ORNETTE COLEMAN — Body Meta (review)

ORNETTE COLEMAN — Body Meta album cover Album · 1978 · Eclectic Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Ornette Coleman was the one among a few jazzmen who started playing what later has been titled "a new thing" still in late 50s. His album "Free Jazz" gave the tag for all new jazz direction which dramatically changed genre's scene for decades to come. Still at the late 60s-early 70s it looked Ornette got stuck in his music(his excellent "Science Fiction" from 1972 is an exception only confirming the sentence).

Fortunately for us jazz lovers he did it again - in late 70s Ornette returned back with new jazz revolution again. His new quintet came all-electric this time - two(!) guitarists, bassist and unorthodox drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson beside of Coleman himself. The music,if still rooted in early free jazz, was seriously different and at the moment sounded extremely modern and non-conventional at the same time. Influenced by some time's dominated trends, Ornette's new music was closer to jazz fusion, or better to say - free funk still staying within jazz idiom.

First ever recorded example of Ornette's new music has been released on their "Dancing in Your Head"(1977) - 31 minute-short LP which contained only one true new band's composition "Theme From A Symphony" (which initially has been planned as EP release) and completed with four-and-half minute "Midnight Sunrise" world fusion piece,recorded with Master Musicians of Jajouka. Then in 1978 same band releases "Body Meta" - true first full album of "harmolodic" jazz. Five compositions, almost forty minutes of excellent energetic and free mix of groovy pulsation, drummers acrobatics and extremely inspired and focused Coleman sax soloing, one among best in his career.

Comparing with many recordings,released by Coleman and his followers later, "Body Meta" has one big advantage - because of permanent changes of tunes and rhythmical structures whole album doesn't sound all that much repetitive and initial fresh and positive impression doesn't change to boredom after first fifteen-twenty minutes of listening.

Coltrane (and his collaborators/followers) will develop and explore this new for the time sound for decades to come but "Body Meta" still will stay one of style cornerstone album in jazz history.
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