tangent, I admit... just something that jumped into my head.

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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.

Sorry to dig up an old diversion to this thread, but it just occurred to me that those numbers have to be way, way high for Zorn. I've seen Masada, both the brass and string groups, several times in the past 10 years, both in and out of NYC, and only paid more than $25 or (at most) $30 once (wouldn't be willing to pay more since I'm not the biggest fan) - and that one exception was when they were opening for Cecil at J@LC, which is always expensive. Zorn (in one context or another) plays on average about twice a month in NYC, I'd say, and $20 is the usual ticket price (it is always the price for his monthly jam session at The Stone, which only seats 90). The Masada string group is playing three shows in the city over the next couple weeks and I'm pretty sure they are all $20/set.

All that being said, I don't really care what musicians charge - that is their business, and it's up to me whether to go see them play or not. In the interests of being completely redundant with what has been said above, however, one can't charge $75 to $100 a ticket, which of course limits the number of people who can go see them play and hence their opportunities to play, and then reasonably complain about the resulting obscurity.

I think it's for Electric Masada to get them out of NYC. But I'm just guessing.

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MG-- i'll pop back in w/a few suggestions for late '60s/'70s reggae; i'm NOT expert but am learning. btw, i've skimmed the Rough Guide to Reggae, by Steve Barrow, & it seems quite good. i knew him first from being a guy behind the great series of Blood & Fire label dub reissues. THAT prob ain't yr bag but he covers it all. (on the other hand, much of the Pressure Sounds label is consistently top-notch so if you see any...)

Most of my Ska/Rock Steady/Reggae records are either instrumental or African. Though I'm getting into Lee Perry now.

you gotta get to the Bronx sometime, I'll take you all sortsa of African joints! have you dabbeled in any of the eight-jillion movies that have come out of Nigeria in the last decade or so? they sell for $5 a pop in the city.

Sometime. Paris is the priority now - must get more African music!

I have a few tapes of Senegalese and Malian films, but nothing from Nigeria. A few years ago, seasons of African films came along every so often on TV. But I more or less stopped watching TV when I retired, so I haven't kept up.

MG

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Clem, MG, but have you heard any of the London is the Place For Me series (4 vols so far, on Honest Jon's)? Not the roots of reggae as such, wrong island (I mean Trinidad, not GB), but London-recorded calypso (Lord Kitchener the star turn, but many other great calypsonians present), high life, jazz, etc etc. - a lovely collision of styles and personnel, lots of jazzers (Harry Beckett, Shake Keane) sessionizing for Nigerian drum corps and so on. IMO 1 and 2 are the best 4 is strong too, 3 less so. Not within a hundred nautical miles of being an expert, but I've always prefered calypso to the mento I've heard (that really is the roots of reggae) - Trinidad had the Spanish tinge since 15-whatever, and it was still there in the 50s.

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and i maintain Ornette has some civic/social responsibility after all this time. if "we" have gone out to draw attn to him... can he help ANYONE?

i ain't gonna knock anyone down if they step up; or is there nobody who can step up?

"interesting."

edc

ozona, fla

Dude, I thinkI know what you're talking about, but I don't know that I agree, much less think that Ornette is constitutionally inclined (or able) to deliver it.

The cat started withrdrawing from the trenches in when, 1962? Since then, he's just decided that he ain't gonna play that game no more, and that what he got or didn't get was going to be on his terms. It may be "unrealistic" in terms of economics and it might be "isolationist" in terms of putting it out there for the people, but oh well.

Q: has there been a bad or even lackluster Ornette record? Not in my collection, and I think I got all of 'em. Yeah, records ain't "real life", but then again, how many people have heard an Ornette record and "gotten it" even somewhat vs how many people heard Tina Brooks @ The Coronet?

Q: Manhattan's "under siege" you say. Of that I have no doubt, but considering the nature of the attackers, what can Ornette do to save the day? Play a concert? Run for mayor? Organize a militia? Reconcile with Dookie? Pour harmolodic acid into the water supply & chase the Blue Meanies away?

Q: Does anybody, "artists" included, have any more fundamental a responsibility that that of staying alive to do what they do for as long as possible? Hell, we got a freakin' Honor Roll of motherfuckers, bad motherfuckers, who couldn't take care of that little piece of business.

Q: If William Parker (to use your example) fell in the woods and everybody was there to hear it, would it still make a sound?

Q: Does the notion of Ornette actually attempting the role of "social spokeman", "civic role model", or anything that would require him being anything other than the beautifully urbanilly freak that he is/always has been seem even semi-viable?

