Chuck Nessa

Ornette Coleman - RIP

155 posts in this topic

Ornette is easily in my list of Top 5 All-time Texans.

Really, as an artist (if I might call myself such) I've drawn more inspiration from Ornette and the state's avant-jazz diaspora -- Tapscott, Carter, Bradford, Redman, Lasha, Shannon Jackson, etc. etc. -- than just about anyone else.

The dude was physically assaulted for what he had to express, and on more than one occasion. I don't know if that's worse than indifference or not. But he kept on, and on, and never wavered. He could be stubborn, yes, and ornery, by all accounts. What sometimes courage rubs people the wrong way. And, even at his most unassuming, Ornette never lacked for courage.

This the real deal. Is assault worse than indifference?

Damn good question

Today the truly great innovators/improvisors (not equating them with Ornette by any stretch) are mostly ignored. Especially by the entrenched "Jazz Fan"

A damn shame - pathetic actually

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For folks who might be interested, here's a 2004 profile that I wrote that we reposted today. http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/2015/06/11/ornette-coleman-profile/71066180/

There was also a sidebar about a remarkable turn during the interview when Ornette gave me his alto to play and gave me a harmolodics lesson. We didn't repost that one but I've put it on my Facebook page. Here's a link: https://www.facebook.com/mark.stryker.35/posts/491860824312091?comment_id=491913590973481&offset=0&total_comments=4&notif_t=feed_comment

Good read, Mark. Thanks. RIP Ornette.

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For folks who might be interested, here's a 2004 profile that I wrote that we reposted today. http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/2015/06/11/ornette-coleman-profile/71066180/

There was also a sidebar about a remarkable turn during the interview when Ornette gave me his alto to play and gave me a harmolodics lesson. We didn't repost that one but I've put it on my Facebook page. Here's a link: https://www.facebook.com/mark.stryker.35/posts/491860824312091?comment_id=491913590973481&offset=0&total_comments=4&notif_t=feed_comment

Good read, Mark. Thanks. RIP Ornette.

Terrific read Mark. Thank you!

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I get the impression that Orentte was most valued in NYC. Of course, that is the jazz capital.

Seems pretty evenly valued among musicians and jazz fans everywhere, though there's a higher concentration of them in NYC because it's a very large city.

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What can I say... Ornette was one of those artists you knew would be gone someday soon, but who you still really couldn't conceive of a world without him. Well, that inevitable world has come to pass today, and we are a little less for it.

Since I first saw the obit in the Times today I have been spending my slow, hot workday looking through some of the other obits first, an interesting interview reposted by Mark Stryker in the Detroit Free Press, and especially going over a few old articles from Ornette's early appearance on the scene. It's amazing just how controversial his music was then, and almost as amazing how important that controversy seemed in a time when jazz was more widely heard.

It's also astonishing to me how many jazz fans I run into for whom Ornette's work is still a flashpoint of controversy and a breaking point of acceptibility, over 50 years after it came out. But I do think, with reflection of all that came after Ornette, that the box that Atlantic put out on him back in the early '90s served to open a lot of ears, even of people who had previously dismissed him, to the essential beauty of his music. I will listen to much of this beautiful music later, and over the next few days.

Digging Ornette's Shape of Jazz to Come out of the dusty backfiles of my father's record collection was one of the most important moments of my own development as a listener. I literally played the grooves off of that record, and it led me directly into my early love of the freer paths of jazz. I was fortunate to see him several times over the years. And although the results were sometimes uneven, his performances were never less than absorbing, and often completely transcendent. The thought that we will never see him again is a tough one to accept.

Bye Ornette.

Edited by Al in NYC

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I started listening to Ornette in the early '60s but didn't see him live until this century. (I had tried to see him in Toronto in the late '60s but they wouldn't let me in to the club because I was wearing jeans!) I liked the records but seeing him live was a revelation.

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Maybe Allen could correct me, or add some context, but apart from changing music a few times (as Miles Davis allegedly said about himself), Coleman may have been one of the last living links to the American minstrel show tradition. Had anyone interviewed him extensively on his time with "Silas Green From New Orleans?".

