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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I read this book when it first came out. It should tell you about the different reactions of musicians to OC's music:
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    Great thanks!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Ornette and Albert Ayler were the only musicians invited to play at Trane's funeral.

  4. #53

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    Ornette did not like playing changes and was probably not that good at it, that does not detract from the fact he was good, he simply heard music in a different way ie from a melodic point. Some of the most sublime music is Indian, which does not have chords. it is melodic.

    The fact that his OC compositions did not have changes ( mainly) also would have created a difference in sound back in those days, just as Miles searched for new sound. out of that came Modal a couple of chords for longer duration as opposed to Bebop 2 or 4 chords per bar etc.

    Remember the first time you heard in a Silent way. an open E 5 chord, granted much later on

    Just to put this into perspective then, along comes not Betty, but Wayne Shorter who used fewer chords with non-functional harmony.

    So there you have it

  5. #54
    There is a lot of dislike for Ornette in this thread from JazzTimes about over rated players!

    Who's Overrated? Who's Underrated? - JazzTimes

    "When Ornette descended upon New York and critics rose up to approve his music, I went originally with three well-known musicians to hear it. They didn’t like it at all and I found it retrogressive. The language Armstrong established never needed Ebonics."


    "It has become more and more common to put Ornette Coleman’s name in the same sentence with Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. Give me a break. Ornette’s first burst was marked by fresh themes and a strong blues sensibility but his improvising language contained as many, if not more, personal clichés as anyone. To the cadre of avant-garde critics, however, only beboppers play clichés. Anything Ornette does, even playing amateurishly on violin and trumpet, is sacrosanct. When jazz musicians were bashed for playing fusion, Ornette’s Prime Time was not. Perhaps this is because so many of the critics who came to jazz in the ’70s and beyond emerged from under the rock experience and listen to jazz through that prism."


    "Despite his background in blues and bop, Coleman never learned how to produce more than a rudimentary sound on any of his various instruments. He did succeed in opening the gates to freer improvisation, but his later involvements with rock and fusion rhythms continue to belie the faith held in him by his early supporters."


  6. #55

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    I listened to some of his early stuff this morning. The Shape of Jazz to Come is just a great record.

    I think it was more modal than what Miles and Coltrane were doing at the time, if I understand the word “modal” correctly. Haden and Higgins are laying down a nice foundation, and Ornette and Cherry are just doing their thing on top of it. (Love Haden—not a knock, but he always sounds the same to me, no matter who he’s playing with. He has a midwestern sensibility to his playing, as I’ve said before.)

    Anyway the stuff from the late 50’s/early 60’s to me is fairly structured and quite listenable. Something I read said that Ornette was more based in the blues than his peers, and I can kind of see that here, at least if you think of fairly way-out blues shouters.

    I saw Ornette once in Atlanta (Piedmont Park jazz festival) in the mid-80’s. He had double everything—2 drummers, 2 basses. Not sure if there were any guitarists or other horn players at that gig. He was “out there”, and I enjoyed it at the time. I have a feeling I would not enjoy it so much now—I am in to music that is more tonally centered and less complex these days.

    I also saw James Blood Ulmer at about that time—Ornette acolyte, who was really into the harmelodics thing. He had a strong blues influence as well. I think he was more successful at that time in making music that was unconventional but still within the confines of the sounds of the day.

  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I listened to some of his early stuff this morning. The Shape of Jazz to Come is just a great record.

    I think it was more modal than what Miles and Coltrane were doing at the time, if I understand the word “modal” correctly. Haden and Higgins are laying down a nice foundation, and Ornette and Cherry are just doing their thing on top of it. (Love Haden—not a knock, but he always sounds the same to me, no matter who he’s playing with. He has a midwestern sensibility to his playing, as I’ve said before.)

    Anyway the stuff from the late 50’s/early 60’s to me is fairly structured and quite listenable. Something I read said that Ornette was more based in the blues than his peers, and I can kind of see that here, at least if you think of fairly way-out blues shouters.

    I saw Ornette once in Atlanta (Piedmont Park jazz festival) in the mid-80’s. He had double everything—2 drummers, 2 basses. Not sure if there were any guitarists or other horn players at that gig. He was “out there”, and I enjoyed it at the time. I have a feeling I would not enjoy it so much now—I am in to music that is more tonally centered and less complex these days.

    I also saw James Blood Ulmer at about that time—Ornette acolyte, who was really into the harmelodics thing. He had a strong blues influence as well. I think he was more successful at that time in making music that was unconventional but still within the confines of the sounds of the day.

