Ornette Coleman in concert this weekend. With his Quartet: Dewey Redman on Tenor sax and Clarinet, Charlie Haden on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums. Recorded at Théatre du Palais de Chaillot in Paris on October 25, 1971.
One of the major innovators of the Free Jazz movement in the early 1960s, even coining the phrase Free-Jazz in 1961, Coleman has been a key force in the evolution of Free Jazz; taking it into experimental and avant-garde territory and remaining one of its most influential practitioners up to his death in 2015.
In helping establish Free-Jazz as an acknowledged genre, Coleman attracted a wide range of musical collaborators, from The Boston Symphony to The Grateful Dead, and in doing so brought Free Jazz, not necessarily to the mainstream, but got it noticed by people who normally would not be associated with the form.
Of course, with every innovative movement comes detractors and opposition – and the music of Ornette Coleman has had just as many enemies as fans. Even in the press, where a 1962 Down Beat special review called “Double review of a Double Quartet” got 5 stars and 0 stars.
So, all that by way of saying this concert will most likely not be for all tastes – Big Band it ain’t. But interesting it is, as well as an important element in Music history. Whether it’s appreciated or avoided is up to you – all anyone asks of something out of the ordinary is to give it a few minutes and take it from there.
One of the primary reasons for doing Past Daily is to turn you on to things you may not be all that familiar with; to let you know it happened and its out there – how you choose to respond to it is up to you, but it’s available and it may unlock doors for you or it may be something you can live without. At least it’s there for you to decide.
And with that – click on the player and dive into Ornette Coleman, live in Paris from October 25, 1971.