Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come
Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come
Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come
Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come

Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come

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Ornette Coleman - alto saxophone [click here to see more vinyl featuring Ornette Coleman]

Don Cherry (cornet), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)

Written by Ornette Coleman

1 LP, standard sleeve

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’



Record Press : Pallas

Label : Speaker corners

Original Label :  Atlantic

Recording: May 1959 at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA, by Bones Howe

Production: Nesuhi Ertegun

Originally released in 1959

Reissued in 2021

Tracks :

Side A :

                1. Lonely Woman

                2. Eventually

                3. Peace

Side B :

                1. Focus on Sanity

                2. Congeniality

                3. Chronology



Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 248/500

Stereophile Records To Die For - 2012

Reviews :

« Ornette Coleman's Atlantic debut, The Shape of Jazz to Come, was a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with. The record shattered traditional concepts of harmony in jazz, getting rid of not only the piano player but the whole idea of concretely outlined chord changes. The pieces here follow almost no predetermined harmonic structure, which allows Coleman and partner Don Cherry an unprecedented freedom to take the melodies of their solo lines wherever they felt like going in the moment, regardless of what the piece's tonal center had seemed to be. Plus, this was the first time Coleman recorded with a rhythm section -- bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins -- that was loose and open-eared enough to follow his already controversial conception. Coleman's ideals of freedom in jazz made him a feared radical in some quarters; there was much carping about his music flying off in all directions, with little direct relation to the original theme statements. If only those critics could have known how far out things would get in just a few short years; in hindsight, it's hard to see just what the fuss was about, since this is an accessible, frequently swinging record. It's true that Coleman's piercing, wailing alto squeals and vocalized effects weren't much beholden to conventional technique, and that his themes often followed unpredictable courses, and that the group's improvisations were very free-associative. But at this point, Coleman's desire for freedom was directly related to his sense of melody -- which was free-flowing, yes, but still very melodic. Of the individual pieces, the haunting "Lonely Woman" is a stone-cold classic, and "Congeniality" and "Peace" aren't far behind. Any understanding of jazz's avant-garde should begin here. » AllMusic Review by Steve Huey

It was John Lewis, pianist of the Modern Jazz Quartet, who brought Ornette Coleman to the renowned Atlantic label, having heard him play in Los Angeles. »Ornette Coleman is doing the only really new thing in jazz …« he reportedly said. The present initial Atlantic album was released just in time to coincide with the New York debut of the Coleman Quartet in November 1959. Lewis was sure that Coleman would open up new paths for jazz, and his opinion is reflected in the title of the album – "The Shape Of Jazz To Come". After the rather worn-out hard bop routine of the past years, this music was like a breath of fresh air. The fast numbers ("Eventuality", "Chronology") remind one of wildly hyped-up bebop. Other numbers ("Congeniality", "Focus On Sanity") juggle with catchy, almost folk like short motifs. This album contains two of Coleman’s most beautiful compositions: "Peace" and "Lonely Woman", which was later given lyrics and often heard in its vocal version. The Mulligan-Baker Quartet provided the model for the pianoless quartet – and when the band swings along once in a while with a moderato tempo, it is truly reminiscent of cool jazz. Be that as it may, the two wind instrumentalists just love the frenetic 'cry' and the intentionally 'imprecise' interplay. Clearly defined stanzas or traditional harmonic forms were not for them. The jazz musicologist Peter N. Wilson wrote: "A record, which is not unjustifiably so entitled" about this LP which was given 5 stars by the magazine Rolling Stone.

Ratings :

Allmusic : 5/5, Discogs 4,49 / 5, Rate Your Music  4,06 / 5

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