    I find it quite interesting how free jazz players seems split between either exceptionally blusey or more avant garde classical without any blues influence or feel.

  8. #57

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    I've been thinking about Ornette a lot lately. Probably because of this thread. I'm a life-long fan. I bought Shape of Jazz when my friends were buying Clapton. I get that some folks don't dig him. That's fine with me. I don't dig Clapton. To me O's music is joyful. Saw him around '75 at the Keystone. I think it was Higgins who had a huge smile on his face the whole time. As did I.

    So that's what I kinda see as the dividing line. Either you connect with that joy or you don't. That's about it. I don't think there's much else.

    What I don't get is why the folks on the other side of that line feel a need to put him down. Who cares if he did or didn't know where to put bar lines. It just does not matter to me. That kind of info does nothing for my connection to the music. Charlie, Billy, Ed, Dewey and Don didn't need bar lines.

    So critics have to say something. I get it. And this is a forum where we really only have words to exchange. Words. About music?

    So I've also been revisiting Dolphy lately. It's all the same to me. Nobody tries to put Eric down because everyone knows he could read fly specks, was a master of at least 3 instruments and wrote scores for big bands. Again I find this info has no impact on my love of the music.

    Just some thoughts I've been having lately. Thanks for listening!

  9. #58

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    Good post, croft.

  10. #59

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    Thank-you Rob. Means a lot coming from someone with so many great posts under his belt!

  11. #60

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    IMO there's always too much yes/no going around....

    "jazz is bop, anything that's not bop aint jazz"....."jazz is swing, anything that's not swing aint jazz"....."jazz is new orleans style, anything that's not new orleans style aint jazz"...."jazz is improvising off standards, anything that's not that aint jazz"....etc.

    my first exposure to ornette was the 'shape of jazz to come' LP....i got it because it cost 25 cents at a thrift shop....at the time i was a student in jackie mclean's jazz class at U of Hartford in Hartford Ct....so the cover, with a guy holding a sax, was part of the appeal..."this is some kinda jazz, the price is right, i'll buy it"

    though i was attending jackie's class, i knew very little about jazz beyond a general sense gotten from prevailing culture...jackie's class was basically my introduction to jazz...i was a total jazz rookie--tho i'd been playing folk/pop/rock guitar etc for 6 years at the time....talk about being thrown in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket

    so what was my initial reaction to that ornette album? it was some of the most 'hearable' and 'accessible' music i'd ever heard--not unlike the country blues guitarists i loved...it also exhibited humor and playfulness--qualities which i rate highly....i also liked the SPACE in it, it wasn't all cluttered-up--having no piano helped in that regard, but it went beyond that--it was that the players weren't intent upon playing EVERY note, EVERY arpeggio, EVERY chord and EVERY lick in existence Because.

    ALSO: it was way full of 'blues'....IMO jazz has gotta have a lotta blues in it...blues being one of the source-springs of jazz music entire...."all blues" etc.

    what i didnt know at the time: jackie (as bonafide a 'bop' master if ever there was one) also dug ornette...

    only recently did i learn that jackie recorded an album with ornette....on which ornette played trumpet....IMO it's FAB!!

    ornette got all kinda shit from critics and other musicians--especially trumpet players--for having the audacity to play trumpet when he was newbie on it....i don't care--i LOVE his trumpet playing on the album, it sounds so HUMAN....'human' as an odd, peculiar and funny state of existence, eh?

    here's the title cut...BTW the head/riff has gotta be one of catchiest damn things ever....it's been stuck in my head since first listen


  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I've been thinking about Ornette a lot lately. Probably because of this thread. I'm a life-long fan. I bought Shape of Jazz when my friends were buying Clapton. I get that some folks don't dig him. That's fine with me. I don't dig Clapton. To me O's music is joyful. Saw him around '75 at the Keystone. I think it was Higgins who had a huge smile on his face the whole time. As did I.

    So that's what I kinda see as the dividing line. Either you connect with that joy or you don't. That's about it. I don't think there's much else.

    What I don't get is why the folks on the other side of that line feel a need to put him down. Who cares if he did or didn't know where to put bar lines. It just does not matter to me. That kind of info does nothing for my connection to the music. Charlie, Billy, Ed, Dewey and Don didn't need bar lines.

    So critics have to say something. I get it. And this is a forum where we really only have words to exchange. Words. About music?