Like I said, I think I know what you mean/want, but I just don't see it being possible, or even necessarily a good thing for anybody. Ornette is Ornette, always has been, always will be, and that's just how it is. Call me a defeatist, but there it is.

Edited by JSngry

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Workornot(nospacesonthiskeyboard,daughterspilledpop)Ornetteisaleaderinandofthemusic

Edited by Lazaro Vega

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Workornot(nospacesonthiskeyboard,daughterspilledpop)Ornetteisaleaderinandofthemusic

Time to spend $35 and get a new keyboard. :cool:

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Workornot(nospacesonthiskeyboard,daughterspilledpop)Ornetteisaleaderinandofthemusic

I think you should send that to OC as a possible track listing for his next CD. ^_^

Eloquent post, Jim--you laid out in clear & elaborate terms what I think I was getting at in my original post.

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FINALLY... yes, all that's true & why i have not-- as you know-- questioned Ornette the artist. & while asserting it is possible to find a mean (lots of means) between getting arrested like Marc Ribot & total local seclusion, i'm neither "impressed" nor "relieved" Ornette won a pulitzer in 2007. i'm not sure who's post i'm jumping on there (somewhere early & it's not personal) but...

that's it.

if he had enough means to make that discography (low point: maybe 4-tet w/Geri Allen? not HER fault & in fact i blame the drummer but it gets audacity points & Tone Dialing is better than most wanna know), great; it worked out reasonably well for everyone.

Sound Grammar ain't best of ANYTHING except best Ornette record of 2006 & ANY efforts at giving more to Ornette ** now ** are, I feel, misplaced.

it's also too late to give anything to those died flat busted so while there ARE-- & will be-- worse choices made even by implication, it's insulting to everyone to foster the Ornette deserves _______

harmolodic love & happiness? (99 1/2 just won't do.)

OK, well he didn't git that & he ain't gonna git it so we can say he had best Ornettian (a different speieces) intentions & call it a wash.

(I've personally made a tactical retreat from Manhattan; other than the African & Latino enclaves uptown, I do not & can not care what happens there anymore so I have no "specific" agenda here.)

let's just hope there's a Pee Wee Crayton, Lester Koenig, Neshui Ertugen, John Lewis, Gunter Schuller, Alfred Lion etc to help the Ornette of tomorrow along the way since this one, nor his son, ain't playing that game.

edc

Welcome to reality. :cool:

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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Ornette Coleman -- Complete Live At The Hillcrest Club . . . CD

Early May, 2007

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Ornette Coleman -- Complete Live At The Hillcrest Club . . . CD

Early May, 2007

Please tell us more.

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let's just hope there's a Pee Wee Crayton, Lester Koenig, Neshui Ertugen, John Lewis, Gunter Schuller, Alfred Lion etc to help the Ornette of tomorrow along the way since this one, nor his son, ain't playing that game.

You make it sound as it Ornette's still playing with the Cherry/Redman/Haden/Blackwell/Moffett Mafia.

I'd say that the various editions of Prime Time, especially those of more recent vintage, have given venue to some players far outside that orb. Nothing "major", and certainly nothing "sponsorial" about that, but the first bunch seemed to use their cahet for a little bit to form a bit of a sub-cult there for a quick minute, which is about all anybody can realistically ask for, all things considered, this not being a perfect world and all.

The "good" thing about Ornette winning this thing is that its another micro-step towards mainstreaming waht is still for a lot of people still some weird incomprehensible shit. It just tilts the perceptual playing field a skosh more in our favor. Maybe by the second half of the 21st century enough people will caught up (superficially or otherwise) to the second half of the 20th that shit can start to flow again. Or not. By then, those who get there will already be behind those who have already been there. Same book, different chapter. So maybe it's all meaningless, and all that it means is that Ornette got a nice piece of change to blow as he sees fit. Worse things have happened.

Really, though, doesn't this all come down to (and I'm going by appearances only, no insider info) Denardo taking a proactive role in his old man's career guidance? You can call that self-serving on his part, and perhaps it is, but then again, if Ornette Coleman was your father, wouldn't you want to do the same for him?

Tone Dialing is better than most wanna know

Rat Own. I've been telling that to people since Day One. That album is serious. People ignore it at their risk.

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Ornette Coleman -- Complete Live At The Hillcrest Club . . . CD

Early May, 2007

Please tell us more.

I'm afraid I don' know any more--this was on the dustygroove upcoming releases list.

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