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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ornette Coleman - Live At Carnegie Hall, New York, June 2006

Ornette_coleman002At 90 minutes, some might call this concert heaven-sent; others might deem it a visit to hell. If you are a jazz fiend, this is exciting, invigorating and even brilliant - Ornette Coleman, 76, playing with three bassists (Tony Falanga - acoustic bass; Greg Cohen - acoustic bass and Al McDowell - electric bass). Unfortunately the bass in this audience recording is not as prominent as it could have been. According to the New York Times review, apparently that's the way it sounded in the theatre. But that will not mar your enjoyment of the show, for which we all have to thank boatini for sharing the tracks.
According to Harry Lime (as quoted by the jazz hepcats at, "Ornette first unveiled his two bass quartet in 2004 and showed that he could still provide audiences with a revelation made of pure sound. Denser and more idiosyncratic than I could have imagined, the music was strong stuff - a 200-proof distillation of the harmolodic concept he’d been developing for the past 50 years. As the band seamlessly wove their way through a dozen or so songs, each one bleeding into the next, I began to feel that maybe not since the original quartet, had a group of musicians better understood how to speak in his musical language."
Ornette_coleman001Towards the end of the show, "A striking version of Coleman's 1959 chestnut Turnaround found the saxophonist sometimes playing his melodic lines well off the beat, reminiscent of great balladeers from Lester Young to Willie Nelson. Song X brought the set to a manic close; a torrid Lonely Woman was served up as an encore. The audience - not a sold-out house, but not far off - exploded in approval. Coleman accepted this with grace, every bit the quiet revolutionary he'd always been... if perhaps one of the very few revolutionaries lucky enough to be rewarded with such a response for simply remaining cussedly true to his own unique vision."

Ornette Coleman - saxophone, trumpet, violin
Tony Falanga - acoustic bass
Ornette Coleman - Live At Carnegie Hall, New York, June 16, 2006Greg Cohen - acoustic bass
Al McDowell - electric bass
Denardo Coleman - drums

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