    So I've also been revisiting Dolphy lately. It's all the same to me. Nobody tries to put Eric down because everyone knows he could read fly specks, was a master of at least 3 instruments and wrote scores for big bands. Again I find this info has no impact on my love of the music.

    Just some thoughts I've been having lately. Thanks for listening!
    Great post. Dewey Redman is beautiful, love his sound. Ear of the behearer cool record.

    Your comment regarding connecting with the joy or not is spot on.

    Words
    Too many times stuff is boxed and it has to be seen for what it is by itself. It is difficult to approach without so many preconceived notions: "free jazz" "Avant Garde" "out" "the new thing" etc.

  13. #62

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    been meaning to say for a long time ariel: love your signature!

  14. #63

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    Yeah.... check that out: Ear of the BeHeared. I'm a big time BeHearer.

  15. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by janepaints
    IMO there's always too much yes/no going around....

    "jazz is bop, anything that's not bop aint jazz"....."jazz is swing, anything that's not swing aint jazz"....."jazz is new orleans style, anything that's not new orleans style aint jazz"...."jazz is improvising off standards, anything that's not that aint jazz"....etc.

    my first exposure to ornette was the 'shape of jazz to come' LP....i got it because it cost 25 cents at a thrift shop....at the time i was a student in jackie mclean's jazz class at U of Hartford in Hartford Ct....so the cover, with a guy holding a sax, was part of the appeal..."this is some kinda jazz, the price is right, i'll buy it"

    though i was attending jackie's class, i knew very little about jazz beyond a general sense gotten from prevailing culture...jackie's class was basically my introduction to jazz...i was a total jazz rookie--tho i'd been playing folk/pop/rock guitar etc for 6 years at the time....talk about being thrown in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket

    so what was my initial reaction to that ornette album? it was some of the most 'hearable' and 'accessible' music i'd ever heard--not unlike the country blues guitarists i loved...it also exhibited humor and playfulness--qualities which i rate highly....i also liked the SPACE in it, it wasn't all cluttered-up--having no piano helped in that regard, but it went beyond that--it was that the players weren't intent upon playing EVERY note, EVERY arpeggio, EVERY chord and EVERY lick in existence Because.

    ALSO: it was way full of 'blues'....IMO jazz has gotta have a lotta blues in it...blues being one of the source-springs of jazz music entire...."all blues" etc.

    what i didnt know at the time: jackie (as bonafide a 'bop' master if ever there was one) also dug ornette...

    only recently did i learn that jackie recorded an album with ornette....on which ornette played trumpet....IMO it's FAB!!

    ornette got all kinda shit from critics and other musicians--especially trumpet players--for having the audacity to play trumpet when he was newbie on it....i don't care--i LOVE his trumpet playing on the album, it sounds so HUMAN....'human' as an odd, peculiar and funny state of existence, eh?

    here's the title cut...BTW the head/riff has gotta be one of catchiest damn things ever....it's been stuck in my head since first listen

    God I have this album somewhere, need to dig it out!

  16. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I've been thinking about Ornette a lot lately. Probably because of this thread. I'm a life-long fan. I bought Shape of Jazz when my friends were buying Clapton. I get that some folks don't dig him. That's fine with me. I don't dig Clapton. To me O's music is joyful. Saw him around '75 at the Keystone. I think it was Higgins who had a huge smile on his face the whole time. As did I.

    So that's what I kinda see as the dividing line. Either you connect with that joy or you don't. That's about it. I don't think there's much else.

    What I don't get is why the folks on the other side of that line feel a need to put him down. Who cares if he did or didn't know where to put bar lines. It just does not matter to me. That kind of info does nothing for my connection to the music. Charlie, Billy, Ed, Dewey and Don didn't need bar lines.

    So critics have to say something. I get it. And this is a forum where we really only have words to exchange. Words. About music?

    So I've also been revisiting Dolphy lately. It's all the same to me. Nobody tries to put Eric down because everyone knows he could read fly specks, was a master of at least 3 instruments and wrote scores for big bands. Again I find this info has no impact on my love of the music.

    Just some thoughts I've been having lately. Thanks for listening!

