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sonnyhill

Ornette on Tenor

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My favorite Ornette album is Ornette on Tenor. Can anyone recommend a similar recording -- out, but not too out -- with same instrumentation tenor, trumpet (or pocket trumpet), bass, and drums.

I was considering getting the Albert Ayler's Copenhagen Recording from Ayler Records. Any opinions on that one.

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you might like

Sonny Rollins - Our Man in Jazz (RCA)

B00005IAWY.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

get the expanded CD with the extra tracks

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Ted Curson - Tears for Dolphy (with Bill Barron)

Sonny Rollins - East Broadway Rundown (with Freddie Hubbard)

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The Ayler is a very good release (now incorporated into the Ayler box set from Revenant I believe). BUT in my opinion it's nothing like "Ornette on Tenor" in nature.

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Very much an extrapolation on the 60's Ornette style (w/tenor, of course):

-Andrew Cyrille and Maono: Metamusicians' Stomp (Black Saint)

-Don Cherry: Complete Communion, Where is Brooklyn? (Blue Note) (although Gato and Pharoah, respectively, caterwaul a bit--it may be a little disconcerting)

-Anything by Old and New Dreams--a sort of pseudo-repertory band with Don, Dewey Redman, Haden, and Blackwell

-A lot of 70's/80's Frank Lowe material, especially with Butch Morris

I'd also recommend the Ayler Quartet (anything with Cherry), maybe Alan Shorter's Orgasm... but they might be a little too "out". Same goes for some of the Brotzmann tenor/trumpet quartets, Ayler's Love Cry (most of it, anyway), the tenor/trumpet material by the Blue Series clique... most of it is arguably closer to the "spirit" of Ornette's recordings than the Rollins sides (which are far more static, one might say "languorous", than the "O on Tenor" material).

Edited by ep1str0phy

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Charles Brackeen - "Rhythm X" (Strata East) Edward Blackwell(d),Charles Brackeen(ts),Don Cherry(tp),Charlie Haden(b)

Edited by SEK

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Ornette on tenor really is something else. When musicians record on instruments that aren't their "primary" horn, the results are often just "interesting," but this one far exceeds that ambiguous tag. I wonder, when it initially came out, what other tenor players' reactions were.

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For comparison, listen to Soapsuds, Soapsuds. You'd swear he was playing an alto here and there, though it's plain that, were Ornette not playing tenor on that date, the overall character of the session would be a little more imbalanced. If Ornette on Tenor is his honker album, then Soapsuds, Soapsuds shows what he can do with the subtler elements of the bigger horn.

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Absolutely, positively, without any doubt (or delay), do get Don Cherry's "Complete Communion". :tup

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Another enthusiastic recommendation for Complete Communion!

I know the OP asked for the same instrumentation, but (to my ears, anyway) these records are similar in overall sound and conception:

Archie Shepp - Four For Trane (Impulse)

Archie Shepp & The New York Contemporary Five (Storyville)

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For comparison, listen to Soapsuds, Soapsuds.

I actually listened to that disc twice over the weekend. It's one of my favorite Ornette sessions from the 70's. (I agree with you, by the way: "Is that an alto? No, wait, a tenor? Alto?") The melody for "Human Being" is so simple and yet unusually haunting. Few musicians can pull that off. Ornette seems like a natural at that. Oh, and his trumpet playing matured quite a bit in the ten years since the recording with Jackie!

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ornette on tenor--->our man in jazz?!? ornette on tenor is just like ornette on alto but instead of ornette on alto its ornette on tenor.

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ornette on tenor--->our man in jazz?!? ornette on tenor is just like ornette on alto but instead of ornette on alto its ornette on tenor.

yes and Rollins on tenor is almost like Ornette on tenor but instead of Ornette on tenor it's Rollins on tenor.

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Gonna have to disagree with you a bit, chewy. Ornette has recalled his alto sound on some of his later tenor outings (like the thing Late and I have been discussing), but there's something about his articulation on Ornette On Tenor which is really specific to that instrument. His tone on the bigger horn feels a lot darker, sorta husky where Ornette's alto is nasal--at times, it reaches a sort of Rollins/Ayler-esque rasp, and if Ornette was never really intent on "smoothing out" his multiphonics it's really evident here. There's surely something about the "honk" of the tenor that just roughens out the edges of Ornette's phrasing, magnifying the angularity of his lines.

