Saturday, June 13, 2015


Ornette Coleman was the rare example of peripatetic artist as visionary whose music was informed by social and political change,  and whose sonic materials went well beyond accepted forms of jazz. He pioneered the use of dissonance and impulsively spontaneous forms on FREE JAZZ (1960),  a nearly Stravinsky-esque take on orchestral music with SKIES OF AMERICA (1972),  and rock music with explosive mind/body syntax on DANCING IN YOUR HEAD (1976). His spontaneous improvisational bursts of alto sax (and other instruments,  as he was a multi-instrumentalist) were  informed by a tireless intelligence and a willingness to embrace seemingly formless "noise" and quirky rhythmic shapes, as well as bracing harmonic abstraction (his concept of "harmolodics"). Just jump in at any point in his vast catalogue and listen with new ears,  even now

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