    There is a lot of great music I discovered through critical writing and acclaim for which I am grateful but there is also a lot of stuff I am glad I discovered without having read the perceived critical consensus before hand. In one of the quotes I put earlier someone puts Ornette down by saying a lot of his work was admired by people who came to jazz through rock and fusion, but I think that is the point, Coleman was coming from a different perspective, in many ways he was playing his own genre. It was a bit like the critical reception to Miles' On The Corner. To a lot of my younger friends and students I worked with at a music school that is where to start with Miles and they don't give a dam about Sketches of Spain or his 50s work. Not saying they wont appreciate it in time but the sounds of OTC fit so much more clearly with the hop hop and electronic stuff they like. The next step to more adventurous and advanced music is stuff like OTC, Sextant, Live Evil, Mwandishi etc.

  17. #66

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    Ornette was a melodic genius: there are few if any jazz composers that write melodies the way he does. After his first album he pretty had some of the best bands in jazz with either Ed Blackwell or Billy Higgins, two of the most swinging drummers in history, on drums, and Haden on bass.

    So you have a melodic genius with the ability to assemble and record quite possibly the best working band in jazz at the time, and, by the way, the improvisations are all extensions of Ornette's incredible melodic sensibility and sound like nothing else in the history of the music.

    What was the original question again?

  18. #67

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    Ornette, the way he approached music and skipping conventional chord changes, leaving the piano player out, playing a plastic sax, not having the conventional technique many of the present jazz musicians did, upset lots of people. In particular when some respected musicians admired him. It kinda threatened some more traditional jazz artists, who's whole existence or at least their identity and status as musicians could be questioned.

    I had the opportunity to see him live in NYC with his classic rhythm section, with Higgins and Haden as a trio. It was awesome!

  19. #68

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    I think Ornette Coleman scared a lot of musicians because his music couldn't be analysed in conventional terms by scales and harmonic relationships and yet he sounded good!

  20. #69

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    Scofield and Lovano are the Ornette Colemans of our generation.

    the melody and rhythm is key and the harmony is... (like in a lot of Scofield tunes): roughly in C or B or G...

    for the solos, Sco and Lovano play off the melody and rhythm. And there’s a lot of liberty.

    Some competent jazz musicians have no respect for music without “changes”, and it was always thought that Ornette’s music was just testimony to a lack of musicianship. But highly virtuosic musicians like Dolphy, Coltrane, Shorter, Metheny, Scofield, Jarrett have experimented with changeless music or pure Melodic (harmolodic) music.

    Ornette’s music is revolutionary in moving away from traditional harmonic progressions, but a lot of great “changes”-players have embraced this idea since.

    For me, as an amateur, it’s already scary to follow all changes, the idea of not having any changes to rely on, is really scary. It takes freedom, self confidence, some virtuosity and a pair of good ears to play that music.

  21. #70

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    I haven't read the book, but here's the intro for those interested...

    Book Excerpt - Ornette Coleman: Territory and Adventure, by Maria Golia - Jerry Jazz Musician

  22. #71

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    Ornettes's baby.

    Harmolodics - Wikipedia

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNote
    I think Ornette Coleman scared a lot of musicians because his music couldn't be analysed in conventional terms by scales and harmonic relationships and yet he sounded good!
    The problem was, at the time, many thought it did in fact NOT sound good.

  24. #73

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    from great jazz weekly interview with legendary bassist gary peacock

    FJ: What was Ayler really about?

    GARY PEACOCK: He was about music, really, really about music and about continual development with the instrument, with technique, with all of that. So when he played it wasn't just squawks and beeps and honks and that kind of thing. He was really, he was coming from a real place. It was authentic. It was really him. A similar kind of thing that I've noticed, not infrequently, among some of the young avant-garde players as it were. They heard Ornette Coleman and thought that, "Oh, I don't have to understand anything about harmony or melody and I can't play changes anyway and so I'm going to be a free player." Well, that is exactly wrong. That's completely backwards. In fact, Fred, that isn't even true. Ornette could play changes. Albert Ayler could play changes. It is almost a prerequisite. So if someone already has that ability and has gone through that, they have developed their ear to the point where they intuitively know what harmonic order and what melody is. Then they are at a place where they can simply let it go. Paul Bley is that way. Paul Bley can play the changes to anything. But without earning that, without going through the necessary disciplines musically of recognizing that the music is fairly deep and if you are going to be an improviser, there is a pretty rigorous pathway. If you come up short, not being able to hear harmony or finding it difficult as it were to play changes, that should indicate something, then you need to stay there for a while until you can become fluid in that. There is a kind of tendency for musicians who recognize that they can't really hear harmony that well or play something with changes that they still want to play that they can forget about that hurdle. I think that is a musical error.


    cheers