Saturday, October 10, 2020
'The mere possibility that something of value will not fall under the rule of time - and here we need not raise the question of how that value originated, whether inherent or the creation of interpreters - is the real justification for our continuing the clamorous, opinionated conversation.'
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Right on, Tyler.
But then in comes Nicky, who asks difficult questions. And I come in, just for the fun. Tyler sees an opportunity to parade his virtue, so at the end of the day everybody is happy in a very real sense.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Coleman is, apparently, all things to all men. According to Martin Williams, who wrote the liner notes for this album, his playing "will effect the whole character of jazz music profoundly and pervasively". An advertisement for a concert he is participating in refers to him as "the new alto saxophone sensation”. A jazz disc jockey calls him the "most talked-about musician in town". And in the "Goings On About Town" section of The New Yorker, he is "Ornette Coleman and his perhaps mortally wounded alto saxophone.I will be more than happy to leave technical discussion of Coleman's music to Williams' liner notes, for he seems to have a much better grasp of the situation than I.
The instrumentation of this group will suggest the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, but the only point of similarity is that Coleman's musicians have taken harmonic advantage of the absence of a piano, while Mulligan's thought in such a harmonically conventional way that the piano might as well have been there all along.
In reference to the various quotations above, it will be interesting to see what happens to the career of the first new prophet to appear since the publicity machinery of jazz has gotten itself in full swing. Coleman's is an authentic attempt, and the initial praise for it came from musicians. Now it seems, everyone else has climbed aboard for what may be a long, long ride.
What I hear from this group (Coleman, alto sax; Don Cherry, trumpet; Charlie Haden, bass; and Billy Higgins, drums) is almost completely different on fast and slow numbers. The uptempo selections are nerve-shattering unrealized fragments, departing, it would seem, from Charlie Parker at the time of KoKo. On slower numbers, Coleman, who sounds much like the late Ernie Henry, is capable of composing strange melody lines that stick naggingly in the mind for days, and, on his solos, playing isolated phrases that have an instantly affecting beauty.
American Record GuideVol 26, 1959, 339