Edited by Hoppy T. Frog

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Ornette reached to more worlds than just jazz, or just music, even. People in all the "forward thinking" arts knew "Ornette Coleman", some even knew what he was all about, but all of them accepted inspiration from the concept.

Perhaps you could say that Ornette was to alternative/underground arts culture what Miles was to mainstream pop culture, somebody whose name alone was an instantly understood point of reference in any conversation. Or perhaps that's an overstatement. Even if it is, I do think it safe to say that "Ornette" extended past the territory of jazz. More than half a century!

Leonard Bernstein sat in with the Five Spot quartet, although I don't think I would really want to hear the results, I'd have loved to have been there to have seen it.

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Frank Sinatra sang "I did it my way." Ornette had at times to yell "Get out of my way."

He was a strong, strong individual. I think that's what I admire the most about him--he knew what was in him and he stood behind it as it came out. That's my kind of hero.

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Ornette reached to more worlds than just jazz, or just music, even. People in all the "forward thinking" arts knew "Ornette Coleman", some even knew what he was all about, but all of them accepted inspiration from the concept.

Perhaps you could say that Ornette was to alternative/underground arts culture what Miles was to mainstream pop culture, somebody whose name alone was an instantly understood point of reference in any conversation. Or perhaps that's an overstatement. Even if it is, I do think it safe to say that "Ornette" extended past the territory of jazz. More than half a century!

Leonard Bernstein sat in with the Five Spot quartet, although I don't think I would really want to hear the results, I'd have loved to have been there to have seen it.

Word.

https://newyorkschoolpoets.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/ornette-coleman-1930-2015-frank-ohara-amiri-baraka/

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Love the guy's music. Will be missed, we were lucky to have him.

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What classical composer's sonic "vision" would most closely parallel that of Ornette's? Not literally, of course -- but who in the classical world would you say was maybe almost a kindred spirit of Ornette's?

The name that comes to mind for me is Charles Ives, but I'd be curious what anyone else thinks.

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What classical composer's sonic "vision" would most closely parallel that of Ornette's? Not literally, of course -- but who in the classical world would you say was maybe almost a kindred spirit of Ornette's?

The name that comes to mind for me is Charles Ives, but I'd be curious what anyone else thinks.

Harry Partch.

Edited by clifford_thornton

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Is there really that big a connection between Ornette and the punk rockers? See the article on AllMusic.com.

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Just returned from a holiday to this very sad news, Fortunately I managed to get to a fair number of his UK gigs so many happy memories.

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I keep reading about the altercation between Max Roach and Ornette in what was it, 1959 -- in various remembrances this week. Roach supposedly punched Ornette in the mouth, on the bandstand.

Forgive my ignorance, did they ever reconcile? Ever play together again?

Did Roach ever comment about Ornette in the years and decades later? Searches on-line come up with a dozen dozen retellings of the punch in '59, but I'm finding little else.

What's the story, or rather, the story after the story?

Thanks!

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Is there really that big a connection between Ornette and the punk rockers? See the article on AllMusic.com.

Everybody triews to ralate everything to Punk nowadays, some days I'm not even sure that punk reelates to Punk...

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"The term has created other misunderstandings: a rare double quartet-concert, in Cincinnati in 1961, was cancelled after a near-riot, because the patrons took the marquee billing “Ornette Coleman—Free Jazz” too literally and refused to pay admission." (from the times article linked above)

Did this realy happen? Too funny...

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First Ornette record that really grabbed me by the real-time balls and made me get a band together RIGHT NOW to play music like THIS - Dancing In Your Head.

Is there really that big a connection between Ornette and the punk rockers?

I 'll make no claims other than to my own experiences (limieted to time/place/talent pool/etc., but the players I found to make that band were all people who had been playing music that was more punk rock than it was anything else. Certainly wasn't the jazz players. They got the "sound" of Ornette's new music right away.

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