ORNETTE COLEMAN — Skies of America

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ORNETTE COLEMAN - Skies of America cover
3.72 | 8 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1972

Tracklist

A1 Skies Of America 2:48
A2 Native Americans 1:11
A3 The Good Life 1:33
A4 Birthdays And Funerals 3:14
A5 Dreams 0:53
A6 Sounds Of Sculpture 1:19
A7 Holiday For Heroes 1:09
A8 All Of My Life 3:40
A9 Dancers 1:18
A10 The Soul Within Woman 0:50
A11 The Artist In America 3:56
B1 The New Anthem 0:31
B2 Place In Space 2:44
B3 Foreigner In A Free Land 1:19
B4 Silver Screen 1:12
B5 Poetry 1:14
B6 The Men Who Live In The White House 2:50
B7 Love Life 4:34
B8 The Military 0:33
B9 Jam Session 0:40
B10 Sunday In America 4:28

Total Time: 41:23

Line-up/Musicians

Alto Saxophone [Uncredited], Composed By, Orchestrated By – Ornette Coleman
Bass [Uncredited] – Charlie Haden
Conductor – David Measham
Drums [Uncredited] – Ed Blackwell
Orchestra – London Symphony Orchestra, The
Tenor Saxophone, Oboe [Uncredited] – Dewey Redman

About this release

Columbia KC 31562 (US)

Recorded in London, England in May, 1972 (EMI Studios, Abbey Road)

Thanks to snobb, EZ Money for the updates

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ORNETTE COLEMAN SKIES OF AMERICA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
I’m no stranger to the world of modern orchestral music or the music of Ornette Coleman, but none of that could have prepared me for this very peculiar record. “Skies of America” is Ornette’s one time shot at a large scale orchestral composition, and it sounds like no one else. Instead of using the orchestra to create many interlocking voices, (as is usual in orchestral music, modern or classical), Ornette scores much of this piece with the entire orchestra playing melodies in unison which creates a bizarre, primitive and almost pre-historic effect. The resultant music is often crude and simple, but also very powerful. Much of this music sounds like what would happen if some alien culture discovered a room full of western orchestral instruments and just started playing what came natural. Much like Ornette’s “Free Jazz”, “Skies of America” once again attempts to re-create the birth of jazz, or possibly a new birth.

Once the surprise of Ornette’s strange score becomes more familiar, you can begin to recognize many familiar melodies and motifs that appear on other records by Coleman. The choice of melodic material on here is typical of his music, with long droning exotic minor key melodies alternating with insanely fast bop lines pushed to the point of near chaos. Much of this record sounds like an entire orchestra playing as an avant-garde post bop combo, with tympani sometimes supplying a Billy Higgins type rumbling rhythm.

“Skies of America” isn’t for everybody, even fans of avant-garde composition often find this one to be too bizarre. Overall I find “Skies” to be a fascinating piece, and there is enough variety amongst the short interconnecting tracks that it holds up well to repeat listens.

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