Ornette

Thanks to Andrew J Shields for reminding me to listen again to Ornette Coleman. When I was a teenager starting to play jazz on alto sax and clarinet, in the late 50s and early 60s, Ornette was in the vanguard of the avant garde. To conventional sax players he was a bit of a bogeyman. “He plays a plastic sax, did you know?” And he played on really hard reeds, like #7s (while I was playing Van Doren #3s) to get that hard-edged sound. I remember discussing him with Tubby Hayes and Alan Bold (who also played alto) at an Art College Ball (my, the company I kept in them days).

Looking back now he seems innovative, certainly, but not as far out as some – say Albert Ayler.

His song ‘Lonely Woman’ is as melodic and beautiful as any, and there are some excellent versions out there. The MJQ’s one is probably my favourite, but here’s a take by the composer himself. I hope you like it.

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About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
This entry was posted in alto sax, jazz, Ornette Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ornette

  1. Rob says:

    Really enjoyed that, Colin. Thanks. I don’t even want to think of what it must be like to blow a #7 reed! #3s were as far as I’d go too.Must get back to playing my sax this year. Must do…

  2. Colin Will says:

    Thanks Rob. See you Sunday.Colin

  3. Tommaso Gervasutti says:

    And what about John Coltrane, the tremendous depth of his sax?Apart from A Love Supreme, I strongly recommend you “Transition” with the piece “Prayer and Meditation”, I still have it in the old battered vinyl record from the early seventies, it’s still an experience listening to it, I compare it to John Donne’s poetry.Best wishes, Davide

  4. Colin Will says:

    Yes Davide. I have a lot of Coltrane records, including the ‘Blues’ and the ‘Ballads’ sessions. There’s a simplicity here that I prefer to his later music.

  5. Ms Baroque says:

    Thanks, loved that!

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