Sunday, June 15, 2008
Jeez, always one of my favorite album covers and this dinky thing is the only image I can find. Apparently, the CD reissue solarized the photograph quite a bit and added (unnecessarily) some typographics, resulting in this:
Loses all the atmospherics of the original, compromises the gravitas.
Anyway, I've been gradually playing through my Ornette vinyl. Nothing to say that hasn't been said thousands of times about most of the early recordings as well as Prime Time and later (I more or less lost interest after the "Naked Lunch" soundtrack, I've been told unfairly) so I'll concentrate on my favorite period which begins with this recording and goes up through about 1971.
re: the Town Hall Concert (1962)--I wonder what contemporary admirers from the avant classical world like La Monte Young made of Coleman's writing for strings. In the context of the time, it was pretty old-fashioned, after all, not too mention somewhat romantic. To me, it's not a very far cry from the essence of his jazz work of the time but I get the impression the latter went down more smoothly than the "classical" writing among the contemporary cognoscenti. But I'm just guessing--I don't recall ever reading any commentary from those quarters. Anyone? In any case, "Sadness", as performed here still stands out as one of Ornette's most stirring works, just beautiful.
I'm in the camp that never had a problem with Denardo Coleman, at least as a prepubescent. Even more so in retrospect, it's a fine idea, something entirely in keeping with other non-professional movements of around the same time (like some portion of the Scratch Orchestra), a notion perhaps also applicable to Ornette's own early trumpet and violin work, each featured here.
(Another dinkified image) I guess this has seen the light of day on disc; I have the Lotus LP that appeared in '80. From February, 1968 in Rome (according to discographies I've see--the album says 1967) with Izenzon, Haden and Blackwell. A good, rather loose set (Lonely Woman, Monsieur le Prince, Forgotten Children, Buddah [sic] Blues)--I enjoy Ornette with two bassists and percussion, though I've always found Izenzon and Haden to be very opposite kind of musicians, mostly with regard to the former's relative "thinness" of sound and the latter's resonant girth; makes for good tension here. Fine trumpet from Ornette on "Forgotten Children" and a rare (?) example of his shenai work on the last track. Did he introduce Redman to that instrument or vice versa?
Love this recording. For me, this is the one where Ornette's music really takes the step into what was my favorite period of his, even more so that the great early work. Redman's a big part of getting to that sound, the perfect, earthy foil for Ornette's spiraling tone. Beautiful, full sound from all, including Denardo.
See, that's what I call an album cover. Didn't realize until just now, looking over a discography, that this (and "New York Is Now!, which I have on CD) was recorded a bit before "Ornette at 12"; I'd always thought it came afterwards. Ornette's one date with Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison and the Coltrane rhythm section meshes just fine. Another muscular recording with a thick, juicy sound. Redman's ferocious on "Airborne", some of his finest vocalized playing on record. Doesn't get talked about enough.
More next time.