ORNETTE COLEMAN — Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman (review)

ORNETTE COLEMAN — Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman album cover Album · 1958 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
frankbernardi22
"What a new avant garde musician we have on the jazz scene. His name is Ornette Coleman". So they said (better: somebody said) many years ago, when the young man - come from Texas - began to give his records titles like "Something Else!!!", the shakespearian "Tomorrow is the question" and "The Shape of jazz to come" (for somebody was Nesuhi Ertegun, Atlantic executive, to christen the third of the records as "The Shape..."). Words, the latter, that contained the promise of a revealed future. Or the future itself. But in in 1958, year of the first record, the couple Coleman - Cherry seemed to remind - in a grotesque way - the famous duo Bird an Diz. "Bird and Diz" is Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, together in a studio on June, 6th, 1950. With them, Monk on piano. No need of other words. Eight years after, paladin and revolutionaries' defender Cherry, played his little trumpet for Ornette, the last promise, the more interesting surprise of those years. Trumpet, little, and not a toy: yes, smaller than the usual horn, but a perfect old dented instrument, B flat tuned. And what about Ornette's sax, a plastic alto, maybe? Ornette, a life of music and sacrifices, had all the reason to be angry and hungry: but in "Something Else!!!" discontent seems intellectulized and more ironical (in relation to Bird and Diz - and Diz never liked Ornette's music, even if, in some moments, he seemed more raged than Coleman), while joy (the relation is the same), tends here, in 1958, to a somehow out of tune and stilyzed dance; everything is thinner and bathed in a clear light, so poor of shadows. And things are on the same path in the sophomore lp, "Tomorrow is the question" (in the meantime piano disappears and funeral tones move across the grooves) . And today what do we have of all that jazz? A shining piece of precious vinyl, shining even in re - prints and digital discs. Five stars. And "Something Else!!!!" is only the beginning of a book, one of the richest books in all jazz history.
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