Also, maybe it's just because the album was recorded earlier in Ornette's development, but the transposition to the bigger instrument cuts up Ornette's "pet" motifs in a really interesting way. That this isn't evident on Soapsuds, Soapsuds makes me believe that a lot of the sound on the earlier albums has to do with a self-conscious decision to play out of the alto's "idiom" (and into the tenor, as per Ornette's liner notes on the original Atlantic release). In some ways, I think Dewey Redman feels like a more direct translation of Ornette's alto to tenor than the playing on Ornette On Tenor.

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Oh, and Late--all of that album is just really deep to me (I did this as an AOTW?). It's a shame that Ornette's most regular years on the trumpet and violin were the formative ones--he really developed, especially on the former horn, after the 60's. "Some Day" is gorgeous.

Edited by ep1str0phy

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My favorite Ornette album is Ornette on Tenor. Can anyone recommend a similar recording -- out, but not too out -- with same instrumentation tenor, trumpet (or pocket trumpet), bass, and drums.

I was considering getting the Albert Ayler's Copenhagen Recording from Ayler Records. Any opinions on that one.

Well, the Old and New Dreams records are like that - and of course all with Ornette sidemen. They probably are about as out as Ornette on tenor, but the vibe is rather different, being from a later - looking back- kind of period.

I think the Ayler is very good, well-realised, quite intense. This is kind of the mother-load in terms of outness when it was fresh and young. But there's also a kind of listeningness that isn't always evident in Ayler's playing. In that respect, probably, Cherry's interaction with another out Jazz great (Coleman) stood him in good stead - brought out the best in Ayler as a group player.

N.B. Ayler's conception - "beyond notes" - is intrinsically further out than Coleman's.

Simon Weil

P.S. Pianoless quartets are supposed to have been given a big boost by Ornette in general.

Edited by Simon Weil

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In some ways, I think Dewey Redman feels like a more direct translation of Ornette's alto to tenor than the playing on Ornette On Tenor.

I wonder if you could elaborate on this idea a bit more. I've had the same thought as well, but recently (after hearing Redman's Fontana debut) have changed my mind some. I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, I just wonder what brings you to that idea.

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Redman on tenor has a big, rounded tone, a sort of timbral fluidity, that approaches Ornette's facility on alto--it's a total contrast to the way Ornette plays on that last Atlantic side, which, virtuosic as it is, can probably "best" be described as rough or grainy--a rolling/tumbling sort of thing. Also, although Redman's phrasing has more of a modal/scalular character a lot of the time, he sometimes pushes into Ornette's squarer, diatonic territory (although sometimes I hear this as Dewey doing an Ornette thing, versus Dewey doing a Dewey thing).

Rhythmically, though, and in the way of phrase "shapes", Redman and Ornette are in completely different departments. Ornette has a way of getting into the rhythm of whatever is going on around him--even in rubato time--whereas Dewey has a tendency to wash over the rhythm. I guess Mingus's equating Ornette with a whole lot of bongos has some truth to it; Ornette strings his phrases together with a very clear rhythmic momentum--heavily accented--and Dewey just tends to hit the highs and lows (that "careening" sound).

Inspired by the Chappaqua talk, I'm listening to the second disc right now--and Pharoah (for what little time he pops up) has sort of a Dewey Thing going on--just swaying over the rhythm. Ornette's ability to dig into wacky syncopation (something that Pharoah doesn't really do, and that Dewey seldom got into) was part of what made the 60's trio so good--Moffett is really an adventurous bebop drummer, pulling some Klook stuff, and he knows how to push his hits like few other "free" guys.

Edited by ep1str0phy

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17326.jpg

Listened to this bad daddy twice through today. On "Harlem's Manhattan," Cherry must be using a mute, at least on the head. But it's not a Harmon mute. A strange, but attractive, sound he's getting there.

Ornette does seem to be pushing himself out of some of the riffs that he affords himself on alto. In the process, though, I think he plays over Jimmy Garrison quite a lot. A lot of energy on this record.

I wish the Japanese market would reissue this title again — the U.S. box set, from which I'm hearing this session, is starting to show its age.

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As people may be aware, Ornette played tenor for many years before moving to alto. This casts his tenor outings in a slightly different light.

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Yeah, he's definitely got a bit of that old R&B honk in there--but made wacky by harmolodics/Ornetticisms. I love it.

Granted that the whole Rhino thing has been reissuing Ornette's later Atlantics, it's probably a matter of time before we get the early catalogue remastered. Whatever the case, just a year or so ago, I still remember Ornette On Tenor being the one that always clogged up the used shelves--I don't know why, it just was.

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My favorite cut from the Ornette on Tenor sessions is not on the album--it's on later released The Art of the Improvisors--Harlem's Manhattan.

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One of my favorites, I even kinda wish Ornette would have recorded on tenor a bit more.

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